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Gold Chain Buying Guide: 10 Things to Consider

gold chain

Versatile and durable, it’s no wonder why people have been wearing gold chains since civilizations arose. In fact, archaeologists found gold chains and other gold jewelry remnants in Babylon in 1700 B.C. Even more surprising is that jewelers in ancient times kept pieces of gold jewelry around for centuries in case they needed it for repairs.

Some people just fail to understand how many different styles and uses a gold chain necklace has. People sometimes associate gold chains with rappers, athletes, and NYC socialites, the fact of the matter is that hip-hop culture now influences high-end fashion as well as mainstream style.

Whether you’re buying a gold chain for the first time, or you’re looking to know how to choose a gold chain to add to compliment the other gold chains in your collection, here’s our gold chain buying guide with buying tips and tricks for saving money.

Set Your Budget

  1. LUXURMAN Solid 14k Gold Valentino Chain For Women 2.1mm Wide

    LUXURMAN Solid 14k Gold Valentino Chain For Women 2.1mm Wide

    Regular Price: $256.00

    Special Price $148.00

  2. LUXURMAN Solid 14k Gold Valentino Chain For Women 2.6mm Wide

    LUXURMAN Solid 14k Gold Valentino Chain For Women 2.6mm Wide

    Regular Price: $524.00

    Special Price $302.00

  3. LUXURMAN Solid 10k Gold Singapore Chain For Women 0.8mm Wide

    LUXURMAN Solid 10k Gold Singapore Chain For Women 0.8mm Wide

    Regular Price: $68.00

    Special Price $41.00

The price of a real gold chain necklace can vary. Here at ItsHot.com, we have real gold chains ranging from $70 to $79,950. You want to first set a budget to choose the best gold chain necklace you can buy for a price you can afford. Then, it’s easy to shop for a gold necklace by price—you can filter your search from low price to high, or apply a search filter.

Our search filter allows you to view all of the gold chain styles available for your price requirements. This saves you time when shopping online because you’ll be able to only look at the gold chain necklaces within your budget. So, if you want to buy a cheap chain, you won’t have to be tempted by the expensive gold chains.

Further filters, such as width, carat weight, gender, metal, and diamond quality can help you select an affordable gold chain that fits your style preferences. The different elements of the gold chain style will affect the price.

Tips for Buying Cheap Gold Chains

If you’re on a budget, you’ll want to make sure that you’re buying the best cheap gold chain you can. This means you want to make sure the gold is real and the craftsmanship is of high quality. Here are some tips when looking for a good cheap gold chain necklace:

  1. Opt for solid gold over hollow gold if possible. What is better, a hollow 14K gold chain or a solid 10K gold chain? Well, if you want to wear your gold chain every day, it’s important to get a solid gold chain. It’s more durable and will save you money in the long run because it will last longer, cutting down repair costs.
  • If you do decide to wear a hollow gold chain, you need to be more careful when you wear it and make sure to clean and care for it every day, since they tend to break or get dented.
  • It’s more difficult to repair hollow gold chains than solid gold chains.
  1. Choose real gold chains. Plated gold chains are cheaper, but the thin plating of gold will wear off after some time, exposing the primary metal underneath. This can react with water and cause the chain to wear down. You will need to have the chain replated if you want to restore its color, which can be a pain.
  • Gold-plated chains can cause allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin or metal allergies.
  1. If you have metal allergies, choose 14K or higher. The higher the karat, the more pure the gold. Pure 24K gold is hypoallergenic, but other metals in gold alloys may not be. Opt for 14K at the minimum, but consider 18K gold.
  • White gold is also hypoallergenic, but you will need to get it re-plated in rhodium (a precious hypoallergenic metal added for strength and shine) when it wears off. This is inexpensive.
  1. Shop for gold chains that are on sale. Shopping for gold chain necklaces on clearance or in closeout sales is a great way to save money. Here are just a few examples of the many gold chains we have on sale at ItsHot.com:
    • Diamond Cut Curb Chain
      • Diamond-shaped gold links
      • Sleek, masculine style
      • Real 14K gold is available in three colors: rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold
      • Amazingly cheap price for such a chain, it’s on sale at wholesale price
    • 14K gold Bismarck chain
      • On sale, and it’s under $300
      • Highest degree of craftsmanship in an affordable gold necklace
      • Lobster claw clasp is durable and keeps the chain secure
    • 14 gold anchor chain
      • Strong type of chain with a quality design
      • Both sleek and durable style
      • Great chain for pendants
    • 14K gold cheap Cuban link chain
      • Save money with a thinner style of Miami Cuban link chain
      • Masculine design that’s also good for a minimalist look
      • Excellent gold chain to wear every day or with a pendant

For more options of affordable quality gold chains, check out our real gold chains under 500 dollars. Saving money on gold chains is important if you plan on having additional costs, such as a diamond pendant, or creating your own custom pendant or necklace charms.

