Your Ultimate Chain Size Guide
Gold chains have become an extremely popular piece of jewellery for many, especially among rappers and hip-hop artists. Whether you are looking for a bold, heavy chain or a small, slick style, when it comes to gold chains there is a huge variety of types and sizes.
When it comes to shopping for a brand-new gold chain, it is an exciting experience but you can also be faced with a lot of choices, so therefore you need an idea of what style, size and type you may be looking for.
In this blog, Hatton Jewellers shares some of the most common questions asked around chains, what chain size to choose and how well different types of chain will fit.
What Are The Sizes Of Gold Chains?
When it comes to gold chain sizes, there are two main factors to consider: width and length.
Although custom-made chains can be made in a wide variety of widths, men’s gold chains typically range from around 1mm to 25mm in thickness. The larger the chain size you choose, the more you are likely to pay as naturally there will be more gold used to craft a chunkier jewellery piece.
Width isn’t the only factor that defines the size of a chain - length plays an important part too. Men’s chains generally range from 20 to 22 inches, while some of the largest can be up to 40 inches. Women’s chain lengths often start around 16 to 18 inches and can reach lengths of around 34 inches. This is excluding custom-made pieces as they can be far longer, depending on the request of the customer.
You may often see the wider chains referred to as ‘heavy gold chains’ and the thinner ones referred to as ‘light gold chains’.
Popular Types of Gold Chains
At Hatton Jewellers, we stock a wide range of gold chains with options suitable for a variety of tastes. Different styles of chain will suit different lengths, due to their width, colour and overall appearance. For example, one of our most popular chain types, Miami Cuban chains are often bought in lengths between 26 to 40 inches due to their chunky, bold look. Curb chains, on the other hand, are very popular as choker-style chains, so they’re generally bought at lengths between 14 to 20 inches.
Some of our most popular chain styles include:
It’s also important to remember that certain styles of gold chain tend to be more widely available in certain sizes. For example, it’s rare that you’ll ever find a gold rope chain thicker than 10mm. On the other end of the scale, it’s fairly common to find Miami Cuban link chains, curb chains and belcher chains that are well over 15mm wide.
Hatton’s Popular Picks - Solid Gold Chains
At Hatton Jewellers, we aim to bring you the best gold chains we have on offer, and have taken a deep dive into our catalogue to pick out some of the most popular pieces. These pieces have flown off the shelves in recent times, and so we thought we’d give them the spotlight and show you what other customers are buying to help you with some inspiration.
Our most popular gold chains:
- 9ct Gold - Italian Bevelled Edge Curb Chain (2.3mm - 20")
- 9ct Gold - Italian Classic Thin Rope Chain (1.9mm - 18")
- 9ct Gold - Italian Bevelled Edge Curb Chain (4mm - 22")
- 9ct Gold - Italian Classic Thin Rope Chain (1.9mm - 18")
- 9ct Gold - Classic Tight Cuban Link Curb Chain (6mm - 30")
- 9ct Gold - Classic Cuban Link Curb Chain (8.5mm - 30")
- 9ct Gold - Textured Square Curb Chain (8mm - 22")
If you’re looking for the best gold chains to wear this summer, winter and every other season of the year, these are great options to get you started.
Which Type of Gold Chain is The Strongest?
One of the strongest designs of gold chain is a Cuban link chain, or the Miami Cuban link chain, which are both types of curb link chain. This is because the interlocking links don’t have a bending point, nor can they be twisted or folded.
Other styles of chains, such as cable, mariner, Figaro, and rope are also some of the strongest options. These are great styles if you’re searching for a long-lasting gold chain.
All of the chains we offer are solid gold, which is one the strongest and most durable types of metal. If you were to buy a hollow gold chain, you could find that they break easily and dent, proving difficult to repair if this happens.
What Size Gold Chain Should a Man Wear?
Different sizes of gold chains work well with varying body types and outfits. For example, if you’re tall and slim, a slick, long-chain will suit your body type well. Similarly, if you’re wearing a particular outfit and want to go for a more casual look, a chunkier shorter chain can also work a treat.
When buying a gold chain you should choose the size which will suit your personal preference best. Here’s a quick size guide to give you an indication of how your chain will fit depending on the length you choose:
18-inch gold chain - will fit similar to the collar on a crew neck t-shirt
20-inch gold chain - will fit much looser, similar to the collar on a V neck t-shirt
28 & 30-inch gold chain - will sit near the bottom of your chest
36-inch gold chains - will sit at the top of your stomach
How to Measure the Size of Gold Chains
Measuring the size of gold chains is straightforward, just follow the methods below.
