A gold chain is a piece of jewellery that can become the statement piece of an outfit, or a subtle finishing touch. Either way, you need a gold chain that’s going to look the part as well as play it, so it’s important to know what to look for when you’re jewellery shopping. 

But knowing how to choose a quality gold chain can be difficult, especially if the differences are subtle. To help you pick the perfect gold chain that’ll see you through many days of everyday wear and countless other occasions, we’ve put together this guide with our expert insight.

What Should You Look For When Choosing A Quality Gold Chain?

There are a few key areas you should pay extra close attention to when gold jewellery shopping, to ensure that you get a high quality piece that’ll last for years to come. These are a few of the most important areas to focus your gold-hunting attention on...

Always choose solid gold

Go solid or go home. If the piece of jewellery you’re looking at buying is just plated in gold, don’t expect it to still look the part a few months down the line, as plated pieces can easily become chipped. Solid gold, on the other hand, consists of only gold and the alloyed metal, so you don’t have to worry about chips, scratches or other damage.

Carefully choose your carat

The carat of the gold can actually have an impact on how the jewellery piece will age. For example, a lower carat piece will have less gold content and a larger amount of metal alloy, meaning it’s more durable. A higher carat piece, however, will have more gold content but may also be less durable.

As pure gold is simply too soft to be used for jewellery, it has to be alloyed with another metal to improve its durability. The carat rating then indicates how much gold is in the jewellery piece.

At Hatton Jewellers we stock gold chains with the following carat ratings:

  • 9 Carat - 37.5% gold / 63.5% metal alloy
  • 18 Carat - 75% gold / 25% metal alloy

Confirm the quality 

One of the key indicators of quality is a hallmark stamp, which is an easy way to spot certified solid gold. You can find the stamp on any legitimate piece of solid gold jewellery, which means if the piece doesn’t have a stamp, it’s best to avoid it.

To get a better understanding of jewellery hallmarks, explore our guide for some expert insight.

Remember reputable jewellers

Once you’ve set your heart on the type of chain you want, it’s important to pick a reputable jeweller. Use your head and follow your gut - if something doesn’t seem right about an online retailer, there’s probably something shady going on.

To make sure that the jeweller you’re thinking about buying from can be trusted, it’s a good idea to read reviews of their services, which will give you a better insight into how they operate. A large number of bad reviews or ones that seem fake aren’t a good sign.

How Much Should You Spend On A Gold Chain?

When setting your budget for a gold chain, you’ll need to decide how often you plan to wear the piece and whether it’s something you plan to throw on every day or just for special occasions. As gold is a softer metal, the carat content is an important factor when it comes to the durability of the jewellery piece.

Everyday wear

For a gold chain you’re planning to wear every day, we’d recommend 9 carat as this is the strongest and most durable carat weight. Depending on the specific product and its size, you can pick up a stunning gold chain for as low as £300.

Occasion wear

For a special occasion, you can go all in on a chunkier statement piece. Increase your budget and set your sights on a truly stand-out chain, such as an iced-out piece encrusted with gemstones.

How Long Will My Gold Chain Last?

Finding a gold chain that will last for many years to come is a key factor when looking for a stunning yet high-quality piece. Just because you spend more on a chain doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting a chain that’s going to last longer, as it’s all about the make.

A 9 carat piece is the best choice for a long-lasting chain as it features a higher percentage of more durable metal alloy than an 18 carat piece, for example. This means that it's generally harder to scratch and wear off. With this in mind, it’s also important to take good care of your jewellery to ensure its longevity, which means storing your gold pieces properly and keeping them separate from other metals.

For more information and advice on how to choose quality jewellery, bookmark our blog or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.