Here for our 14k Gold Chains Mens buying guide? Our team has researched and reviewed the best gold chains for men and mens solid gold chains to help you come up with a better decision. We’ve also put up a shopping guide with the features you can consider when buying real gold chains for men.
It’s possible that you’ve had a 14k gold chain before and knew exactly what you were looking for. It’s also probable that this was a family heirloom that meant a lot to you. However, if you’re not knowledgeable about buying real gold chains then this could be a daunting task. There are tons of styles and options to choose from when it comes to 14k gold chains and men’s solid gold chains. And this can make finding the right piece of jewelry more complicated than it should be. To simplify the gold chain buying process for you, we’ve put together an informational guide to help you make an educated decision and find the right option.
14k Gold Chains Mens
How to choose a gold chain
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A gold chain is one of the most common ways that gold is used in jewelry. However, most people make the mistake of thinking that a gold chain is a simple one-choice item.
Gold chains come in a variety of styles and lengths, and it can be quite a challenge to pick one. Whether it is used to hold a pendant or to be worn as a simple chain around your neck, here are 8 important things to remember when you are on the hunt for the perfect gold chain.
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- Tip #1: Know what you are looking for
- Tip# 2: Know the chain strengths
- Tip #3 Know the material: Solid chain vs. hollow gold chain
- Tip #4 Is a hollow gold chain fake?
- Tip #5 Evaluate the quality of your gold
- Tip# 6 Chain thickness: know which is for what
- Tip# 7 Pick the length of your chain
- Tip # 8 Know your style
real gold chains for men
Tip #1: Know what you are looking for
There are different types of chains that work for different purposes and personalities. Some chains have a masculine look whereas others are quite feminine. Some are able to withstand daily wear and others are better to hold pendants. Knowing why you’re buying the chain will help you zero in on the right type.
Here are the most common types of gold chains available:
- Bead or Ball Chain – This variety of chains have small round beads of metal that are either spaced with some distance or linked closely together with just a tiny space to allow movement. These are very popular especially with dog tags for men. You can choose the thickness of the bead which generally varies between 1mm to 2mm thickness.
Ball/Bead chain. See it here.
- Box Chain – This type of chain has square “box” links that are usually worn as a necklace for pendants and around the wrist with watches. The nice thing about this chain is that it is easier to repair than other types of chains. If a “box” breaks, the link can be replaced or the broken chain reattached with the remaining links. Box chains are popular among women and range in size from 0.5 mm to 1.5mm.
Box chain. See it here.
- Cable Chain – This is probably the simplest type of gold chain and looks much like a tiny version of a common iron chain. Simple but elegant, it has identical, uniformly interlocked ovals. This chain is popular for both men and women, and ranges in thickness to suit all styles.
Cable chain. See it here.
- Figaro – This is another gender-neutral chain, but a tad fancier than cable chains. Originating from Italy, Figaro is composed of an alternating pattern of flattened links varying in size. Usually the pattern is 2 or 3 shorter links followed by a longer link. Figaro chains are commonly chosen for necklaces as well as bracelets.
Figaro chain. See it here.
- Anchor or Mariner Chain – This chain is composed of interlocking ovals with a bar that runs across the center of each oval. Anchor or mariner chains come in a variety of widths, with thicker sizes common among men. There is a modern version called the puffed mariner which is also very popular these days.
Mariner/Anchor chain. See it here.
- Rope Chain – This works like a “supporting” chain in that it is intricately designed to look like a real rope. These are more popular worn with a pendant which is the actual focal point.
Rope chain. See it here.
- Snake Chain – Composed of small rings, either plates or bands, snake chains are knit closely together to form a continuous tube-like appearance that resembles that of a snake’s skin. These are very delicate but very flexible and would complement a pendant well.
Snake chain. See it here.
- Spiga or Wheat Chain – Spiga, meaning wheat, is formed by delicately woven strands of twisted oval links. The chain looks like a soft golden braid. This necklace is very popular with women because of its intricate pattern. It has a delicate, stylish look and can be worn by itself or with a pendant.
Spiga/Wheat chain. See it here.
- Singapore Chain – This is one of the most delicate-looking and beautifully designed types of chains. Made of fibers that are braided and twisted together, this is a classic chain known for its durability and strength.
Singapore Chain. See it here.
Tip# 2: Know the chain strengths
If your main purpose for a chain is daily wear, the number one question would be:
What is the strongest chain?
