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What to Know When Buying a Men’s Chain [Complete Guide]

Read our complete guide to men’s chains to find the perfect chain for you or the man in your life. Once you have an idea of what you want, explore our Metro shop to find the chain you’ve been looking at the right price. We also give you the tools to design your own custom chain to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want. You’re welcome.

In This Blog:

  • Men’s Chains Throughout History
  • Types of Chains
  • Chain Lengths
  • Metals
  • How to Wear Your Chain
  • How to Decide on a Chain
  • Taking Care of Your Chain

Men’s Chains Throughout History

A chain is a timeless piece of jewelry a man can wear for decades. Men’s chains have been in style for thousands of years. Ancient Egyptians wore gold chains for good luck, strength, eternal love, and wealth.

 

Fast-forward to the 1980s, when chains truly became a sign of wealth and success. Legendary rap group Run DMC started wearing thick, blingy gold chains, and the trend caught on in hip hop culture. Rappers started commissioning custom pendants, many of which are showstopping, iced out and huge.

 

Whether or not you’re a superstar rapper, men’s chains are a fixture in pop culture and a timeless investment. They’re a customizable ⁠piece of jewelry every man should own.

 

Read our complete guide to men’s chains to find the perfect chain for you or the man in your life. Once you have an idea of what you want, explore our Metro shop to find the chain you’ve been looking at the right price. We also give you the tools to design your own custom chain to ensure you’re getting exactly what you want. You’re welcome.

 

Plus, now through Christmas Day 2019, score sweet deals on your favorite men’s chain. You could save as much as 75% on your purchase. Sign up for our emails and follow us on Instagram for exclusive, follower-only sales, including up to an additional 20% off your purchase.

Types of Chains

Curb Chain

 

Curb chains are some of the most popular men’s chains. The chunky links are sturdy and designed to lay flat, making them a great choice for an everyday chain. (The Curb – Heavy Stainless Steel Chain Necklace with Gold Ion Plating shown here)

 

Foxtail Chain

 

These men’s chains are meant to look like ⁠— you guessed it ⁠— a fox tail. The rows of pointed oval links connect with a series of flat rings down the center of the chain. (The Fox – Thin Stainless Steel Chain Necklace with Antique Finish shown here)

 

Wheat Chain

Wheat chains braid together for a link with dimension. The symmetrical figure 8 links twist together to form the chain. Wheat chains are symbolic of faith and wealth. (The Wheat – Thin Stainless Steel Chain Necklace with Antique Finish shown here)

Box Chain

 

Box chains use square links, hence the name. Wider widths are popular for men’s chains. These are strong chains that can easily be fixed if they do happen to break. (The Box – Rounded Stainless Steel Chain Necklace with Black Ion Plating shown here)

Puffed Mariner Chain

 

These nautical-inspired chains get their name from their appearance. The interlocking ovals look like the chains used for anchors. This trendy design has a gear-like look for a wearer who likes an industrial style. There is also a less popular, regular mariner chain, which consists of links of the same shape, except flatter.

Cable Chain

Your basic, go-to chain. The cable chain has been used in jewelry for centuries. The oval links connect for a customizable length. A cable chain is a great choice for pendants. (Cable Chain in Stainless Steel shown here.)

Figaro Chain

Figaro chains originated in Italy and use links of alternating sizes for a decorative look. Typically they form patterns of one long link with two shorter links. Figaro chains are very gender neutral. (Figaro Chain Necklace with Gold Plating shown here)

Rope Chain

Twisted rope-like links make up rope chains. These gold rope chains are some of the most popular in the world. They are heavy and sturdy. Thinner rope chains are great for pendants, while thicker rope chains are showstoppers. (Stainless Steel Rope Chain shown here)

Singapore Chain

Singapore chains have a series of links twisted together. The links allow more movement of the chain, making it a sleek everyday choice.

Snake Chain

 

These flexible chains are made up of small rings, plates, or bands connected together. They’re more rigid than many other styles of chains, meaning they don’t easily catch on clothes or hair. (Gold Stainless Steel Snake Chain shown here)

Chain Lengths

Standard men’s chain lengths are 18, 20, 22, 24, and 30 inches. Here are how the lengths land on an average guy:

 

18-Inch Men’s Chain

Close to the base of the neck

 

20-Inch Men’s Chain

At the collarbone (this is the most common size for men)

 

22-Inch Men’s Chain

Just below the collarbone

 

24-Inch Men’s Chain

Between collarbone and sternum

 

30-Inch Men’s Chain 

At the sternum

 

Metals

Plating is the thin coating of metal that goes over the links of the chain to give it the desired finish. Plating gives your chain the look of the metal you like with a more durable (and more affordable) interior. You typically can’t tell if something is solid gold or gold plated just by looking at it.

 

We offer men’s chains in four types of plating ⁠— antique, black, gold, and steel. Compare and choose the look you like best for a chain you’ll want to wear daily.

How to Wear Your Chain

How you wear your chain really depends on the length. Different lengths will fall on different parts of the chest, making some chains more suitable for certain kinds of shirts than others. Here are the common ways to wear men’s chains of different lengths:

18”: These are the shortest style of chains for men. The entire chain is visible when wearing a shirt or sweater with a low collar.

 

Top Pick: The Wheat – Thin Stainless Steel Chain Necklace – 18”

20”-24”: These are the most common lengths for men’s necklaces. You can wear chains in this length under or over your shirt. Chose a length in this range if you want to add a small pendant. 

 

Top Pick: The Curb – Heavy Stainless Steel Chain Necklace – 20”

26”-32”: These long chains are worn over your shirt because they’ll hang the lowest on your body. Chose a long men’s chain for a statement or big pendant.

 

Top Pick: The Box – Rounded Stainless Steel Chain Necklace with Black Ion Plating – 30″

How to Decide on a Chain

It can be hard to make a choice when you have so many great chain options! Consider the following factors when choosing or designing your men’s chain:

  1. What style of chain do you like?
  2. Do you want a chain with thick or thin links?
  3. What color chain do you want?
  4. How will you wear your chain?
  5. Are you going to add a pendant?
  6. Are you going to wear your chain every day or only on special occasions?
  7. Are you at risk of your chain catching on anything while wearing it?

Taking Care of Your Chain

If you wear your chain every day and it starts to look dull, simply buff it with a cotton ball or soft cloth to make it shine again. If it still looks dirty, clean it with warm water and a gentle soap. Soak the chain for a few minutes and then use an old toothbrush to gently scrub it. Do not use antibacterial soaps! These can make your jewelry tarnish faster.

 

To keep any men’s chain looking like new, don’t wear it while working out, swimming, or showering. Cologne and lotion can react with the plating on your chain, so make sure your skin is clean and dry before putting it on.

 

Store your chain in a soft cloth bag when you’re not wearing it. 

 

These few easy steps can keep any men’s chain looking like new for years!

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