In this our best Gold Necklace Chain buying guide, we will be discussing the 14k gold chains, gold chain prices and most popular men’s gold chains.
When we think of gold jewelry, necklaces are the first things that we think of. It is one of the most loved types because it can be worn almost every day. Whether you are going out to do some shopping or attending a party, there is no need to worry about choosing your jewelry as you will easily find yourself making your own choice when it comes to gold necklaces.
Before, gold was seen as too blingy and costume-like to be worn everyday but now, it’s celebrated for its simplicity. Jewellery designers have moved away from baroque settings, opting instead for pieces with smooth curves, clean lines and subtly abstract shapes.
Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t get playful with your styling. A slender chain can go from understated to bohemian when layered, and even the most traditional of rings will add drama when stacked together. Brands are designing with mixing and matching in mind, creating versatile, buildable looks so that customers can get the most out of their purchases.
Gold Necklace Chain
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
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.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEN’S GOLD NECKLACES?
Men’s gold necklaces come in many forms and shapes — and much like women’s necklaces, they can be either delicate and subtle or bulky and bold.
When buying online, there are many chain and necklaces to choose from, but below we’ve listed the 10 most popular types of men’s gold necklaces.
ANCHOR/MARINER CHAIN NECKLACES
Inspired by the nautical world, anchor chain necklaces are designed with interlocking ovals connected by ovals across the center. The design of these necklaces is often compared to the chains connected to anchors, hence their name.
Anchor chain necklaces come in a variety of widths, with thicker chains more popular among men. The ‘puffed’ version of the mariner chain is also becoming increasingly popular compared to the traditionally flat style.
BALL/BEAD CHAIN NECKLACES
Ball chain necklaces, also known as bead chain necklaces, consist of tiny beads linked together. These can be connected either very close together or with small spaces between them to allow for some movement.
Unlike anchor chain necklaces, ball chain necklaces are best worn together with a dog tag or pendant to get that cool, street smart look.
If you’re looking for a necklace that isn’t bulky or heavy, you’ll definitely love the bead chain necklace styles.
BOX CHAIN NECKLACES
This type of men’s gold necklaces is made of square links that are connected together to create a continuous chain. They tend to be popular among both men and women, with wider necklaces usually preferred by men due to their bulkier look.
One of the best parts about choosing a box chain necklace is their durability. They don’t break easily and, even if a link breaks, it can be easily fixed or replaced. An added benefit is that you can usually choose the length of the chain depending on either your personal preference or your outfit.
CABLE CHAIN NECKLACES
Cable chain necklaces, also known as link chain necklaces, are perhaps the most popular types of men’s necklaces on the market. They consist of a series of interconnected identical oval links, which can range from delicate to bulky and from flat to textured.
A cable chain necklace is suitable on its own as well as paired with a pendant.
Much like box chain necklaces, they are very sturdy; both broken and misshapen links are easy to repair or replace, which means your necklace will last a long time. However, a cable chain link can come apart where it’s joined if the chain hasn’t been carefully crafted.
CURB “CUBAN” CHAIN NECKLACES
Another basic and timeless design, curb chain necklaces consist of interconnected, uniform links that lay flat even while interlocked. These necklaces are distinguished by their heavy and chunky form, which have a masculine touch and tend to be preferred almost exclusively by men.
On the other hand, smaller and thinner curb chain necklaces are popular among women thanks to their feminine and delicate shape.
This type of men’s necklace is durable and easy to both maintain and care for. They are generally worn on their own, though you can add pendants or dog tags for a cooler look.
FIGARO CHAIN NECKLACES
A fancier version of the classic cable chain necklace, figaro chain necklaces originate in Italy and consist of an alternating pattern of chain links in different sizes. Usually, these necklaces will have a pattern of one longer link followed by two or three shorter ones.
Figaro chain necklaces are considered gender-neutral, which means they can be worn by both men and women. They’re made using thick wire, so they tend to be sturdy and durable. However, broken links can’t be removed without replacing them, otherwise you risk messing up the pattern.
The bulkier version of this Italian necklace is especially popular among men and is usually worn on its own. You will likely have seen it worn by rappers and hip hop artists as well.
ROPE CHAIN NECKLACES
Rope chain necklaces are decidedly among the most beautiful men’s necklaces. They consist of metal segments that are twisted and connected to resemble a rope. These types of necklaces are possibly the most textural and also the most durable, which makes them particularly attractive to men.
