Picking The Right Gold Chains


Among all the ways gold is utilized to make jewelry, gold chains are one of the more familiar ways to do it. A common misconception of gold chains is that they are plain and a no-brainer to choose from. However, after reading this article you will realize that is not the case at all! There are various styles of gold chains that come in different lengths which can make one quite fickle when it comes to choosing the right chain. It can be used for different styles, be it accompanied with a pendant or worn simply with just the chain. Regardless of your preferences, here are some crucial things to note when you’re looking for the right solid gold chains.

Be familiarised with the various types and search according to what you have in mind

Depending on your personal style and preferences, some chains may suit you while others may not. Some styles of gold chains can look tough, some may be more dainty. Certain types of chains are made for daily use and are more durable. If pendants are your cup of tea, you can also look at chains that are made for holding pendants. Having a clear purpose for your gold chain can help you narrow down the type of chain that is suitable for you.

The gold chain types more commonly offered are:

Bead Chain

Bead chains have tiny circular metal beads that are strung together. They are a common choice for mens’ dog tag necklaces. The bead thickness typically ranges from 1mm thickness to 2mm.

Box Chain

This chain style has squarish links that look like boxes – hence its name. They are great for holding pendants or worn on your wrist together with a nice watch. One upside to using this type of chain is that it is relatively easy to repair compared to other chains. If one of the links breaks, you can easily replace it with another box or attach it again to the other links. Typically, box chains are a popular choice for women and can vary from 0.5 to 1.5mm in thickness. 

Cable Chain

Cable chains are simple and look extremely elegant due to their simple design. It replicates iron chains with oval links interlocking each other. Choose from different thicknesses to best suit your style.


This chain adopts a gender-neutral style but has a bit more flair compared to the regular cable chain. Figaro is a style with origins from the country of Italy and is made up of alternating links that are flattened in different sizes. They are popular for making necklaces and bracelets. 

Anchor Chain

Anchor chain consists of a bar that loops through interlocked oval links. It comes in different width sizes. Recently, a more modern take on the anchor chain, known as puffed mariner, is also rising in popularity.

Rope Chain

Rope chains are designed in an intricate manner to emulate an actual rope and are popularly worn with an accompanying pendant.

Snake Chain

This is formed by a tightly-knit chain, creating the design akin to a tube, resembling snakeskin. Although feminine, the design is versatile and can even go along with a pendant.

Spiga Chain

Also known as wheat chain, the spiga chain is made of oval-shaped links that are intricately twisted and woven to look like a delicate braid. It gives a timeless appearance and can be complemented by a pendant or even as a standalone chain.

Singapore Chain

Singapore chain is one of the more classic designs consisting of braided fibers twisted to form a beautiful dainty chain. It is very durable and reputable for withstanding breakage.

Consider the strength of the chain

Chains that have links, like figaro, are the strongest as they are soldered one by one and can be thicker without compromising on the flexibility of the chain. They also can be twisted and bent in many ways without breaking and if it does, which can be quite rare, it can be easily repaired by a link replacement or by reattaching the chain. However, do note that these properties can only be fulfilled when metals that are of better quality are used. 

Differentiate between the different materials

Gold chains are made out of solid gold, gold plated, or can be gold-filled. Solid chains can be made out of solid gold. It may not be entirely pure and can be 10K and above. For the optimal mix of durability and beauty, 14K and 18K gold is the best choice. The higher the karat, the weaker the chain. However, lower karat gold can lose out in achieving a vibrant color. 

Gold-filled chains are also known as rolled gold. It is formed through gold sheets being bonded together on a metal base. It may not be as valuable as a gold chain that is made of solid gold, but it is a better choice compared to gold-plated chains.

Gold plated chains are manufactured through the submergence of an alloy in molten gold to coat it. It is relatively inexpensive but requires high levels of maintenance to sustain the gold chain.

Hollow chains are an option for reducing how much gold is used, making it more wallet-friendly. However, it can be dented easily as it is much weaker. Weighing the different options, a solid gold chain can last longer and retain its value. But for those who want to save a bit of cash, hollow chains are more valuable than gold-plated or filled chains.

How to tell real gold from fake gold

If you want to avoid getting scammed, try these simple methods to tell if your chain is made from fake gold!


Gold jewelry always has a small engraving on its surface, also known as a hallmark. A hallmark is an indication of the chain material and the gold purity and can only be found on legitimate gold pieces.


Rubbing real gold on a porcelain surface leaves a yellowish golden stain, whereas fake gold leaves a black mark. Make sure your tile is unglazed for an accurate test!

Magnet test

Gold is not magnetic, so if your chain gets stuck to a magnet, it probably has iron contents or nickel. However, some fakes can contain metals that are not magnetic as well.


Nitric, hydrochloric or sulphuric acids can be used to test whether your gold is real or fake. Real gold will not react to the acid, so if you see a reaction, know that it is not the real deal.

Appraiser test

While it can be expensive to get an appraisal, it is the best way to know if your gold chain is authentic.

Thickness of the chain

While thickness plays a part in aesthetics, there are practical reasons for different thicknesses. For example, if you’re planning to wear your chain with a pendant, ensure the thickness is enough to withstand the weight of the pendant. Thin gold chains can get entangled with hair, so opt for medium gold chains if you have long hair. Thick chains are great for a flashy aesthetic, while thin chains are better for a simple classic look.

Chain length

Ensure your chain is not short to the point where it chokes you, and not long enough to tangle up messily. The average chain lengths for daily use would be between 14 inches and 22 inches. Short chains are great for daily wear, but make sure there’s enough breathing space for movement. Long chains can be used outdoors or at a party where you can show off for a few hours.


Depending on your style, you can go for delicate chains for an elegant look or a pendant for a minimalistic feel. If you love statement pieces, larger chains will attract attention from others for sure. It’s ultimately up to your expression and what makes you feel the most comfortable!