Are you interested in buying a gold chain necklace but feeling overwhelmed by all of the different options? With all of the important factors to consider such as the type of chain, the kind of links, and what karat it is, the decision can be very difficult. In order to help you make the right decision, we’ve wrote up the most comprehensive buyer’s guide on gold chains for men. This article will not only education you on the most important characteristics that you should pay attention to, but we’ve also listed our top recommendations to make your purchase easier. Let’s get started. Here are the top 10 details to consider when purchasing a gold necklace for men.
Most Popular Gold Chains for Men
1. What karat do you want for your gold chain?
Before deciding on the karat of your gold chain, it’s important to note that purer gold equates to softer metal and less durability. If you plan on wearing your chain frequently, it’s best to avoid the 20kt and 22kt pieces, as these karats will scratch easier than 10kt and 14kt chains. The lower karat chains have a higher percentage of non-gold alloys and causes them to be harder and less susceptible to damage.
However, if you are allergic to nickel, we recommend that you purchase a higher karat gold chain. Although low-karat gold chains have the benefit of being more durable, gold alloys contain nickel and a lower gold purity is more likely to have a higher percentage of this metal. If an allergic reaction is one of your main concerns, we highly advise that you do not buy 10kt gold unless you are absolutely sure that it is free of nickel. Instead, purchasing either 14kt or 18kt gold will be a much better investment. (Although 14kt gold will have less nickel than 10kt gold, it may still cause an allergic reaction based on your sensitivity to nickel. If you are extremely sensitive to nickel, we advise purchasing at least 18kt gold).
In the United States, 14kt continues to be the most common type of gold because it provides a great combination of durability and beautiful luster. Although 10kt gold is more durable, we suggest that you stay away from it (even if you aren’t allergic to nickel) due to it’s composition of 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy. With it being made up of mostly alloy, paying a little more for 14kt (14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy) is certainly worth the investment.
2. How long do you want your gold chain to be?
Do you want the necklace to come down to about the collar? How about if it came down to a nice V-shape right above your chest? Perhaps you would like it to hang a bit lower, close to your stomach? The most common and popular lengths for a chain is somewhere between 18 and 30 inches depending on the type of look you’re going for.
3. Will you be adding a pendant or charm to your gold necklace?
The type of chain that you purchase can drastically change depending on whether or not you’ll be adding a pendant or charm. In order for you to be able to properly wear and support a pendant or charm, you’ll need to take special consideration into a necklace that not only can withstand the weight of the charm, but that can also support the charm in a non-overpowering way.
If you do plan on adding a pendant or charm, we highly recommend purchasing a box or wheat chain as they are the perfect type of chains for added accessories. Not only are they durable and able to manage the weight of the pendant, they will also look great with just about anything.
4. Will your gold necklace for men have kink issues?
This is definitely one of the most important questions to consider before making your purchase. If your gold chain necklace gets caught on your clothes and you pull it off, will it tangle up and kink? Luckily for you, we’ve tested all of the different types of chains for kink issues and we’re here to report the worst of them.
The Herringbone Chain is one of the most beautiful gold chains for men, but it’s absolutely terrible in terms of kinks. Although it still somewhat retains its popularity, customers often complain about how quickly it kinks. Once damaged, these chains can never be the same. The kink will always be visible and it’ll compromise the strength of the chain. Unless you just absolutely love the flat-chain look, we highly advise you to stay away from this piece.
- Another chain that’s notorious for kinks is the Snake Chain. This is a solid round chain that looks great but is also highly susceptible to kinks.
Lastly, the Omega Chain is also known to have a high kink rate. These are very expensive chains that resemble flat hard collars that are often worn as chokers or a bit lower. Their primary purpose is to wear pendants and charms that are exclusively made for that style of chain. They look fantastic and can certainly last a while, but you have to be extremely careful not to bend it or kink it.
5. What type of clasp do you want for your gold chain?
It’s important to ensure that your chain has a clasp that not only closes well but is also difficult to break. For this reason, we highly recommend a chain with a lobster clasp. It’s extremely sturdy and does not open easily when pulled on. It’s extremely easy to use and it’s very sturdy. They’re often soldered onto the chain for extra protection and is hands down the best clasp for any gold chain (flat tab clasps are another fine choice).