Ideal on their own or paired with pendants, rope chain necklaces make excellent statement pieces you can wear with almost anything. Available in thick and thin designs alike, these necklaces don’t easily come apart, so they’re great if you’re looking for a sturdy piece of jewelry.
SINGAPORE CHAIN NECKLACE
The Singapore chain necklace is a durable chain consisting of a series of interlinked segments. This type of necklaces are well known for their strength regardless of width/thickness, which is why they tend to be very popular among men.
When stretched out, Singapore chain necklaces move with an almost liquid touch. You can wear it on its own or pair it with a beautiful pendant or dog tag depending on your personal preference.
SNAKE CHAIN NECKLACE
Snake chain necklaces are popular for their flexibility and liquid movement, which resemble those of a snake.
They’re made up of a series of small rings that are tightly connected to form a smooth and shiny chain. Unlike other types of men’s gold necklaces, they have a semi-rigid structure, which means they don’t tangle easily or catch on other objects.
Snake chains are generally associated with charm jewelry. Indeed, most charm bracelets use a snake chain, so you have the option to wear it on its own or customize it with charms or pendants of your choice.
If you’re looking for men’s chain necklaces that require little care and upkeep to maintain their shiny look, then you’ll definitely appreciate how easy to care for snake chain necklaces are.
SPIGA/WHEAT CHAIN NECKLACE
Spiga or wheat chain necklaces feature twisted oval links plaited together in one direction, creating a delicate and symmetrical chain with a beautiful textural appearance. More often than not, these necklaces tend to look like the tips of wheat stalks, hence their name.
With their semi-rigid and durable design, wheat chain necklaces can be worn solo or paired with pendants.
ARE MEN’S GOLD NECKLACES EXPENSIVE OR CHEAP? (IT DEPENDS)
The price of men’s gold necklaces depends on two important factors: the material(s) they’re made of and their design. We’ll talk about each in more detail below.
First, let’s discuss materials.
Generally speaking, men’s gold chain necklaces come in different gold qualities ranging from 10K to 18K and even 24K.
While 10K gold necklaces are on the cheaper side of the price spectrum, 18K and 24K gold necklaces are on the more expensive side as they have a higher percentage of gold in their composition. For example, 10K gold only contains 41.7 percent pure gold, whereas 18K gold contains 75 percent pure gold.
Some necklaces have sterling silver chains that have been plated with 14K or 18K gold. These tend to be significantly more affordable because they’re not made of solid gold and only have a gold plating instead.
If you’re on a tight budget, then a gold-plated necklace might be a great way to incorporate the look of gold into your look with a much smaller investment.
The second factor to consider when purchasing men’s gold necklaces is the actual design.
The simpler the design, the less manpower you’ll need to actually make the necklace results in a more affordable price point. On the other hand, necklaces with pendants or tags will cost more, especially if they’re made of solid gold.
Intricate designs that require a greater amount of gold to create will be pricier — for example, classic cable chain necklaces use far less materials compared to Cuban link chain necklaces.
Check out this video of how much goes into actually creating a Cuban Link necklace.
The price you’ll pay will ultimately depend on a combination of these two factors. If you’re willing to compromise on either the gold quality or the design, you’ll be able to save some money and still get a high quality necklace you can wear every day.
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR IN THE BEST MEN’S GOLD NECKLACES?
Let’s get one thing clear: there’s no such thing as the ‘best’ men’s gold necklace.
Some are naturally better than others thanks to the better gold quality and craftsmanship, so they provide a lot more value compared to inferior quality ones.
As far as the craftsmanship is concerned, try to choose necklaces made from 14K or 18K gold as they offer an excellent combination of quality and value.
While it might be tempting to choose the highest gold quality available (24K gold), it’s important to remember that the more pure gold is used, the more susceptible it is to scratching and damage.
However, gold that is also alloyed with other metals is more durable and resistant to wear and tear, which is why choosing either 14K or 18K gold will give you better value for your money.
If you don’t have the budget for a solid gold necklace, then a gold-plated design will provide decent quality at a much lower price. Choosing a necklace with a 14K or 18K gold plating as it’s more long-lasting and wear-resistant compared to 24K gold plating.
HOW DO YOU CLEAN GOLD NECKLACES?
Once you’ve picked a gold necklace, you’ll also want to make sure you keep it in the best possible shape with regular cleaning. As a rule of thumb, you should always avoid cleaning solutions as they are too harsh and will damage your gold necklace.
Instead, use a mixture of lukewarm water and mild dishwashing liquid will help you remove any dirt and grime without any damage to the jewelry.
