So, you’ve decided to get a new chain, and there are so many factors to consider before buying that you wonder which chain characteristics you should focus on. Let’s take a look at the most important questions you need to answer before settling on a particular chain design.
1. What Is the Link Type?
An extremely important characteristic to consider when buying a chain is the kind of links that make it up. If you want a chain that doesn’t twist and kink easily, you should know that some link types are more prone to curling than others. For example, the omega link, the herringbone link and the snake link are designs that are more likely to curve.
If you want to pick a chain you can wear when you move a lot and adopt different postures without worrying that your jewelry will bend or twist, there are link types that are more suitable.
For example, Figaro links, rope links, mariner links, anchor links, curb links, and of course, wheat links and box links are all good options when it comes to designs that don’t kink easily.
2. Is the Chain Plated?
If your chain is gold plated, for example, you should keep in mind that after some time, the plating will wear off, exposing the lower layer, which will have a different color.
That also holds true for white gold, which usually has rhodium plating. You can have the chain replated, but it will cost you additional money, and the success of the procedure will depend on the chain’s structure and its link type.
So, if you think that you will wear your chain every day, consider buying one made of solid gold or another material that is not plated.
3. What Is the Clasp?
The clasp is another key feature that you should consider when buying a chain.
A lot of chains come with a ring clasp that opens and closes with a spring. These clasps are cheaper but are often not very durable, and if you happen to pull your chain a bit harder, the clasp might come off.
A popular and better option is the so-called lobster clasp, which is easier to use. It has a longer and more solid body, which makes it sturdier and less prone to damage.
4. Pendant or No Pendant?
An important question you need to answer before buying a chain is whether you will be wearing a pendant on it.
If the answer is “yes,” then consider a chain whose thickness is commensurate with the size of the pendant.
The chain shouldn’t be too thin, but at the same time, it should not be so thick as to prevent the pendant from standing out.
The structure of the chain should ensure that it will be strong enough to carry the pendant without any problems.
Wheat chains are a good option as their links are structured in such a way as to make the chain durable. Box link chains are another good choice to put a pendant on.
5. Is the Chain Hollow?
Apart from being cheaper, hollow chains have the advantage of being lighter than solid ones, but this also comes at a price.
The problem with these chains is that they can get damaged more easily – the thin walls of their links can break or dent.
Therefore, if you are considering such a chain, you should know that you will need to be very careful when handling it as pulling it or holding it too tight with your fingers can stretch it and bend the links.
Hollow chains are not very durable and are quick to show signs of wear, so you should consider such jewelry only if you intend to wear it occasionally.
6. How Thick Is the Chain?
Thickness may seem like a concern related to durability, but it is also worth considering for another reason.
Chains that are too thin get twisted and tangled easily, and sometimes, they can even get tied in a knot.
Also, if you have long hair, a thin chain can often get caught in it.
In order to avoid such problems, don’t go for the thinnest models available, and pick a chain that’s reasonably thick.
7. Does the Chain Snag?
Before buying, you should make sure than the chain won’t snag in your clothes.
That’s why you should test any chain before you decide to go with it – put it on your clothing and see if it catches the threads of the fabric when you pull the chain gently.
It is important for your chain to have a polished surface not only to avoid the snagging problem, but also because if the chain is not smooth, it will rub against your skin and cause it to get irritated.