If you have a higher budget, it’s still important to know how to find good deals on gold chain necklaces, because you’ll be able to get higher gold karats, a heavier weight necklace, and diamonds or gemstones as well without breaking the bank.

Choose a Gold Type

What color gold chain is right for you? At ItsHot, we offer several colors of gold chain necklaces for men and women—yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, and even gold with a black rhodium finish with black diamonds. We also offer chains in other real precious metals: platinum, sterling silver, and black rhodium sterling silver.

How To Choose a Gold Color

To figure out which color of gold is right for you, here are a few tips.

  1. Generally, for olive or darker skin tones, warmer gold tones (yellow, rose gold) really complement your complexion.
  2. The higher the karats of yellow gold (such as in this 14K solid gold franco chain), the warmer the color.
  3. You can also mix yellow and white gold layered chains for a stylish look.
  4. If you have a pale complexion, white gold may work better with your skin tone, though 10K men’s gold chains in other colors will also work.
  5. If you wear a lot of black clothing, gold chains might be the way to go.
  6. Rose gold is popular in men’s and women’s gold chains for a modern gold chain link necklace. It’s popular with many celebrities; New York rapper Nas is fond of luxury New York style as he’s seen wearing Egyptian Ankh cross pendant on a rose gold rolo chain, paired with a thick rose gold Cuban curb chain, similar to ours.
  7. If you wear a lot of light-colored clothing, rose gold and white gold may elevate the style.
  8. Black gold chains with black diamonds are a modern style of gold chain with an edgier, more cutting-edge look. These are growing in popularity for men and women.

It often surprises people that real gold comes in a variety of colors and purity ratios. This can significantly affect the price of the gold chain.

Some places will charge more for white gold and black gold than other colors, due to the added time it takes to plate the chains in rhodium. Rhodium is one of the rarest precious metals, so it can add to the cost of a gold chain. That said, here at ItsHot, we offer gold chains of the same style and composition in different colors for the same price.

Choose Your Style

  1. LUXURMAN Solid 14k Gold Sparkle Chain For Women 1.1mm Wide

    LUXURMAN Solid 14k Gold Sparkle Chain For Women 1.1mm Wide

    Regular Price: $218.00

    Special Price $136.00

  2. LUXURMAN Solid 10k Gold Singapore Chain For Women 1mm Wide

    LUXURMAN Solid 10k Gold Singapore Chain For Women 1mm Wide

    Regular Price: $86.00

    Special Price $52.00

  3. LUXURMAN Solid 10k Gold Sparkle Chain For Women 1.5mm Wide

These days, the different styles of gold chain necklaces are diverse, making now a better time than ever to buy a nice gold chain necklace, for men or women. There are thick, heavy solid gold curb chains; thin, sleek, and subtle chains, chains with finely crafted chain link details, or gemstone and diamond chain necklaces.

One of the things to consider when buying a gold chain necklace is what style and type of gold chain link you like. There are many different styles of gold chain necklaces. From traditional rope chains to the newer Miami Cuban link chains, there are styles for a man or a woman with any lifestyle and fashion preferences.

Choosing the right style gold chain involves picturing what will go with your clothes and lifestyle. You may want a big, chunky chain, like Kanye West, Kim Kardashian (one of our famous customers), and David Beckham frequently wear. Or perhaps you’re leaning towards more subtle gold chains, which are popular with many actors and actresses.

Here are some of the most popular styles of gold chain necklaces right now:

gold curb chain

The curb link chain, or gourmette chain, is a category of gold chain link that includes many different variations such as the Miami Cuban link chain, and the Figaro chain. While the Miami Cuban link chain is the most popular type of curb link chain, the basic curb chain is still very popular itself.

