What are the top 12 Men’s Gold Chain Styles?
Humans have adorned their bodies with jewelry since the beginning of time.
The first types of jewelry came from simple materials such as shells, sticks, bones, teeth, and feathers.
As the years passed and metalwork became popular around the world, this evolved into metals such as gold and gems. These were, of course, more popular among the wealthier class.
This jewelry served largely a functional purpose as it identified upper-class citizens in emerging societies.
They were also used in trade and to serve as a sign of the wealth of a state.
In time, as the technology to mine and mold these metals and gems improved, and the economies grew, middle-class citizens began to gain access to jewelry, and the types of jewelry began to diversify.
It would take a few centuries before jewelry-making could refine itself to modern types of chain links that are popular today, but different types of chain styles were popular before the present mass production era.
We don’t have to look very far for examples of this, given Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn’s portrait from the early 17th century titled ‘Old Man with a Gold Chain.
There are tons of other examples of different types of men’s necklaces scattered throughout human history. Many of these have evolved to what we have in stores.
What’s also interesting is the wide variety of men’s gold chain link available today.
It can be tough navigating all the options, especially if you’ve never owned a gold link chain before.
It includes the full scoop on everything you need to know about men’s gold chain styles.
Are Men’s Gold Chain Back in?
The real question is, were men’s gold chain ever out of style? The answer is, no.
Before, gold chains were a status symbol, and today they still are. The most expensive pieces are still worn by wealthy people.
In the urban scene, gold chains are especially popular with hip-hop and rap stars, basketball players, and other influencers.
Most people wear gold chains because they complement their outfits. authentic gold chains last a long time and are a good investment piece once you figure out what suits you best.
Every man, and even young to teen boys should have at least one good gold chain to pair with his outfits.
What are the Different Men’s Gold Chain Styles?
Once you’ve got that bit covered, you can move on to exploring the different types of links for necklace chains. These include:
Most Popular Men’s Gold Chain Style #1: Herringbone Chain Link
Herringbone chain links are like the name suggests.
The links look like the small bones of a herring.
Made of two parallel rows of slanted V-shaped chain links, this chain lays completely flat on the skin.
The only problem with this men’s gold chain style, is that it kinks easily and can get caught on certain types of clothing.
When wearing this type of chain link, be careful not to stretch it too much else it will bend and ruin.
This type of chain link doesn’t pair well with pendants, but if you must, make sure it is light.
2. Cuban and Curb Chain Link
Cuban and Curb chain links are some of the most popular necklace chain types for men.
Many people are unable to distinguish the two since they are both made with oval twisted links.
But Curb chain links are flatter while Cuban chain links are a bit rounder.
This men’s gold chain style is versatile and is easily iced out as is trendy these days, or worn with pendants of various sizes.
This is a classic type of chain link necklace that will never go out of style.
They are also on the heavier and chunkier side.
People love Cuban link chains because of their durability, but we can safely say they edge out a lot of other types because of their popularity.
Men’s Gold Chain Style #3: Gucci Mariner Chain Link
Mariner chains are also called anchor chains because the links resemble the ones used for anchors, and also because they are strongly linked to each other.
At the center of the oval links lies stability bars which give the chain its unique appearance and of course, notorious strength.
These chains are as strong as Cuban and curb links chains and are easy to fix if damaged.
Traditionally, mariner chains have been flat, but the puffed style or Gucci Mariner Chain Link style has become just as popular.
This has a similar design, except the links are much wider and rounder than the traditional style.
The Gucci Mariner Chain Link is, therefore, more durable, and is just as easy to fix.
These types of chain links are unisex, but the thicker styles are more popular amongst men.
They are incrusted with diamonds, cubic zirconia or moissanite (simulated diamonds).
4. Simple men’s Gold Chain Style: Cable Chain Link
Cable chain link necklaces are made of oval links of the same size placed at a 90-degree angle to each other.
