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Things to Check While Buying a Gold Chain

We Indians are very close to gold, and we don’t need any special day to buy gold jewellery. Be it festivals, birthdays, anniversaries or weddings, every occasion has roles of gold in some way or the other. And the most widely bought gold jewellery in India, worn by both women and men (after rings) is a gold chain. Gold chains are worn by women to flaunt their pendants or only their gold with casual outfits. Men also wear them as jewellery and purchase gold chains as a form of investment. Many people buy gold chains during auspicious occasions like Diwali, Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras, and also as a gift during weddings.

However, there are certain things that one needs to check before buying a gold chain. There are various important factors to consider before you purchase a gold chain necklace from any store. These factors include things like whether the chain is solid gold, what karat it is made of, and what kind of links are featured on the chain and many more. Let’s take a quick look at the most important characteristics one should pay attention to while buying a gold chain from anywhere.

Check the Gold Chain Type

Gold chains are made in three types - solid gold, gold plated or hollow.

Solid gold chains are made entirely of gold without any plating or hollow pieces. The smaller pieces which are joined to make the whole chain are made of solid gold and feel heavy. These chains are more expensive and typically don’t cause any skin problems when worn daily.

Plated gold chains are cheaper than solid gold ones, but the plating wears off after some time, exposing the metal underneath. This often causes skin allergies to some people and also makes the chain look dull. If you need to make it shine like new again, you will need to have the chain replated to restore its colour. So, if you are going to wear your gold chain regularly, solid gold is a better choice because of its durability.

Some gold chains are also made hollow. In these kinds of chains, you can notice that the small pieces or the entire chain feel much lighter than solid pieces of similar size. Hollow chains are less expensive but are easily prone to breaking or denting. And they are nearly impossible to repair hen damaged. Hence, you will have to be extra careful while wearing a hollow chain.

Choose the Gold Chain Karat

The most important question to ask any jeweller before deciding on anything else is the gold chain purity or gold karat. When determining this, keep in mind that the purer the gold, the softer and less durable it will be. Usually, if you are buying the gold chain for regular use, then we would recommend you to skip the 20K and 22K chains, which might scratch more easily.

Also, you should skip the 10K or 14K ones, which are more rigid but less pure since they contain a higher percentage of other alloys. Although lower karat gold is more durable, it is not recommended if one is allergic to nickel – many gold alloys have it, and the lower the gold purity, the more nickel the chain may contain.

Therefore, it is always suggested to buy 22K or 18K gold chains as they are the best balance of high gold purity and strength/durability. 22K gold chains often appear as bright yellow whereas 18K chains are a bit darker and can provide more choice of colour with the gold itself being plated.

Pick the Chain Link Type

Choosing the type of link for your gold chain is crucial as it will determine how easily it will bend and how likely it will be to break. For instance, flat chains like the omega chain and the herringbone chain are more prone to twisting.

Another link type that can give problem is the round snake chain. These chains are more likely to get stuck on your clothing fabric and twist, and a crooked chain necklace could be very hard or impossible to repair.

It is also very essential for you to decide your chain link’s thickness. This decision depends not only on your style preference or regular use but also on whether you will be wearing a pendant with it. If you are going to put charms on your gold chain, make sure it is strong enough to bear the additional weight.

According to jewellers, some of the best chain link types include the box chain and the wheat chain. They are both sturdy and relatively flexible for regular use and pairing up with a pendant. Other good chain link choices include the Figaro, the mariner, the anchor, the curb, and the rope link chain.

Inspect the Chain Clasp

The clasp is the backbone of any gold chain. Some chains come without a clasp and are long enough to wear through the head. But for those which come with a clasp, they are sometimes too delicate. You would need to make sure your gold chain has a clasp that closes well and does not open or breaks easily.

The lobster clasp is one of the common choices and the best one nowadays. It is strong and does not open easily, even if someone happens to pull the chain harder.

A lot of thin chains also come with a ring-shaped clasp that features a spring-loaded mechanism. These clasps are cheaper, but they are usually thin and not as durable and secure as the lobster clasp.

Another widespread clasp type which was used in old times is the classic hook clasp. It is often shaped like a hook or ‘S’. Hook clasps are easier to use but in reality not as safe as lobster clasps.

Check the Chain Smoothness

An often-overlooked characteristic of gold chains is their surface and smoothness. While buying a gold chain for regular use, you need to make sure it is smooth.

Some might think it is not a big deal, but if the chain surface is rough and you wear it for a long time, it can bother your skin, causing rashes or irritation. You can check the smoothness by running your fingers over the chain to make sure there are no jagged pieces that could rub your skin or catch on your clothes.

Choose the Chain Length

The length of chain that you pick will highlight different parts of your neck. For instance, a 16-inch gold chain will be closer to your neckline and will lie above the collarbone. The more common length is the 18-inch gold chain which will lie over the collar bones. Longer lengths than this will lie on the skin as well as on your clothing, and with the right choice of neckline styles, it can have a dramatic effect.

So, while you buy a gold chain, make sure to check these factors and be assured that you are investing your money on something valuable and stylish.