The interlocking design of a curb chain’s links makes it one of the most durable chains for men. Women also enjoy curb link chains, especially thinner widths (1mm). The thicker the curb links (8mm), the chunkier the chain, and the more flashy.

There are many ways to style a curb link chain to elevate your outfits. They are great for layering with other gold, silver, or platinum chains for a stylish statement.

Their links of a curb link chain are so durable because they’re independently soldered together, making them highly durable. For the strongest gold curb chains, opt for solid gold curb link chains.

cuban link chain

The most popular type of men’s gold chain link style is the Cuban link chain, which is also called the Miami Cuban link chain. It’s a type of curb link chain known for its signature flat, twisted, interlocking links. Although it originated in Miami in the 2000s, based on Cuban-style chain necklaces, the Miami Cuban link chain is now popular around the world, from NYC to Paris and Australia.

It’s one of the most prized types of gold chains for men due to its masculine structure. Its durability makes it an investment that will last you for years. Cuban link chains are one of the most popular styles of gold chain necklaces for rappers, who often compete with each other by wearing the most expensive, massive chains, often with custom pendants that reflect their personality or favorite cartoon character.

If you’re looking to make a statement with your jewelry, opt for iced-out Cuban link chains, encrusted in real diamonds to catch anyone’s eye.

Rope Chains

gold rope chain

Gold rope chains are the OG chains that started it all. In the 1980s, rappers such as Slick Rick and Run-DMC helped popularize both hip-hop music and styles. Today, yellow gold rope chains are back in style, with a wider mass appeal than ever before.

Rope chains provide a lot of luster. The different angles on a gold rope make the gold links reflect the light in different ways, creating a stunning effect.

Rope chains are versatile because you can provide both a throwback look, or you can style them to be a modern classic. White gold and rose gold rope chains put a modern spin on this classic gold chain variety. These are a popular type of gold chain for both men and women. They come in very thick widths, like the 80s, or in thin and fancy widths.

Rope chains look great with gold pendants. Yellow rope chains are back in style, but if you want a more modern look, opt for white gold rope chains or rose gold rope chains.

Whether you’re paying homage to the old-school rappers’ chains, or you’re giving these classic chains a modern flair, a rope chain makes a great statement.

Figaro Chains

figaro chain

The Figaro chain is a classic type of Italian gold chain necklace. It’s a type of curb chain, but the key difference between a Figaro chain and a curb chain is the pattern of its links. The chain pattern of a Figaro chain necklace features one long link, followed by several smaller links, flattening with a twist.

The Figaro chain is known for its simple, elegant, and masculine appearance. The Figaro Chain gets its name from the Italian Opera The Barber of Seville, or Mozart’s famous piece, the Marriage of Figaro.

The Figaro chain is a good chain for a man who likes diverse styles of clothing because it’s easy to style with both t-shirts and formal outfits. The Figaro chain is a masculine style at thicker widths and an elegant chain for a more minimalist look at thinner widths.

One of the strongest chains, Figaro chain links are usually soldered individually, making them resistant to pulls and tugging. They’re strong enough gold chains to support heavy pendants.

Franco Chains

gold franco chain

The Franco chain is another type of Italian curb chain that’s popular right now. It’s similar to the Cuban link Chain, but the necklace has an extra four sides to make it a bit sturdier and more compact. The Italian designer created this chain by designing V-shaped links to add strength to a chain necklace as well as a distinct style.

Franco chain links have a pattern of tightly woven chevron links that not only look cool but make it strong for daily wear. It requires a highly experienced fine jewelry craftsman to make the best gold Franco chain necklaces, so you won’t want to buy a cheap Franco chain from an inexperienced seller.

Similar to Franco chains, Foxtail Chains have chevron links, but Foxtail chains are different from Franco chains by having chevrons on all four sides. Franco chains only have the v-links on two of the four sides. This means that you can style a Franco chain in two ways, almost like a reversible chain—choose between showing off the chevron side or the curb link side.

Cable Chains

cable link chain

Cable link chains are the simplest style of gold chains. Gold cable chains for men and cable chains for women are equally popular and fashionable. Their design is ancient—it’s lasted so long because it’s an extremely strong chain necklace design, and it looks great in a variety of styles.

Cable chains are both practical and functional. The cable chain link pattern features a row of identical gold links that connect to each other, giving the chain durability for everyday wear. Its durability means that many people consider it the best gold chain for pendants. If a cable chain link breaks, it’s easy and cheap to fix.

