Gold chains have always been a staple in the fashion world, and their popularity isn't fading anytime soon. The reason? They're incredibly versatile. Whether you're layering them over a sleek turtleneck for a touch of sophistication or letting a single, bold chain stand out against a simple white tee, gold chains add the perfect finishing touch.
But as much as a gold chain can elevate your style, buying the right one isn't always straightforward. With plenty of styles, lengths, and gold types available, the options can be overwhelming. So how to buy a gold chain?
Keep on reading to find out!
Things to Look for When Buying a Gold Chain
When embarking on the journey to purchase a gold chain, it's essential to arm yourself with knowledge to ensure you're making a wise investment in a piece that not only complements your style but also stands the test of time. Here's a deeper dive into what to look for when selecting the perfect gold chain:
Make Sure the Gold Chain Has Stamps/Markings
Authentic gold jewelry is typically stamped with markings that indicate its purity. These hallmarks, such as "10K," "14K," "18K," or even "22K," serve as a certification of the gold's authenticity and quality. Some pieces might also bear the manufacturer's mark, providing additional assurance of its origin and craftsmanship.
When examining a gold chain, use a jeweler's loupe to inspect these stamps closely, ensuring they are clear and consistent, as this is a hallmark of genuine, high-quality jewelry.
Select the Grade
The grade, or karat, of gold significantly influences both the appearance and resilience of the chain. Gold's purity is measured in karats, with 24K being pure gold. However, because pure gold is too soft for most jewelry, it is alloyed with other metals for strength.
An 18K gold piece contains 75% gold, while 14K gold, which is more resistant to wear and tear, contains 58.3% gold. The choice between higher and lower karat gold depends on your lifestyle and how often you plan to wear the chain.
For those leading an active lifestyle or looking for daily wear pieces, lower karat gold chains (14K or 10K) offer a great balance between luxury and durability.
Verify the Chain’s Type
The market offers a plethora of gold chain styles, each with a distinct character and aesthetic appeal. The classic Figaro, with its patterned links, offers timeless elegance, while the Byzantine chain, known for its intricate link design, exudes sophistication and complexity. Cable, rope, and wheat chains are other popular types, each bringing its unique texture and shine to the wearer's ensemble.
When choosing a style, consider the occasions on which you'll wear the chain and the overall look you aim to achieve. A versatile piece that aligns with your personal style will ensure your gold chain becomes a cherished part of your jewelry collection.
Consider the Link Type
The construction of the chain's links plays a pivotal role in its overall strength and flexibility. Solid links, crafted from solid gold, offer superior durability and are an excellent choice for those who don't shy away from daily adornment.
On the other hand, hollow links, created by fashioning thin gold sheets into tubular links, present a more cost-effective option that offers the appearance of a substantial gold chain without the weight or expense. However, they require careful handling to avoid dents and deformations.
Learn more about the types of gold jewelry in our article: "Solid Gold vs Gold Filled vs Gold Plated vs Gold Vermeil Jewelry".
Check the Clasps
The clasp is the unsung hero of any chain, ensuring that your valuable piece remains securely fastened. Lobster clasps and spring rings are among the most reliable options, providing ease of use without compromising security.
When selecting a gold chain, examine the clasp's construction to ensure it operates smoothly and closes securely. A well-made clasp should blend seamlessly with the chain's design while offering peace of mind that your investment is safe around your neck.
Consider the Length
The length of the chain is a critical factor that influences both its style and how it compliments your physique. Chains can range from choker length (around 14-16 inches), which sits snugly around the base of the neck, to longer lengths (over 20 inches) that fall gracefully over the chest.
When choosing the length, consider your body type, neck size, and how the chain will interact with your wardrobe. Trying on various lengths can provide valuable insight into what feels most comfortable and looks most flattering.
Where to Buy Your Gold Chain From
Here are some ideal places where you can find good deals on gold chains along with authentic supplies:
Local Jewelry Shops
The first, and probably the most accessible option is a local jewelry shop. These sanctuaries of sparkle offer the invaluable experience of seeing and feeling the chains in person.
Wander through the aisles of your nearby jewelers, from well-known establishments like Tiffany & Co. and Kay Jewelers to local boutique stores brimming with unique finds.
Engage with the artisans and sellers, absorb their stories and expertise, and compare the myriad of styles and prices on offer. This hands-on approach ensures you not only find a chain that visually appeals but one that resonates with your personal story and style.
In the digital age, the world is your oyster, and online stores are the pearl when it comes to finding that perfect gold chain. From giants like Amazon and Blue Nile to specialized retailers such as IceCartel, the internet is awash with reputable vendors offering gold chains in all shapes and sizes.
IceCartel, in particular, stands out for its curated selection of high-quality gold chains, ensuring every click brings you closer to the piece that's just right for you.
For the savvy shopper with an eye for value, pawn shops across the US, from Las Vegas's famed Gold & Silver Pawn Shop to your local hidden gems, offer a unique avenue to acquire gold chains. These establishments often house pre-loved pieces rich with history and character.
Inspect each chain carefully, question its history, and if possible, seek authentication to ensure what you're buying is not just gold in color but in value.
For those with a penchant for drama and the unique, auctions present an exhilarating platform to acquire gold chains. Esteemed auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's frequently feature exquisite jewelry collections, where the gavel's fall could signify the addition of a remarkable piece to your collection.
Online auction platforms like eBay also offer endless possibilities, but they come with the caveat of buyer beware - know your seller, understand the piece, and bid smartly.
Online Listing Sites
The wild west of gold chain shopping, online listing sites like Craigslist, eBay, and even Facebook Marketplace, can offer unexpected treasures. The thrill of the hunt here is palpable, with private sellers listing everything from contemporary pieces to vintage finds.
Approach these listings with a healthy dose of skepticism and due diligence. Request detailed photos, inquire about the chain's history, and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Opt for secure payment methods and consider arranging a meeting in public spaces or using escrow services to ensure a safe and satisfactory transaction.
Some Gold Chains You Should Consider Buying
IceCartel's exquisite collection of gold chains offers something for every taste and occasion. Take the 14MM Cuban Link Chain for example. Crafted with precision, this chain offers both elegance and durability, made from solid 14K yellow gold or alternatively, 925 sterling silver coated in 14K gold for those seeking a more affordable option without compromising on the aesthetic appeal.
What sets this Cuban link chain apart is its resilience against fading and tarnishing, ensuring that its shine lasts through wear and tear. The links are meticulously soldered, adding to the chain's overall strength and longevity.
Buying a gold chain is an important decision that combines personal style with practical considerations. By paying attention to the chain's markings, grade, type, link type, clasps, and length, you can ensure a wise purchase that will bring you joy for years to come.
Whether you choose to shop locally, online, or through alternative avenues like pawn shops and auctions, remember to prioritize quality and authenticity.
Thanks for reading!