This makes a very uniform and neat design and resembles the sort of chains you’d see anchored to a ship, or used on a gate for security purposes.
These are among the earliest designs of chains and can be presented in a flattened style.
Cable chain link necklaces are also highly durable and easy to fix should the need arise.
Most Popular Men’s Gold Chain Style #5: Snake Chain Link
Snake chains links look just like… a snake.
No, seriously. It even slithers through your hand and has a ton of flexibility.
Snake chains consist of flat, tightly joined rings, giving it an elegant appearance and overall solid feel.
The chains are so close together that you have to observe them closely to distinguish one from the other.
Snake chains go well with pendants but can stand on their own as a statement piece.
However, they are very delicate and can break relatively easily. Fixing them is also a task.
6. Wheat Chain Link
Wheat chain, or Spiga (in Italian), looks like the grains of wheat you can find in a field.
This men’s gold chain style is created using four strands of twisted round or oval links woven together to form a necklace.
This technique creates a strong chain, however, if damaged, they are difficult to fix and it might be easier to get a new chain.
One good thing about wheat chains is that they pair well with pendants. They also don’t kink easily.
Men’s Gold Chain Style #7: the Underrated Rope Chain Link
At first glance, you might assume a rope chain is two pieces of gold twisted together, however, this is not the case. It’s made of links like all the other chain styles on this list.
Instead of using single links, rope chains use many small links in groups of twos and threes.
The result is a durable, exquisite design that can last a lifetime.
Even the thinnest rope chain is hard to come apart, and if it does, it’s not a difficult fix.
Thinner rope chains pair well with pendants, while thicker rope chains are best worn as-is.
It can also pair with other chain styles, particularly flat chain types such as Cuban links.
8. Figaro Chains Style
Ironically, Figaro chain links have one of the simplest designs on this list, yet they are among the most popular chain styles in the world.
It consists of a long oval link, followed by three round links, which continue throughout the chain.
This is a flattened chain link style, however, it is relatively durable. If damaged, it requires a replacement of the link, because removing a link can ruin the design.
Men’S Gold Chain Style #9: byzantine Chain Link
When you think byzantine, the first thing that may come to mind is the Eastern Roman Empire. but that’s not what we’re talking about in this case.
Byzantine chain links are pretty complicated, and at first, it might be hard to tell how the links connect to create the complex design.
It’s sort of like chain mail, common during Medieval times, and features interlocking oval and/or round links, giving the chain a textured look.
Each link passes through four others in different directions making it very strong yet flexible.
This chain style is more popular among men than it is among women. byzantine chains are perfect on their own but also pair beautifully with pendants of all sizes.
Depending on where you are in the world, byzantine chains sometimes go by ‘King’s Braid’, ‘Birdcage’ Chain, ‘Idiot’s Delights’, ‘Etruscan’, among other names.
10. Franco Chain Link
The Franco chain might remind you of another popular type of chain links namely Cuban and curb chain links.
However, instead of having a single link, the Franco chain link features four V-shaped links. Imagine two or four Curb Chains placed flat against each other, and you’ll have a Franco.
The result is a chain that is denser, and hard to tangle.
This makes it ideal for pendants, though they are quite the statement piece when worn as-is.
Men’s Gold Chain Style #11: Rolo Chain Link
Otherwise known as Belcher Chain links, Rolo Chain links are created in the same manner as Cable Chain links.
However, the difference lies in the shape of the links. Instead of using oval links, Rolo chains use round links.
They are also not typically flattened and look much heavier than Cable Chain links.
Pendants typically only look good on thin Rolo chains while thicker Rolo chains are worn on their own.
12. Last Men’s Gold Chain Style: The Box Chain Link
Box chain links have square-shaped links, giving the appearance of small boxes.
Thick box chains have become especially popular with men and are usually worn with pendants.
These chains tend to break easily the thinner they get, however, they are easily fixed by replacing the damaged link or removing it then reattaching the rest of the chain.