The cable chain comes in many widths, so you can find both cheap gold cable chains, and 14K solid gold cable chains, to suit any style and budget. The cable chain is an excellent chain for layering gold chain necklaces, which can really spice up your look. Some cable link chains have two strands of chains, a popular women’s style for a layered look.

Choose a Gold Karat Weight

Gold chains come in many different purities of gold. 24K gold (pure gold) is too soft to withstand its form in jewelry, so it’s mixed with other metals in an alloy to give it strength. The karat number defines the percentage of gold used in the alloy.

For example, 10K consists of 46.6% pure gold, 14K contains 58.3% pure gold, 18K is slightly over 75% pure gold, and 24 karats is 10% pure gold. Here is a conversion chart between gold karats and the percentage of pure gold:

Karat Gold

Parts Gold

Pure gold
percentage

Decimal part gold

Normal European stamp/hallmark

Normal American stamp/hallmark

9 kt

9 in 24

37.50%

0.375

375

-

10 kt

10 in 24

41.67%

0.4167

416

10k, 10KP

12 kt

12 in 24

50%

0.5

500

-

14 kt

14 in 24

58.33%

0.5833

582 or 585

14k, 14KP

18 kt

18 in 24

75%

0.75

750

18k, 18KP

22 kt

22 in 24

91.67%

0.9167

917

-

24 kt

24 in 25

99.99%

0.9583

999 or .99999

24k

Because pure gold is a relatively soft metal, so the higher the karat, the less tough the gold chain is. The lower the karat, the harder the chain. However, choosing high karat gold means that the chain is more hypoallergenic, and it is more durable in terms of maintenance. 14K gold.

For an everyday chain, we recommend choosing 14-18k gold. These are easier to keep looking good, and they have a higher resale value.

If you’re on a budget, 10K solid gold chains are also good for daily wear; you’ll just want to know how to care for gold jewelry and how to clean it regularly. If a 10K chain starts to lose its luster, it won’t look as good as a 14K gold chain or higher. For more information on gold purity and hallmarks, check out our gold jewelry buying guide.

Consider Gold Chains with Gemstones

  1. Luxurman 14K Gold Chain Necklace with Yellow Diamonds by the Yard 0.7ct

    Luxurman 14K Gold Chain Necklace with Yellow Diamonds by the Yard 0.7ct

    Regular Price: $1,275.00

    Special Price $574.00

  2. Luxurman 14K Gold Chain with Diamonds by the Yard Necklace 1.5ct

    Luxurman 14K Gold Chain with Diamonds by the Yard Necklace 1.5ct

    Regular Price: $4,800.00

    Special Price $1,552.00

  3. Luxurman 14K Gold Ladies Chain Necklace with Rubies by the Yard 1.6ct 16in

The most popular gold chain styles now often have diamonds or different colored gemstones. These can add some color or sparkle to a gold chain necklace, and enhance your personal style.

Gold chains that are covered in diamonds are known as iced-out gold chains. These are luxurious and extravagant—they’re the perfect chain for making a statement and telling a story of your success. There are many statement diamond chains with real gold and encrusted diamonds:

  • Wide Cuban Link Chain: A unique statement piece that can make even a plain black t-shirt look like the hottest drip. Cuban links are popular with rappers for their bulk and masculinity. This chain is 14K solid gold, weighing close to a full kilo with 60 carats of genuine diamonds.
  • Diamond Franco Chain: A timeless Italian design, this 10K solid gold iced-out Franco chain is impossible to ignore; it gives off a confident, stylish vibe.
  • Miami Cuban Link Chain: Few possess a chain like this 10K solid gold iced-out frosty chain. A unique addition to the classic Cuban link, its clasp is also fully paved in diamonds. Get it in Rose Gold for a look similar to the one Tyga wore in L.A.
  • Color Diamond Gucci Link Chain: Nothing quite says “bling” like this solid 14K gold Gucci link chain with 29 carats of four diamond colors: white, blue, canary yellow, and black. A stunning conversation piece everyone will want to talk about.