Out of all the types of chains we mentioned above, the strongest ones are those made of LINKS, such as cable, figaro and anchor. These are the strongest for the following reasons:
- The links are soldered individually
- They can be made thicker (and more durable) and still retain that flexibility of a rope chain
- With the above said, they do not have a bending point – which means they will not break and can withstand any form of activity like bending, twisting, folding or knotting.
- In the rare event that a link breaks, the chain can be repaired by replacing the link or reattaching the remaining links.
You have to remember though that this will only apply to quality metal. Any jewelry made out of substandard material will deteriorate over time regardless of the design.
But how to sort the real deal from the not-so-great ones?
Tip #3 Know the material: Solid chain vs. hollow gold chain
There are three types of material that a gold chain can be made of: Solid gold, gold filled and gold plated.
What are these, you ask?
For a detailed insight, check out our comprehensive guide to gold. Here is just a brief outline:
- Solid Gold – Solid gold doesn’t necessarily mean that the chain is made of 100% pure gold (24 karats). It can be 22K, 18K, 14K or 10K. Of these, 18 and 14 karat gold have the best combination of beauty and strength. Higher gold karatage results in a weaker chain while lower karatage results in chains that don’t have the best gold color.
- Gold Filled – Also called rolled gold, this type of metal is made by bonding sheets of gold onto a base metal, commonly silver. Rolled gold is much less valuable than a solid gold chain, but better than gold plate.
- Gold Plated – Gold plate is done by submerging the non-gold alloy into molten gold to create the golden coating. This is one of the inferior forms of golden chains in the sense that the only gold material you can find is on the coating of the base metal. It is less costly but it is more temperamental because it needs so much care and maintenance to make its beauty last longer.
Hollow Gold Chains
Hollow gold chains have a hollow space inside, somewhat like a tube. The reason for this is to reduce the quantity of gold used in the chain.
For example, a hollow 14K gold chain will still be a gold chain, but with much less gold than in a solid chain. Hollow gold chains are less expensive and lighter but they are much weaker. They can dent, kink or break easily.
If you have the choice, go for a solid chain as it will last you a very long time and will never lose its value. But if you’re on a budget, a hollow chain gold chain still has more resale value than a solid gold plated or gold filled piece.
Tip #4 Is a hollow gold chain fake?
This depends on the amount of gold in the chain.
Not all hollow gold chains are fake. Hollow chains refer to how the chains are constructed not what type of material they are made of. As mentioned above, hollow gold chains can still be made out of pure
, 24-karat gold or the other valuable gold alloys. And of course, they can be gold plated.
But are hollow gold chains the best type? Depending on what you use it for, hollow chains are either value for money or a wasted investment.
Hollow gold chains are better worn every now and then and do not perform well for daily wear.
Tip #5 Evaluate the quality of your gold
Because gold is a very in-demand metal, there will always be people who will try to fob you off with a fake. The key to outsmarting them is to know your information and not fall for these traps! Here are five easy ways to determine whether a gold chain is real or fake:
- Hallmark – A hallmark is a tiny engraving on the surface of an item of gold jewelry, usually found in very inconspicuous parts. This indicates the purity and material of the gold chain. Any reputable gold chain manufacturer will include a hallmark on their work.
- Porcelain test – One of the easiest ways to initially determine if the material is fake or not is by rubbing it against an unglazed porcelain tile. Inspect the color the chain has left on the tile. If it is real gold, you should be able to see a golden yellow stain. If it is a fake (usually of pyrite), it would leave a black streak.
- Magnet – Another easy initial test would be to check if the product is magnetic. There is no such thing as magnetic gold. If your chain is attracted to magnet, then it means that it has some iron or even nickel in it. While this is a good test, remember that some scammers use non-magnetic metals such as copper, aluminum and lead.
- Acid Test – You can do this with nitric acid, hydrochloric acid or sulphuric acid. Granted, it isn’t always easy to get your hands on these chemicals. But assuming that you do, all you have to do is to drop a very small amount of acid on the body (not the clasps since some scammers would go so far as to make the clasps real just to trick you). If there is no reaction, there is a good chance that you have the real deal. If there is, then you’ve got either a fake, a gold-plated item, or an item with a very small percentage of gold (and not exactly what the karat hallmark says).
- Appraisal – This is the sure-fire way to determine the authenticity of your gold chain. It is somewhat costly to pay for an appraiser and this is best if you are dealing with high risk purchases.