Here’s what I recommend:
Step 1: First, mix a few drops of mild dishwashing liquid into a bowl of lukewarm water.
Step 2: Soak your gold necklace into the mixture for 10-15 minutes. This will help to dissolve some of the grime.
Step 3: After 10-15 minutes, remove the necklace from the mixture and use a soft-bristle toothbrush to gently brush it.
Step 4: Rinse it with cold water at the end.
If there’s any grime or dirt left, repeat the same steps until the jewelry is clean. Once done, pat dry with a clean cloth or blow-dry it until dry.
Here’s a good video to show you in more detail:
How often you need to clean your jewelry will depend on whether you wear your necklace every day or just occasionally. The more frequently you wear it, the more frequently you’ll need to clean it.
BEST MEN’S GOLD NECKLACES REVIEWED
Let’s break down the differences between our top picks…
MIANSAI 2MM CUBAN CHAIN NECKLACE IN 14K GOLD
If you’re looking for a men’s gold necklace you can wear with anything, this sleek piece from Miansai is sure to be your go-to accessory. The necklace features a delicate Cuban chain handcrafted from high-quality 14K yellow gold with a polished finish.
With a width of 2mm and a length of 24 inches, this piece can be worn on its own or layered with others for an extra cool vibe.
- High-quality 14K yellow gold craftsmanship
- Cuban chain necklace design
- 2mm necklace width makes this piece highly versatile
- Chain links are too small to allow customization with pendants.
No chain is perfect, but this one is close.
MIANSAI DOVE NECKLACE WITH ANTIQUE PENDANT IN 14K YELLOW GOLD
A decided upgrade from our top pick, this necklace offers a delicate 3mm chain with a stylish Cuban design that is highly versatile. The piece features two special antique reproduction pendants showcasing a beautiful dove design hanging on the 14K yellow gold chain.
A pleasant surprise is that you can customize the necklace with a monogram, which makes this chain an ideal gift for the special man in your life.
- Classic Cuban chain design
- Made from solid 14K gold with a shiny polished finish
- Beautiful dove pendant
- Monogram customization is available
- Not the most affordable piece of jewelry.
To sum it up, this chain is a bit pricey but is overall an excellent choice.
MIANSAI 1.7MM CABLE CHAIN NECKLACE WITH ANCHOR PENDANT IN STERLING SILVER AND 18K ROSE GOLD
Anchor through every season with style with this stunning men’s necklace in sterling silver and 18K rose gold.
The delicate 1.7mm oxidized sterling silver chain boasts a minimal cable design that stands in contrast with the 18K rose gold-plated brass anchor pendant, offering a gorgeous take on a classic motif.
Whether you’re looking to add some serious bling to your look or just finish off an outfit, this Miansai anchor pendant necklace is the perfect choice.
- Minimalist cable chain design made from oxidized sterling silver
- 18K rose gold-plated brass anchor pendant
- Ideal for accessorizing everyday outfits
- Requires frequent cleaning to maintain the real gold plating.
- The plating might need to be reapplied depending on how often you wear the necklace.
If you don’t mind a chain that requires a bit more maintenance (cleaning), this might be the one for you.
MIANSAI 1.7MM CABLE CHAIN NECKLACE IN OXIDIZED STERLING SILVER AND 18K YELLOW GOLD
Another cable chain design, this Miansai necklace offers a stylish oxidized sterling silver chain that accentuates the 18K yellow gold-plated brass marine link center piece.
The 27-inch chain works well over basic pullovers and t-shirts, and it can be easily layered with other chain necklaces.
- Stylish oxidized sterling silver cable chain
- 18K yellow gold-plated brass marine link pendant
- Can be layered with other pieces
- 27-inch length might be too long for some.
- Requires frequent cleaning to maintain the gold plating.
A longer chain like this one isn’t great for shorter guys, but it’s a solid choice for gents who aren’t of modest height.
MIANSAI 3MM CUBAN CHAIN NECKLACE IN STERLING SILVER AND 14K GOLD
The last option on our list is this 3mm Cuban chain necklace, which boasts a two-tone metal design ideal for street style looks.
The Cuban chain is handcrafted from matte oxidized sterling silver and polished 14K yellow gold, offering a great combination of quality and value at an equally great price.
Wear it on its own or layer it with other styles for an elevated yet modest accent to any look.
- 3mm Cuban chain necklace
- Two-tone design made from oxidized sterling silver and 14K solid gold
- Can be layered with other pieces.
- Not the cheapest
This chain is an overall solid choice if you don’t mind the price.