If you want something more subtle, there are simpler styles of diamond chain necklaces:

  • Eternity Diamond Chain: High in brilliance and polished, this eternity diamond necklace stands out from other men’s diamond necklace chains in its stunning showcase of 25.03 dazzling carats of round diamonds. Customize with 14K yellow, rose, or white gold with any color of diamonds.
  • Black Diamond Chain: The heavy black rhodium plating provides an elegant, mysterious appeal with added durability (as if diamonds could get any harder). Layer with other black diamond chains like Rick Ross, or add your own custom pendant like Meek Mill.
  • Luxurman Tennis Chain: A unique spin on the classic men’s diamond tennis chain; it contains a row of inline diamonds that are each held by three prongs, maximizing their brilliance and texture. Rapper Drake enjoys a similar look.
  • Fancy Blue Diamond Chain: Bezel-set white and blue ice diamonds add a unique flair to this classic diamond chain. Add a custom diamond pendant to personalize the look.

You might also consider a diamond Rosary chain necklace:

  • Black Diamond Rosary: 115.5 carats of black diamonds adorn this 10K gold rosary, with a rhodium plating for an all-black look that has endless options to pair with designer streetwear.
  • Black Diamond Chain Rosary: Another black rosary, this 76-gram gold necklace features 31.55 carats of fancy black diamonds in prong and bezel sets, giving it a unique look.
  • White, Yellow, and Black Rosary: This rosary features large faceted beads, a current trend in men’s jewelry, with a 10K gold cross pendant with yellow, black, and white diamonds, making it perfect if you wear these colors often.

Colored Gemstones

Although white diamonds and colored diamonds are the most popular gemstones for a gold chain necklace, gold necklaces with colored gemstones—such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds—are becoming more popular. In upcoming years, new styles of gold chains may feature more precious and semi-precious gemstones.

If you don’t want colored gems on your chain, you may still wish to customize your gold chain necklace with a personalized pendant with colored diamonds or other gemstones.

As fashion moves forward, men’s jewelry, as well as women’s, is becoming more and more about self-expression and personality. Whether you opt for something like black diamonds or your birthstone, choosing colored gems for your gold chain necklace is a unique way to present your personality or tell a story.

Make Sure the Clasp Is Reliable

Although the clasp of a gold chain necklace isn’t the most exciting part of a gold chain, it is important. It’s one of the most underlooked things that people make the mistake of ignoring when buying a gold chain necklace.

The clasp of a gold necklace matters a lot because it’s what keeps it secure around your neck. There are all different types of clasps out there. Some are more functional than others, and some are more for style.

It’s easy to replace a gold chain necklace’s clasps, but it’s a good idea to start off with choosing a gold chain with a good clasp. So what is the best type of clasp for a gold chain?

In general, the lobster clasp is the best option. It’s both secure and easy enough to open and close for daily wear. Unlike cheaper clasps, it won't open unexpectedly and cause the chain to fall off. When the clasp breaks, you risk losing or damaging the chain.

Choose a Place to Buy a Gold Chain

Where is the best place to buy a gold chain necklace? Back in the 1980s, to buy a gold chain necklace, you’d walk into a high-end urban brick-and-mortar store. Today, you can still shop for gold chain necklaces in-store—a good place to buy a diamond tennis bracelet would be in New York City’s Diamond District, where our ItsHot store is located.

However, not everyone lives near the Diamond District, and brick-and-mortar jewelry stores don’t always have the best selections or deals on diamond tennis bracelets. Shopping online is the best place to buy cheaper gold chain necklaces, specific to your style needs.

Tips for How to Buy a Gold Chain Online

How to Buy a Gold Chain Online
    • A gold chain costs on average $1,000
    • The buying process can take about 30 minutes
    •  

Shopping for gold chain necklaces on sale online is a great way to compare prices. Online, it’s easy to compare prices and styles of gold necklaces side-by-side, so you can make the best decision when it comes to metal type, diamond cuts, carats, and color. To make finding the best gold chain necklace for you even easier, shopping online allows you to filter your search by carat, metal, gender, and price range.

That said, not all online jewelry stores are equal. Many stores don’t provide options to select your color of gold (rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold). Furthermore, not every store keeps up with the latest styles and customer demands. You wnat to know what to look at when buying gold chains online to tell if the seller is trustworthy or not. Here are some tips for buying gold chain necklaces online

Necessary Items:
  • Internet
  • Computer or smarphone
Buy from a reliable manufacturer
You can get a quality gold necklace cheaper if you buy from a store that manufactures its jewelry and sells it direct-to-customer. Many stores that sell gold chain necklaces buy them wholesale from a manufacturer, so they have to increase the price of each individual item to make a profit. Stores like us here at ItsHot.com manufacture much of our jewelry ourselves, so we can sell it to you more cheaply.
       