Tip# 6 Chain thickness: know which is for what
The thickness of a gold chain doesn’t only serve aesthetic purposes. It also has practical uses. Gold chains are produced thick or thin according to how they are used.
If you are going to use the chain to hold a pendant, consider the size of the pendant. Make sure the chain is thick enough to be able to hold the weight.
Choose a chain with strength and style for your pendant. See this here.
Some people consider having long hair a major issue when wearing gold chains. This is because smaller, thinner chains can tangle easily, taking your hair with them. To avoid this, it is advisable to wear a chain of medium thickness.
For men who use the chain as a standalone accessory, personality is key. If you are more of a flashy, boisterous type, a thicker chain is good for you. For simpler silent types, a thin chain works well.
Tip# 7 Pick the length of your chain
It may sound like a dirty joke, but size does matter. You don’t want to be choked to death by your own jewelry because it’s too short nor deal with a mess of tangles because it’s too long. Chains ranging from 14 to 22 inches are the most common for regular wear.
Shorter chains are good for day and night use, and are more comfortable if you plan to wear the chain while you sleep. As an aside, it is not advisable to wear your gold chain when you sleep because it can cause sleep marks on your skin and there is the possibility of damaging the gold by bending or denting it. Another thing you have to avoid with short chains is getting choked. Make room for some movement.
Longer chains are best for outdoor wear and/or parties. They get in the way more than short chains do and therefore are best for special occasions or when you are heading out.
Tip # 8 Know your style
You have to know your style in order to choose your chain.
If you like classy and elegant designs, go for a thin, delicate chain. Choose a simple pendant to go with it for a casual, stylishly minimalist look. For a more outgoing person who likes to make a statement, an eye-catching larger chain will work wonders. You can pull it off, so why hold back!
If you would like to know more about gold, check out our comprehensive guide on gold.
If you’re looking to buy a gold chain, Amazon has an unbeatable range that suits all budgets. You’ll surely you’re your ideal chain here.
Where to Buy Gold Chains Online
As Jewelry Shopping Guide editors, we write about things that we love and we think you’ll like too. We often have affiliate partnerships, and may generate some revenue from these links at no cost to you.
Buying jewelry online comes with its benefits – not only will you have a massive worldwide inventory to choose from but you will also have competitive prices and the convenience of comparing the products from different vendors.
However, there are inherent risks in purchasing valuable jewelry like gold chains online. Not all online stores are created equal and several factors need to be considered when picking out the best stores.
Here are our top picks for best places to buy gold chains online, based on the store’s track record, customer reviews, quality of products, after sales services and overall customer service.
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Why: the greatest variety
Amazon isn’t a shop per se but is a platform that allows retailers and artisans from around the world to offer their products in one place. Because many well-known retailers also offer their products on Amazon, you’ll have access to famous brands as well here.
The selection of gold chains on Amazon is massive and has everything from inexpensive gold-plated chains to high-end solid gold styles. When searching on Amazon, it’s best to use the filters provided, otherwise it’ll be like searching for a needle in a haystack. We recommend looking for chains that have positive customer reviews, a responsive seller and a good returns policy. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can make use of that to have free express shipping on your orders.
While Amazon provides choice, it’s up to you to do your due diligence to ensure that you aren’t getting ripped off. Always check each individual seller’s policies and track record.
Why: A wide collection of everyday standard gold chains
Based in New York, Pictures on Gold gets its name from its star product – lockets with lasered-in color photos. But it’s collection of gold chains is exceptional, with all the main types of chains offered in 14K white and yellow gold. With over 11 types of chains, including more unique varieties like their genuine leather chains, Pictures on Gold makes it easy to find what you’re looking for in one place.
While you can’t return custom made jewelry, the company offers standard 30 day returns and a price match guarantee to ensure their customer’s satisfaction. Don’t let the dated look of the site dissuade you from checking out their amazing collections. After all, the company has over 4,750 5-star reviews on Reseller Ratings, which is testament to its focus on customer satisfaction.
Why: Valuable gold chains and hip-hop jewelry
Frost NYC has had a range of celebrity clients, like Charlemagne, Cee-lo Green and Travis Scott, and is well established as a leader in men’s gold chains and jewelry. They specialise in all types of gold chains, ranging from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $20,000.
You won’t find costume jewelry here – the chains are made of real gold, offered in mainly 10K and 14K varieties. Frost NYC provides an appraisal upon request on any jewelry over $500 for insurance purposes.