Some chains come equipped with a spring-loaded ring clasp that are cheaper, but at the cost of durability and security when compared to the lobster clasp. Spring rings are thin, round, and hollow and almost never soldered onto the chain. This leave your chain at a huge risk for breaking or loss at the slightest tug. Unless you would like to lose your chain or your expensive pendant, stay away from spring rings!
Depending on the manufacturer, some chains will come with the added benefit of a Figure Eight Safety Catch. These are also a great choice, but the type of clasp you get ultimately depends on the type of chain that your purchase. Don’t purchase a gold chain with the “magnetic clasp” because as easy it is to put on, it’s just as simple to undo. Don’t risk losing your chain for an unnecessary convenience.
6. How durable do you want your gold necklace?
Most people will rarely, if ever, take their chains off. They’ll fall asleep on the couch with their chains on, curl up with fluffy big pillows with their chains on, wrestle with their chains on… There’s a very good chance that their chain will go through some rough times. It’s important to make sure that it’s durable enough to withstand all of the abuse.
The Best Gold Chain Necklaces to Own
In order to determine how easily your chain will kink and the likelihood for it to break, you’ll need to decide on the type of link for your gold chain to have. As mentioned above, flat chains such as the herringbone and omega chains are notorious for twisting and developing kinks.
Another link type known for having a slew of problems is the round snake chain. These chains have a high chance of catching on your clothes and becoming twisted. Furthermore, a kinked necklace is extremely difficult (and sometimes impossible) to repair so choose carefully!
Chains that we recommend because of their durability include mariner chains, figaro chains, and wheat chains. From our experience and based on reviews, these chains won’t let you down. Other chains worth noting include rope chains and box chains. If you have any doubt about the flexibility or you have reason to believe it may kink, don’t buy it!
7. What is the chain texture?
It’s important that you consider wear-ability issues. If the chain catches onto the threads of your clothes, then there’s a good chance that it’ll tear into your clothes. Don’t purchase something that’s going to dig into your skin for hours. Make sure to read reviews or go with one of our recommendations to make sure that it’s smooth and that there are no edges that stick out.
8. Will the chain get caught in your hair?
If you’ve been lucky enough to never have had your hair get tangled up with your chain, let me be the first to tell you, it hurts! Because they roll a lot, small and thin chains are the easiest to get tangled in your hair and form a knot. In order to prevent you from losing hair in this manner, we highly suggest you purchase at least a medium thickness gold necklace.
9. Do you want a plated, hollow, or solid gold chain?
This is a detail that you definitely want to be sure of. You need to know what your chain is made of. Although many of them look similar, don’t be fooled! Determining whether you want your chain to be solid gold or gold plated is a crucial step. If not taken care of properly, the plating will wear off after some time with plated gold chains. Once the metal underneath is exposed, you’ll need to get the chain replated if you want to restore its original color. If you plan on wearing your chain quite often, investing in solid gold is not a bad idea if you’re concerned about durability.
Hollow-made chains are also available and you’ll notice they feel much lighter than comparable solid pieces. Although hollow chains are less expensive, they pose a higher chance of breaking or denting and are almost impossible to repair once the damage is done. If you decide to purchase a hollow gold chain, we advise that you be extra careful when wearing it or at least buy one that’s extremely dependable.
Solid gold chains for men are not only heavier, but they will also last a lifetime. Because chains have a tendency to quickly wear down due to all of the moving pieces rubbing against each other, investing in a solid chain is a great idea for those that can afford it.
10. Is the chain backed by a guarantee?
We recommend only purchasing pieces that are backed by a guarantee from the company. This guarantee will protect your purchase from any manufacturer’s defects such as color changes, tarnishes, and pits (please keep in mind, this does not guarantee damage from normal wear and tear or breaking). NOTE: All of the gold chains for men recommended in this guide are supported by either a lifetime guarantee or a no-hassle return policy.