Gold jewelry has always been a favorite for men and women. Unlike many other types of jewelry, gold chains are highly popular with men and are a preferred choice. The first chains were fairly simple with oval or round links in a row but the chains today come in excellent designs like a diamond cut or a Cuban link or a rope chain. A chain is a stylish option for men as well as women and yellow gold remains the preferred metal of choice. A cuban chain might cost you slightly on the higher side but there is a less expensive option which is a gold plated chain. Gold filing can make the chain look very different and elegant without looking cheap. Even if you have a thin plating, the gold will not rust or tarnish. However, it is important to understand how jewelers describe gold and what terminology they use. It will be helpful to you when choosing a chain and will ensure you make the right decision.
One of the most important things to understand is the purity of gold. Pure gold is very soft and can be marked using a tool. The easiest test of authenticity of a gold coin is to bite it and look for a dent on it. This will indicate the malleability of pure gold. Since it is so soft, most manufacturers mix it with other metals so as to create an alloy and these metals include silver, nickel, palladium and copper. When mixed in the right proportion, an alloy can change the color of gold to rose gold or white. There is very little jewelry made from pure gold because it cannot withstand the regular wear and tear without bending out of its shape. There are a number of chain manufacturers who use standard gold purity that is expressed as karats in order to know how much pure gold their jewelry carries. One karat means one part out of 24 in gold. This means that pure gold contains 24 parts out of 24 in gold but most common alloys contain 14 karat or 18 karat. This means 14 parts out of 24 will be gold and the remaining 10 karat will be other metals.
Apart from 10 karat gold, all the other gold alloys which are used in jewelry contain more gold than any other metals. Different karats also mean different colors on the pink or yellow spectrum. If you want to buy a matching set of chains or rings, you need to buy them in the same number of karats so as to ensure that they all look the same when worn together.
Different types of gold fillings
Jewelry made out of solid gold is made from one single alloy of gold and chains of solid gold are also hallmarked indicating its purity and the number followed by capital K.
Filled gold is basically made using a thin sheet of precious metal to another metal with the use of pressure or heat. It is also known as rolled gold. As and when the metals go through large rollers, the precious metal will become permanently melded to the base metal and it can be used to create fashion jewelry. It is commonly used in chunky chain styles that have slim links. A lot of manufacturers denote the thickness of a gold layer with a fraction.
The third method is plating. It is very common for chains. Through plating, the metal chain is submerged into a liquid known as gold atom in a solution. Then an electrical charge is passed through the metal and gold atoms accumulate on it. There is a thin outer coating of gold which is formed and it bonds to the underlying metal. It is considered to be less costly than solid gold which means that if you buy gold plated chain, it will be less expensive than a solid gold chain. Since the outer coating is made of pure gold, there is a unique luster to the chain. But the thin coating could wear away over a period of time and can reveal the base metal underneath it.
Gold chain styles for men
When it comes to choosing a chain style for men, it is a matter of taste. Many men like longer and broader chains than those sold for women. A lot of men also prefer a chunky chain to look masculine and rugged. There are many styles for you to choose from.
- Cable chains: This is the oldest form of chain which is connected with single links. It is simple, straightforward but has a number of variations. The chain is ideal for wearing alone or with a lightweight pendant and has gained high popularity for bracelets.
- Curb chains: A curb chain is slightly different from a cable chain. It is created using a link in the cable chain by twisting it so that it looks interlocked and lies flat. These links may have squared edges or they could be rounded with more flexibility. A chain with beveled edges can look highly polished and is a preferred choice for men.
- Figaro chains: This chain is a form of curb chain that has every third or fourth link stretched into an elongated shape. It is a unique variation to the basic curb chain and adds visual appeal to the outfit. The chain can be thick or subtle and slim.
- Rolo chains: When the links inside a cable chain are interlocking in perfect circles, it results in a Rolo chain. This type of a chain is made from thick links which meet at the center of the link through which they pass and they are an ideal choice for those who like to wear heavy pendants.
- Box chains: A box chain will consist of thick links which are made by flat gold strips and interlocking them into squares. If these links are broad, the total effect will be liquid and smooth. If the links are small, there will be more visible space between them and it could resemble a dashed line. Most box chains have sturdy links which can withstand heavier pendants since they contain more gold than any other style. It also costs more than other cable chains.
- Rope chains: If you aren’t sure about which style of chain you like best, David Chapman from Frost NYC (https://www.frostnyc.com/) says that rope chains are classic and always in style. Rope chains are made by fastening a number of links together in a pattern which looks like a twist of a rope. A small rope chain can withstand significant amount of weight which is why it is used for pendants. A lot of manufacturers at times bevel the edges of the chain which is known as diamond cutting so as to give it an additional style.
- Herringbone chains: The last gold chain style for men is herringbone chain. It has small links which look like ribbons of liquid gold. It can also have large links that resemble small gold bars intersecting with one another. The chain is formed from one strand of gold which is hammered flat so that it needs gentle handling than a traditional linked chain in order to avoid breaking or bending. It is not very ideal for a pendant but they do look elegant when worn without any ornamentation.
Consider the occasion and the comfort level when it comes to buying a chain for men. It should add elegance and style to your personality and not bog you down in any manner.