A gold chain is one of the most common types of jewelry. It's a simple, versatile piece that looks great with almost any outfit and suits a wide range of occasions. You can find a gold chain in many different sizes, designs, and purity levels, making it difficult to choose a specific one to buy. Take the following tips into consideration to find the ideal gold chain for you.
Type of Gold Chain
There are many different types of gold chains available to suit different purposes and personalities. Some chains have a more feminine design, while others look more masculine. Some are made to withstand everyday wear and tear, whereas others are specially designed to hold pendants well. Knowing exactly why you're buying a gold chain is the first step to narrowing down your options. Here are the most common types of gold chains:
- Bead or ball chain: As its name suggests, a bead or ball gold chain has small round beads that are either linked closely together or farther apart to facilitate movement. This type of chain is very popular among men who like to wear army tags. You can choose the size of the beads, which typically varies from 1 mm to 2 mm in diameter.
- Box chain: This kind of chain comes with square, box-like links. It's more common among women and normally worn with a pendant. The links in this chain usually measure 0.5-1.5 mm long. The good thing about a box chain is that it's easier to repair than most other types of chain. If one of its box links breaks, you can either replace it with a new link or just reconnect the chain with the remaining links.
- Cable chain: A cable gold chain is one of the simplest and most common types of gold chains. It resembles a tiny version of a normal iron chain, consisting of identical uniformly interlocked oval links. Both men and women love wearing a cable chain because it's simple yet elegant and suits all styles and personalities.
- Figaro: Figaro is another highly sought-after gender-neutral chain, but it's a little fancier than a cable chain. Originally designed in Italy, this type of chain features an alternating pattern of flat links of varying sizes. Typically, the pattern is a repeated sequence of two or three small links followed by a larger link.
- Mariner or anchor chain: This type of chain is similar to a cable chain in that it's made up of interlocking oval links, but each of its links has a bar that runs across the center. It comes in a wide range of sizes, including thicker pieces that are more popular among men.
- Rope chain: Intricately designed to resemble a real rope, a rope chain usually serves as a “supporting” chain. It's commonly worn with a pendant, which is the focal point of the piece.
- Snake chain: A snake chain consists of closely knit small links that form a continuous tube-like chain, resembling the skin of a snake. It's delicate and flexible and works well with a pendant.
- Spiga chain: Also known as wheat chain, this kind of gold chain is composed of delicately knit strands of twisted ovals, which gives it the appearance of a soft golden braid. Its intricate pattern makes it a preferred option among women. Due to its stylish design, it looks great whether you wear it with a pendant or by itself.
- Singapore chain: Comprising fibers that are twisted and braided together, the Singapore chain is well-liked for its unique and beautiful design. While it may look delicate, it's one of the strongest and most durable kinds of chains.
Length and Thickness
It's important to choose the right length for your gold chain. You don't want to feel choked because the chain is too short or deal with messy tangles because it's too long. Generally, it's recommended that you get a chain that measures 14-22 inches long. Shorter chains are suitable for everyday use, while longer ones are best worn for outdoor activities and parties.
The thickness of a gold chain not only affects your overall appearance, but it also serves practical purposes. If you're planning to wear a pendant, you have to make sure your chain is thick enough to hold the weight. A thicker chain is also a good choice if you have long hair because a thinner chain is more likely to get tangled up in hair.
Karat refers to the purity of the gold used to make a gold chain. For example, 14 karat (14k) is 58.3% gold, 18k is 75% gold, and 24k is 99.9% gold. When choosing the karat for your gold chain, it's important to note that higher-karat gold is more valuable, but it's also softer and less durable than lower-karat gold.
Therefore, if you're planning to wear your new gold chain every day, you should get a 14k or 18k gold chain instead of a 24k or 22k piece. However, although a low-karat chain is more durable, it isn't a good choice if you're allergic to nickel because this metal is found in many gold alloys.
Another aspect of a gold chain you need to consider is the clasp. Make sure the chain you choose has a clasp that doesn't break easily and closes securely. The lobster clasp is a great choice because it's solidly built and opens and closes conveniently, but it won't give way easily if you pull the chain hard. Some gold chains have a ring clasp that's spring-loaded. While it's more affordable, this type of clasp is typically thinner and less durable and secure than a lobster clasp.
Regardless of which type and size of gold chain you're looking for, you can find an expertly crafted, top-quality piece at Martin Busch Jewelers. Browse our wide selection of gold chains to find one that suits your purpose, lifestyle, and personality. Feel free to contact us if you need more advice on how to choose the right gold chain.