Singapore Chain Link
The Singapore Chain link or the Twisted Curb chain is a great choice because of its strength and classic pattern.
It looks just like a Cuban or curb link that has been hammered into an oval shape and twisted into a rope pattern.
This chain style is typically worn with a pendant and can be worn by both men and women.
Ball Chain Link
Ball or bead chains are the type of chains you’ll see on dog tags and rosaries.
They are small balls or beads of gold or other metals connected by a flexible chain.
These are usually paired with pendants.
What is the Ideal Length for Men’S Gold Chain?
Well… this all depends on how tall you are!
The longer/shorter your torso is will determine where the chain will fall on your chest. a general rule of thumb is that the pendant or curve should fall in the middle of the chest.
If you’re of average height, you’ll want to stick between 18-24 inches. for most men, a 20-inch chain will fall at their collarbone, so 22-24 inches is the sweet spot, especially when wearing a pendant.
If you’re going for a layered look, you’ll need a chain that’s about 26-36 inches to get to the middle of your chest or below that. You want to give your chains space while layering or else they’ll get tangled.
For a choker look, 14-18 inches is the ideal length for men’s gold chains. The rules will of course vary when shopping for kids.
Men’s Gold Chain Styles Shopping Guide
While the appearance of the gold chain link will play a major role in your purchase, you should also be practical and aware of certain concepts. This will just make sure you know what you are getting for your money and you make a good purchase.
Which Men’s Gold Chain Style is the Strongest?
The first thing you need to think about is the material that makes it. If made of pure materials such as gold, silver, or platinum, then you can be more confident that your chain is going to be pretty strong.
You’ll also have to think about its size. Bigger, heavier chains with large links tend to be stronger than small, light chains with small links.
You may also consider the way the links connect. Some connect with single links such as Cable chain and Rolo chain links, while others connect with multiple links such as byzantine and Rope Chain Links.
What is a Flat Link Chain?
Simply put, a flat link chain lays flat on the skin when you wear it. These types of men’s necklaces links chains are typically hammered flat since links usually bulge.
Herringbone and Snake chain links are examples of flat link chains.
Which Chain Link Styles are Easiest to Fix/Repair?
The difficulty of the repair all depends on how the links connect.
When there is a simple connection, for instance, a single round or oval-shaped link as is the case with Cable or Figaro chain links, it doesn’t take much work to repair.
On the other hand, where there are multiple connections or braided or twisted chains, it will take more time.
What is an Iced Gold Chain?
‘Iced’ in the world of jewelry means that it has been encrusted with diamonds or cubic zirconium.
So, an iced gold chain is a chain covered in diamonds. This, of course, makes the chain flashier and more expensive.
What You Need to Know about Gold
In its purest form, gold has a slightly reddish yellow color. For jewelry-making purposes, gold mixes with other metals to make it stronger and more durable such as silver, copper, nickel, zinc, and palladium. This alters the color to the main types we see today: yellow gold, white gold and rose gold.
- Yellow gold– 18k yellow gold consists of 75% pure gold, 12.5% copper, 12.5% silver. Yellow gold is the most popular type of gold and is less likely to cause allergic reactions or need maintenance.
- White gold– White gold comes from mixing pure gold with one white metal, typically silver, nickel, or palladium, sometimes platinum, at a 3:1 ratio. White gold is more durable than yellow gold and more scratch-resistant.
Fun fact: White gold was originally created to imitate platinum. Over the years, it has become the preferred choice to platinum and even sterling silver.
- Rose gold– 18k Rose gold has a pinkish hue which comes from mixing 75% pure gold with 22.25% copper and 2.75% silver.
Its high copper content makes it the most durable of the three, and its color pairs well with certain gemstones, especially for women. This doesn’t mean men can’t rock it.
Rose gold can also become pink or red gold depending on the copper content.
