Just as Coco’s little black dress, gold chains became classics and must-have for every woman. And not only women understand the benefits of gold chains. Men with style also know that a gold chain nowadays is the basic jewelry for every occasion and with every outfit.
To choose the right chain just for you, there are several things you need to consider.
- The style of the chain. It’s hard to count how many styles of chains are there in the world of jewelry, but we can suggest few that are the most frequently chosen. The reason for this is simple. Those styles of chains are practical. They are strong and durable, good for every outfit, can be worn by women and men, perfect for different occasions. Here are six styles to choose from.
The cable link chain is the simplest type of chains. Its pattern is plain and consists of identical oval or circular links that are connected with each other in a row. This construction makes it simple looking but durable, thus it can be worn either with a pendant or as one of the chains in a layered look.
The curb link chain is a cable chain variation consisting of flat oval or circular twisted links and includes such types of chains as Cuban link chains, Figaro, Franco and many more.
Cuban or Miami Cuban chains are made with oval twisted links and are the most popular modern variety of curb chains. This type of style is perfect if you prefer chunky chains and massive pendants. Thanks to the shape of the links they look great when iced-out.
Franco link chain style originated in Italy and is named after its creator. Franco chains display four-sided v-shaped (also called chevron) links put tightly together. Because of their structure Franco link chains are strong and unlikely to get tangled. The pattern of Franco chain looks gorgeous in any color of gold and with different styles of clothes.
Figaro chains are also an Italian variation of curb chains. The distinctive feature of the Figaro style chain is the order of its links’ shapes. Usually one long oval link follows several smaller ones to form a chain. Figaro chain became a favorite for men and women because of their exquisite and elegant look. Layers of chains always get additional charm when combined with the Figaro chain. Durable and delicate those chains go well together with pendants.
Rope chains are made of small links that form a shape of two twisted in a spiral way threads. This pattern provides additional luster to a chain. It’s perfect for everyday wear thanks to the durability and the ability to suit every outfit and style. You can wear it either with pendants or as one of the layers of chains, but wearing it as a single chain makes it more sophisticated.
- The metal of the chain. In jewelry it’s most common to choose between gold, silver and platinum. If you’ve made your choice in favor of gold, you should pick how many carats will your gold chain be.
While the best affordable gold chains are usually made in 10K and 14K gold it’s important to understand how the price is connected to the purity of gold. Gold chains are not made solely of gold but of gold alloy. The quantity of a gold itself in the alloy is marked by carats. The more the carats, the purer is the gold alloy, the higher is the price. The most common marks of gold purity are 9K (37,5%), 10K (41,67%), 12K (50%), 14K (58,33%), 18K (75%), 22K (91,67%) and 24K (99,99%). There are two most obvious advantages to have your gold chain with more carats: its more valuable; it’s more hypoallergenic. But keep in mind that the higher the presence of gold in the alloy, the softer it becomes, so the gold chains of 22K and 24K should be treated with more care than those with less carats.
- 3. The color. The variety of colors in jewelry also grows every day. Not so long ago the choice of colors for chains was not as wide. Sterling silver, platinum and gold gave the limited amount of shades. Now you can style your look not only with the classic yellow gold but with white, rose and even black gold chains or even mix them into stunning multicolor layers.
Choosing the colors of the chain think of the outfit style you prefer and the colors of the clothes you wear most often. For example, white and rose gold, as well as silver and platinum chains look good together with light-colored clothing, while classic yellow gold matches dark clothes perfectly. White, rose and black gold chains may be worn as a sole piece of jewelry but they create more sophisticated look when combined with chains of other colors. But there’s a possibility that white or black gold will cost you a bit more because of their color as they require a special rhodium finish.
The other way to add your chain more colors is the gemstones. It’s common for gold and platinum chains to be incrusted with diamonds, but you are welcome to try and make your custom chain with the stones and colors of your choice.
- Length and width. Decide upon the length and the width of the chain you want. The choice depends on your preferences but there are some tips you should keep in mind. The most suitable length of a gold chain is considered to be 16-20 inches for women and 20-24 inches for men. If you want to add a pendant, then you should also add 2-4 inches’ length to the chain. To highlight the elegance of a slender neck, a short chain of 14-16 inches will be the best choice. The chains of 18-20 inches’ length look great with deep neckline outfits. Thin long chains of 22-24 inches make the silhouette visually more delicate.
- Type of gold. If you’re going to buy a gold chain, you should consider the type of gold you want it to be made of. If you want your chain to be of the best quality and durability, you need to search for solid gold chains. It’s a high-end gold jewelry which will serve you for years. If you’re looking for a cheaper variant or not ready to wear heavy weight chains on your neck, then you should opt for hollow gold chains. Though they may look just the same as solid gold but the links are hollow inside, which results in loss of strength and higher risk of deformation.
If you are on a budget, then you may consider sterling silver chains or gold plated chains. Gold plated chains look almost the same as the real gold ones and if treated with care they can serve as a good jewelry for years.
Those tips are useful unless you find a really good place to buy jewelry. If the store has a good reputation and employees, you’ve got nothing to worry about. A real professional with good knowledge of jewelry will help you pick the right chain exclusively for you. All you need is to describe the design you’d prefer, the budget you’re ready to spend on the chain and the way you’re going to wear it (with a pendant or solo). The rest is up to the shop assistant. He should suggest the right length and width of the chain, the best suitable style and the purity of gold in the chain. But you should be prepared to say “no” if the suggested item is not what you desired. Sometimes shop assistants suggest not the items suitable for you and your budget but simply the pieces of jewelry the store is willing to sell. So, listen to the advices of the professional but be ready to compare the image of the chain you want and the product you’re offered.
The gold chains once made their way into fashion and now they are here to stay. Chains became the basic jewelry that make any outfit look “more” than it originally was able to on its own. They make the elegant outfit more sophisticated, everyday clothes more stylish, business look more significant, evening gown more chic. I bet you agree that even the little black dress now looks too plain without a gold chain.