Buy from an expert
Not all stores that offer gold chain necklaces are experts at creating or determining quality jewelry. It’s a good idea to look for stores that show they have expertise in jewelry making and selling. Look to see if a store also sells loose diamonds directly to consumers or provides wholesale gold jewelry. This means that the store not only sells to customers but other stores as well, so it’s harder to get away with poor-quality jewelry. This also means that the employees are used to handling fine metals and diamonds. If the seller is also the manufacturer, they know exactly what their jewelry is made of and the quality of its production.
       
Check reviews
Looking at customer reviews on the gold chains an online store offers can give you a good sense of what to expect in terms of quality. Even if there isn’t a review on the particular chain you’re looking at, if the other reviews are good, the craftsmanship quality should be consistent. Be wary of stores that lump reviews for all products together or have a 5-star review on every item. It’s normal to find jewelry with no reviews yet—it can be a good sign that the store updates its inventory often.
       
Make sure the assembly is strong
Even if you choose high-quality diamonds and real 14K gold, poor craftsmanship can produce a weak construction for your gold chain necklace. You want to make sure the jewelry makers are experienced and have the expertise to know the best way to create chain links and to keep them secure and durable.
       
Prioritize customer service
When buying gold chain necklaces online, you want to pick a store that you can trust. They should provide easy opportunities to ask questions and contact them. At ItsHot, we have 24-hour customer service, e-mail contact, a phone line, and boxes provide for asking questions about any piece of jewelry. In addition, our 1-year warranty and 30-day return policy provides security so you can shop with confidence.

Here at ItsHot, we’re one of New York City’s choice jewelry stores for many celebrities and trend-setters, and we offer a vast inventory of gold chain styles online. By prioritizing customer service and updating our jewelry inventory regularly according to customer demand, we hope to set an example for other online stores to follow. We pride ourselves in our customer service and the craftsmanship of our gold chain necklaces.

Choose a Gold Chain Length

Gold chains come in many lengths, and you can customize many styles to your preferred length when buying one. You might be wondering, what length of chain should I get?

The length of chain that you choose to wear will have a different effect on your overall look. For example, a 16-inch chain sits closer to the neckline and rests above your collarbone. The most common length, the 18-inch gold chain, rests on your collarbone.

The longer chain lengths will lie on both your skin and onto the clothing, which can create a more dramatic effect compared to the more subtle look of a shorter chain.

You can see on the chain length size chart where each different chain length will fall on your neck, chest, or abdomen when wearing it.

Tips for Choosing a Chain Length

Here are some style tips for different chain lengths. Figure out which length of gold chain necklace will go the best with your wardrobe.

  • Short, choker-style chain necklaces go with just about anything, short of a suit and tie. It’s unusual to wear them under a turn-down collar or a dress shirt, but if you can pull it off, go for it. Wearing a choker chain above low collars will make the chain stand out, showing off its full size.
  • Mid-length chains that end around the base of your neck are typical for simple, plain gold metal chains. You can show off more of the chain links visibly with a T-shirt an open shirt collar as opposed to a dress-shirt collar.
  • Long chains (or cords) are good for pendants and charms. The ornaments you attach to them will really help to elevate casual outfits. To wear a long chain with effortless style, opt for a V-neck or a collared shirt with few open buttons if you want the pendant to be visible.

You can always send your chain back to us for a readjustment if you don’t like the length. However, if you can avoid the trouble by buying the right length in the first place, it saves time.

Check out our guide on how to choose a chain length and chain width for men for more help figuring out the best chain length and width for your style.

Choose a Gold Chain Width

Choosing the best width for a gold chain for your style is important. Pictures don’t always show one style of chain at every width, so it can be hard to visualize what it will look like when you’re wearing it if you haven’t taken any measurements or done any research.

If you’re a bit uncertain about how to style a gold chain, or you’re buying your first gold chain necklace, a 2-6 mm width is a good start.

If you’re looking for a chunky gold chain necklace that falls in the legendary ‘bling bling’ category, opt for a chain width of 12 mm or wider. Chain width and length always go hand and hand. So, make sure that they’re proportional to each other. The three points mentioned below will explain this further.

