July 01, 2021

Gold chains have been an iconic look since some of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time popularized them in the eighties. These chains have withstood the test of time since they first hit the stage with Run DMC and the Notorious B.I.G. and are still worn as a classic accessory today.

When buying your first gold chain, it can feel like a rite of passage. Dawning a new gold chain is an ode to some of the best hip-hop artists, and it lets you partake in one of the influential fashion trends.

Not all gold chains are the same, though. When you buy your first gold chain, it can be overwhelming to factor in different considerations for the weight, size, design, and look of your chains. Although there are many things to know about buying your first chain, we're here to simplify your selection process. In this blog, we'll share the most important factors to consider before buying your first gold chain.

The Karat Matters

Whenever you buy gold jewelry, it's always essential to check the karat number. The karat number is a measurement for the ratio of pure gold to metal alloys composed in jewelry. When gold jewelry has a higher percentage of pure gold than alloy metals, it is given a higher karat number and considered more valuable. 

Although it may seem like buying a gold chain with a higher karat number will be a more reliable, higher-quality investment, this is not always the case. Jewelry with a 100 percent gold composition is highly valuable; however, this jewelry also lacks durability.

Gold in its purest form is frail and easily scratched and bent. Alloy metals help to stabilize pure gold and make jewelry more durable to withstand scratches and damages.

Before you buy your first gold chain, consider how often you plan to wear this accessory. If your gold chain will be an integral part of your daily outfits, avoid buying chains with higher karat numbers.

Instead, narrow your search by looking for high-quality chains with balanced gold compositions and high durability. These chains will last longer and be more suitable for everyday wear. 

Gold Karats

  • 24K
  • 22K
  • 18K
  • 14K
  • 10K

Choosing a Type of Gold Chain

There are endless different types of chains available when searching for your first gold chain. While having such a large selection of options is resourceful, the vast number of options can also be overwhelming when you're still establishing your style.

We recommend composing a game plan before browsing through options. Start by becoming familiar with the different types of gold chains such as rope chains, Cuban link chains, and tennis chains.

Once you can preview the design, style, size, and look of each of these chains, you can browse through chain options more confidently. Becoming more familiar with the different types of gold chains will also be beneficial if you plan to buy multiple chains to layer necklaces into your style. 

Types of Gold Chains

  • Gold rope chains
  • Cuban link chains
  • Tennis chains


A common mistake made by first-time gold chain customers is not considering the durability of their jewelry. Several different factors can affect the durability of a gold chain, but the necklace's link is one of the most significant determiners. The links of a gold chain are the interconnecting loops that connect each part of a necklace. When a chain's link is weak or damaged, the entire necklace is more likely to fall apart.

The most durable chains have links that are interconnected without bending points. For example, rope chains have interconnected, thick links which cannot bend, twist, or fold to cause wear or breakage.

Less durable chains have links with tightly connected links or links that are layered on top of each other rather than connected. These links have less support and more fragile bending and breaking points.

Before buying your first gold chain, investigate the different necklace links. Although you may find a chain with the perfect design, a weak chain-link means this jewelry will be a short-lived investment. Once you find a chain with a high-quality design and strong necklace links, then you'll have a set of jewelry that will last a lifetime.

The Most Durable Types of Chains

  • Rope chains
  • Cable chains
  • Figaro chains

The Least Durable Types of Chains

  • Snake chains
  • Herringbone chains
  • Ball chains

Adding Pendants

One of the most important things to know before buying a chain is whether you want your necklace to include a classic or customized pendant. Pendants can completely change the look and style of a chain to appear more personalized or luxurious.

If you're undecided on whether to include a pendant on your first chain, consider what aesthetic you want your jewelry to add to your style. Should your chain add a layer of strong sophistication to your everyday outfits, or do you want your necklace to be a customized and intimate emblem of your personality?

Pendants can add these elements to any chain and make standard chains look unique. However, if you prefer the classic and timeless look of rope, Cuban, or tennis chains, then you can opt-out of pendants altogether.

Regardless of your preferences, identifying whether you want to include pendants on your first gold chain will help narrow your selection.  

Your first gold chain is a rite of passage, so don't rush the selection process. Although it can be overwhelming to search for your first gold chain, we hope this simplified guide helps narrow your browsing process. It's vital to draft a personalized plan before looking at jewelry to establish the karat number, type of chain, durability, and customizations desired for your necklace. Once you've listed and identified each of these considerations, you'll be more prepared and confident looking for a high-quality and long-lasting chain. 

If you're ready to shop for gold chains, our website offers a large selection of chains with different sizes and designs. Whether you’re searching for classic tennis chains or customized rope chains, Gold Presidents has a wide range of high-quality gold jewelry. Browse through our selection to find a necklace that best fits your style. For more information or styling tips, check out our website. 

Things To Know About Buying Your First Chain

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