You want a gold chain and you want it now. What should you be looking for, and at, if you want to get the best value? Be sure to ask these eight questions.
Is the Chain Solid Gold or Hollow?
You can most likely tell by the weight if the gold piece is solid or not. It’s somewhat personal preference, but a solid gold chain may lie on your skin or clothing better than a hollow one, and it won’t have a tendency to flop around so much. A hollow piece of gold jewelry will definitely cost you less than a solid one, however, so you decide. A hollow design may break more easily, as well, and your choice will also depend on how often you intend to wear the chain.
Does the Chain Snag on Clothing?
Test this one out and see if you can snag the chain on whatever you are wearing. Bring along a small piece of terrycloth or something very porous and see what happens. You definitely don’t want a chain that will mess up your clothes or break while you are wearing it. In addition to that, consider how your skin may react to a chain that’s not super smooth. You certainly don’t want irritated skin.
What Is the Chain’s Thickness?
You will probably want to choose a chain that’s relatively thick, for a few reasons. First of all, the thicker chain will not twist or bend easily, causing damage. A thin chain can get caught in your hair (or, G-d forbid, someone else’s), get tied in knots and in general cause you grief. You want a little heft with your bling.
What Type of Link Does the Chain Have?
Here again, a link type can mess up the durability of your chain. You want to stay away from links that kink or twist. A few we would discourage you from are the omega, herringbone and snake link types.
Better choices include wheat, box, curb, rope, mariner and Figaro links. Ask to see several and get familiar with how they look and feel before deciding.
Is There Gold Plating on the Chain?
This is a consideration if you are planning to wear the chain frequently and you want it to last for many, many years. Any plating will wear off in time, and then you will have to take it to a jeweler for replating. Even white gold has a surface coat which wears off.
Solid gold is a better bet for long-term frequent wear.
What Kind of Clasp Does It Have?
You want the clasp to be sturdy and as close to unbreakable as possible. A round spring-loaded clasp, for example, is not as good as a lobster clasp in terms of its durability and relative strength. If the chain is long enough to fit over your head, then you won’t need a clasp at all.
Do You Plan to Attach a Pendant?
Here you will need to consider the size and overall design of the gold pendant. Bring it along with you when shopping so you can gauge its appropriateness side by side with the chain. They should look like they go together, in size, in design and in color.
Links recommended for pendant wear are wheat and box links.
Does the Chain Contain Nickel?
Lastly, you will want to know about the nickel content in the gold chain. Most gold alloys contain nickel, and many people are allergic to the metal, causing a skin rash. The chain is usually meant to be worn next to the skin, so this is super important. If you are not sure on this one, ask about the return policy. You don’t want to get stuck with a chain you can’t wear.
You can also ask about nickel-free gold pieces. You will pay a little more, that’s all.
There! Don’t you feel better knowing you are walking into the store prepared with all the right questions?