Solid Gold vs Hollow Gold
You’ll likely come across the terms ‘solid gold’ and ‘hollow gold’ when shopping for different types of links for gold chains so knowing the difference is very important.
Solid gold, as the name suggests, is jewelry made entirely from gold. As you can imagine, this fetches a higher price since it is pure, but it is of higher quality.
Hollow gold jewelry, on the other hand, has empty spaces within its design. Since there’s less gold, the pieces are cheaper, lightweight, and less durable.
They are also more likely to get scratches and have a lower resale value.
Solid gold jewelry would appear to be the better piece, perhaps for an expensive gift or keepsake, but don’t count out hollow gold jewelry.
They are much more affordable and make great everyday wear pieces.
Gold-Plated vs Gold-Filled
If you can’t afford solid gold, then gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry are the cheapest types of gold on the market today.
They are the type of jewelry that turns green, starts to chip and peel, especially when worn in the shower.
They are on par with the fast-fashion trends and are not the investment pieces that get passed down to your kids.
Gold-plated jewelry actually contains very little gold, as low as 0.05% gold alloy. It consists of a base material, usually brass, copper, or steel, that is then covered with a negligible amount of gold.
The reason it wears away so fast is because of how little gold is actually used.
Gold vermeil or gold-filled jewelry has much more gold than gold-plated jewelry, as much as 100x more.
Instead of using a single layer of gold, gold-filled jewelry used several layers of gold. This way, it won’t tarnish, strip or peel, as quickly.
Gold plated jewelry is not suitable for long-term use and is perfect as trendy fashion jewelry, or even as costume wear.
Gold-filled jewelry, on the other hand, is good enough for daily wear or gift to others.
How Many Karats Should a Man’s Gold Necklace Be?
Your gold necklace should be the number of karats you can reasonably afford. The purer it is, the more expensive it will be.
Note that this is not the same as carats, which measure the weight of gemstones.
The purest gold is 24 karats and is quite expensive since it is 100% gold.
Most of the chains you’ll see are 18k and 14k gold. 18k gold has 75% gold and 25% alloyed material. 14k gold has over 50% gold and less than 50% alloyed material.
The higher the karat of gold, the more yellow the gold will appear.
Men’s gold Chain Styles FAQs
Q. What Type of Gold Chain is Best?
A. The best type of gold chain has to meet certain criteria. for starters, it contains enough gold so that it will not tarnish over time. This means gold-filled and gold-plated chains are out of the question.
Chain styles all depend on your lifestyle, and it fits into your wardrobe. When in doubt, choose a versatile gold chain. Some good choices include:
- Wheat Chain Link
- Cable Chain Link
- Figaro Chain Link
- Mariner Chain Link
Q. What are the Most Popular Men’s Gold Chain Types?
A. Today, the most popular men’s gold chain link is the Cuban Chain Link. Open Instagram and you’ll see your favorite rapper or influencer with one around his/her neck.
They’re super trendy right now, but the classic Cable chains and Figaro chain links are right up there as well.
Q. What is the Strongest Style of Chain for a Necklace?
A. The strongest style of chain is arguably the Wheat chain style, but don’t count out the byzantine and Singapore chain styles.
Both have strong, complex connections and enough flexibility that makes them durable and difficult to break.
Solid gold chains also edge out hollow gold chains in terms of strength.
Q. What Chain Style is Best for Men?
A. The best chain style for men is easily the Cuban/Curb/Franco Chain Link variety. Once you find the right gold chain necklace, you’ll never want to take it off!
If you want something similar, but sleeker, then go for the Herringbone or Snake Chain Link!
Navigating the world of men’s gold chain styles can be overwhelming for first-timers, but it doesn’t have to be. once you study this guide, you should be well on your way to purchasing your first of many gold chains.
So, which necklace link types are you going to get first?
Tags: best men’s gold chains, chain necklaces, pendant necklace, gold chain links