Frost NYC ships worldwide and have a 15-day money back guarantee with excellent customer service. They have thousands of 5-star reviews from independent sites with a legion of happy clients.
Why: Fine gold jewelry, delicate designs and pendants
Blue Nile is known for their quality, reasonable prices and great customer service. They operate mainly online, which is why they’re able to offer such competitive pricing. Although the company is predominantly focused on diamonds, they also offer an excellent selection of fine gold jewelry.
Whether you’re looking for a simple gold chain or something more elaborate, Blue Nile has a good collection to choose from. They offer 14K and 18K gold chains on the site, with or without pendants. The main chain types are bead, cable, rolo, rope, box and wheat styles at varying lengths, from 16 inches to 36 inches or more.
Purchase without risk and return your product within 30 days for a full refund with free shipping both ways.
Why: 60-day risk-free returns and excellent prices
Super Jeweler was established in 1999 and has been around for over two decades now. The company is known for their commitment to reasonable prices, ethical diamonds and excellent policies.
At Super Jeweler, you will find a massive collection of gold chains, starting at around $130 and reaching upwards of $11,000. They offer chains in 10K, 14K and 18K gold in rose, yellow and white gold varieties.
One of the best things about purchasing at Super Jeweler is that they stand by each of their products, offering a lifetime guarantee and risk-free 60-day money back guarantee. What’s more, they ship worldwide for free.
Why: Unique styles and designer chains
J.R. Dunn is one of the oldest in the jewelry business established in 1969. The company is known for its integrity and quality and has a wide client base as evidenced by the thousands of happy customer reviews on independent sites.
J.R. Dunn offers a variety of gold chains from top jewelry designers, in sterling silver and karat gold. Their chains come in several styles, from plain, unembellished designs to intricate designs featuring gemstones, diamonds and gold wrought work. There’s a range of stunning, stylish and fashion-forward designs here, perfect if you’re looking for high-end, quality gold chains.
However, while we loved the products, the company doesn’t seem to accept returns which could be a problem if you don’t fall in love with the piece you chose.
Why: Exchanges up to 90 days after purchase
Founded in 1973, Littman Jewelers is well-known in the jewelry space for their timeless designs and quality craftsmanship. The company is committed to providing ultimate customer satisfaction, with a 3-month exchange policy if you don’t love their product. This coupled with the excellent customer service make Littman Jewelers a great place to take your gold chain search.
In terms their gold chains, they offer a wide variety ranging from $250 to over $14,500. These are in 14K yellow, white and rose gold styles, as well as some two-tone jewelry styles. You’ll find all the popular chain varieties here, including lesser known chain styles like Franco, Spiga and Herringbone.
Their website is easy to navigate, and the shopping process is facilitated. With 2-day free shipping on all orders, 60 day returns and lifetime guarantee, and reasonable prices, there’s no reason not to check out Littman Jewelers for your gold chain.
Why: Exclusively online with great prices
Szul is a leader in the online jewelry space and while they’re based in Manhattan’s Diamond District, their primary focus is on e-commerce, offering all their products online. This means that they’re able to keep their overheads low, and because they purchase directly from the sources, this translates to lower prices for the consumer.
Their gold chains come in 10K and 14K karatage, at lengths of 16 inches to 22 inches. These chains are simple, everyday styles with no frills attached, making them perfect to wear with pendants or as is.
Szul offers free shipping, gift packaging and a 60-day return policy. Their customer service is on point and helpful, making it very easy to work with them.
Why: Extensive collection vintage and hand-crafted gold chains
Etsy has grown within the space of a few years to becoming a dominant force in hand-crafted jewelry by small businesses. Today, they’re one of the biggest names in jewelry and you can find something for everyone here. Etsy, like Amazon, gives a platform to individual designers and retail shops.
We love Etsy because the shopping experience is streamlined and it’s very easy to find your perfect piece, vet your retailer and make your purchase. You can find everything from designer gold chains that cost over $75,000 to inexpensive gold-plated costume jewelry. What’s more, if it’s vintage, you’re after, Etsy has a range of vintage gold chains as well.
Make sure the retailer you’re purchasing from is trustworthy, check their customer reviews, whether they interact with these reviews, how long they’ve been on Etsy, their after sales policies and also their number of sales. All these will give you a good indication of the reputation and how established the seller is.