When buying your chain in person, the easiest way to measure a gold chain is by using a tape measure. Once you find out the chain's length in inches you can use the above guide to select your desired size. This will help guide your choice when selecting a chain that will complement a range of outfits. If the jeweller is happy, you could try the chain on in the store, to see how it fits before buying.
Shopping online can make it more difficult to gauge size when you don’t have a reference point. If you’re ever in doubt about the ideal width for the type of gold chain that you’re looking for, it could help to find images of someone wearing the same style and size that you’re considering.
At Hatton Jewellers, we often include images on our product pages with a model wearing the piece of jewellery to help you understand how it will fit. However, if you ever struggle to find a relevant image on a jeweller’s product page, you could even try searching on Google Images. It’s important to ensure you’re buying from a reputable jeweller when choosing a gold chain size, as the measurements will be extremely accurate.
How To Wear A Gold Chain With Different Outfits
As there are so many different types of gold chains available, it can be difficult to know which ones to wear for what occasion and how to style them with the outfit you’ve chosen. This doesn’t mean that you should shy away from donning a gold chain with your favourite ‘fits though. Instead, you should be creative and fully embrace the different combinations you can come up with.
Here’s a little inspiration to get you started.
A big night out with all of your friends is the perfect time to show off your gold chain. ‘Go big or go home’ is a popular saying that, in this scenario, we stand by. Sure, a subtle and classy gold chain would look great with a round-neck t-shirt. But this is your time to shine! We recommended opting for a heavy gold chain or iced out chain to find the perfect statement piece.
Once you’ve found your showstopper, why not pair it with a crisp white shirt and show that you really know your stuff? Similarly, if you’ve chosen a white gold chain, pairing it with a black shirt or fitted jumper can look truly A-list.
If you were thinking that work is no place for a flashy gold chain, think again. There are plenty of styles of gold chain that allow you to show off your fashionable side whilst complying with what most would consider ‘traditional officewear’. For example, a thin rope chain is an excellent choice as combines a subtle look with intricate detail.
When heading into the office, we’d recommend staying away from any exceptionally long chains and opting for something that sits a little more snug around the neck. A thin rope chain paired with a shirt (top two buttons open) and a contrasting blazer is a look that shows you mean business.
Life isn’t all work and play; sometimes you need an in between look for those days when you want to keep things low-key and head out shopping or round to a friend’s. Don’t feel like every chain in your collection has to be an eye-catching masterpiece. Instead, you should bolster your jewellery box with a selection of chains that you can throw on with t-shirts, shirts, jumpers and polo tops.
Belcher chains are a great option when crafting a casual outfit as their design complements a range of different clothing. A medium-length belcher chain in stunning yellow gold is a great option when you want to throw on a chain that looks great no matter what you’re wearing.
We share more of our best gold styling tips to ensure you can get the most out of your gold jewellery collection in our guide to styling gold.
What is a Good Size & Weight For a Chain?
Choosing the right chain size and weight is all down to your preference. If you’re looking for a chunky chain that hangs low near the bottom of your chest, then opting for a chain around 8mm width and 30 inches long will look the part.
A smaller chain around 2mm wide at around 18 inches will make for a more subtle accessory. Often, choosing the size and weight of a chain will depend on the outfit you’re planning to wear with it.
The most common lengths of gold chain usually range from 18 inches to 36 inches, but if you want one which is longer and heavier than anything else on the market, you’ll probably need to have one custom made.
Some popular types of chains, such as gold rope chains, are typically thinner than 10mm, whereas Miami Cuban link chains, curb chains and belcher chains are commonly over 15mm wide. The wider styles of chain are typically much longer in length than thinner styles, as larger width is often better balanced with a longer length.
How to weigh a gold chain
Weight is a big factor when it comes to choosing a gold chain that is suitable for you. Light chains can be layered easily with other jewellery, whereas thicker, heavier chains are more likely to be worn as a statement piece.
The simplest way to weigh a gold chain is to use a scale that weighs in grams. Although a carat of gold weighs 200 milligrams, it’s difficult to gauge the weight of a chain based on this as the gold can often be mixed with other metals that could weigh more.
Discover Hatton Jewellers’ Gold Chains
At Hatton Jewellers, we stock a wide range of men’s solid gold chains and necklaces, all of which are provided with an Official UK Hallmark Stamp. Our diverse collection includes high-quality chains in 9ct yellow gold, white gold and more in a range of different lengths.