  • 1-6 mm – This necklace width ranges from discreetly thin to the standard width of most men’s necklaces, and it can easily go under your shirt.
  • 6-10 mm – This width works well for pendants and chains outside of your shirt.
  • 10+ mm – Necklaces of more than 10 mm (the thickness of recent iPhones) are worn to garner attention, so if you want to impress someone, bang on, man.

If you add a pendant, ensure that it fits the chain and isn’t overpowered by its thickness. Heavier pendants need proportionate chains to hold the weight, while lightweight pendants and charms can go on thin chains. Check out our guide to the strongest gold chain necklace types to choose a durable chain for a pendant, if you’re considering getting one.

Make Sure a Gold Chain Is Real

chain necklace

You don’t want to get ripped off and find out that the gold chain necklace you bought is fake. To be certain you’re buying a real gold chain necklace, you’ll want to know how to tell real gold from fake gold (or gold plated, gold-filled).

How to Tell if a Gold Chain Is Real

Whether yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, or black gold, gold chain necklaces should have some kind of hallmark designating the gold’s purity. There are several ways to tell if gold is real.

  1. Look for a Hallmark: This is the first way to tell if the gold chain necklace you’re buying is real or not. A hallmark is a small stamp on gold jewelry that indicates the gold’s karat weight. Depending on the location, there will be different hallmarks.
  • In the United States., the hallmark describes gold purity out of 24 (i.e. 10k, 18k, etc.). In Europe, the number will be a decimal percentage (1.00 would be pure gold, .916 would be 22K, .75 would be 18K, .417 is 10K, etc).
  • Some manufacturers produce fake gold with hallmarks, so it’s not always a definitive test—if the gold chain necklace seems lightweight or cheap in design, conduct further tests.
  1. Look for a Letter Mark: If the gold chain has the letters GP, GF, or GEP stamped or engraved onto it, it is not real solid gold. GP means gold plated, GF means gold-filled, and GEP means gold electroplate. 
  • Gold plating and gold-filled is real gold, but it’s often thin and far less valuable, so an unusually cheap price could be an indicator. It’s not considered true gold.
  • Hollow gold, on the other hand, refers to real gold that has been hollowed out to make jewelry more lightweight. Look for solid gold and hollow gold for the most valuable gold jewelry.
  1. Test the gold with magnets. It may help you decide if gold is real or not because gold is not magnetic, so if a magnet reacts with gold it’s not true gold.
  1. Do a scratch test. Applying slight pressure, scrape the gold chain necklace across an unglazed ceramic plate, applying slight pressure. If you can see a gold mark left on the ceramic, then the gold is real. If the mark is black or grey, then it is fake.
  1. Observe the chain closely. You can often get a good sense of the gold chain’s authenticity by how it feels. Quality craftsmanship can be felt and seen.
  • Do the individual chain links appear individually soldered? It’s probably real.
  • Does the chain look like it was molded poorly in a factory? It might be fake.
  • Does the gold chain have a good weight to it? It might be real solid gold. If it seems a bit on the lightweight side but seems to be real gold, it may be a real hollow gold chain. This is still good news.

Before testing gold, make sure to research different gold testing methods and the risks involved. There are ways to combine different tests to gain a better understanding of the gold’s authenticity, but some tests may damage metals that aren’t gold.

If you’re still uncertain, many jewelers test jewelry for free to determine if your gold chain necklace and its diamonds/gemstones are real or fake.

The Best Name in the Game

ItsHot is the best online website for high-end, real gold and silver chains for necklaces and New York City style jewelry. Why? Because here at ItsHot, we offer all of the best gold chains in style right now for unbeatable prices.

You can trust our inventory to be regularly up-to-date with the latest gold chain styles and the best prices available. We keep in touch with the market values of gold and diamonds, so you won’t overpay. Even our cheapest gold chains are real and made by experts with years of experience in fine gold jewelry making.

Our website is reputable, 100% authentic, guaranteed. It’s also easy to browse since you can filter all of our necklaces and chains by width, karats, men’s and women’s, unisex jewelry, and more. You can customize all of our necklaces to your desired length. You can even create your custom chain necklace here.

For tips on how to wear a gold chain and figuring out the right gold chain length, check out or gold chain style guide.

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