Gold Chain Know How
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Understanding the world of gold chains, carat weights, and buying gold chains.

There are many of us who haven’t got the slightest idea where to start looking in the enormous array of gold chains and jewellery available on the markets today. This page might help you if you are looking for the basic element of jewellery, the gold chain.

Types of 9ct gold chains

Cardiff Local Guide

Types of 9ct gold chains There are a great many differing styles of gold chains, and the style of chain is related to its use. The chain can be decorative in its own right, or used as a means of displaying a pendant or locket, or worn as a wrist bracelet. There are two really popular styles of gold chains in Britain, the Curb chain and the Belcher.


Curb Style – A curb gold chain is one where the links lock together with each other when laid flat. It is a popular man’s chain as construction used to demand a heavy style. This style of chain has a great variety of widths available, ranging from a few millimetres to over two centimetres.

Belcher Style – A belcher chain, sometimes called ‘rolo’, is wider than it is thick and the wire used to form the link is in a D section. The links of a Belcher gold chain are usually round but can be or oval in shape. They can also be used for pendants and a popular ladies chain.

The Figaro style - These chain lies flat with different size links, and as its name suggests it has Italian origin it is a distinctive style and is similar to anchor or rambo chains.

Prince of Wales Style - This chain usually consists of a single twisting chain made of small circular links where each single link has no less than four others joining into it.

Trace Style - This is a basic chain and is usually of uniform width and thickness and has fine oval links.

Singapore Style – This may also be called twisted curb chain, but the links are joined in such a way so when the chain is untwisted there is always a natural curve to it. Usually this chain is of very fine material.

Rope chain – A rope chain creates the effect of two twisting strands spiraling together, created by many small links which are not completely joined. One disadvantage of this otherwise strong chain is that when one link does break the rest of the chain might follow in succession.
Rope chain



Anchor - The anchor chain looks like the old chains that you would see holding large anchors to ships, an oval link with a dividing bar through the middle. The linking sections may be of a curb or trace style. There is also a version called “Maritime”, where only every other link is an anchor link.


Wheat Style – A wheat chain is made up of very long and thin teardrop-style links that all point in the same direction. The join of each link is like a tiny hinge, meaning this style is not as flexible or liquid-like as some others

All these styles of chains can be made up into a necklace, or if shorter a necklet.



Security and chain breakage

Whilst chains will break a link, the clasp is often where chains separate. This is where you can lose either the chain, the pendant, or both! If you have to repair a gold chain that’s clasp has broken, be sure to match it with a specific gold chain clasp of the same carat, colour and style.

What can be done to prevent this? The methods differ, and some have security features in the event of clasp failure, however, one of the best solutions is to get the chain made continuous.

This is quite easily done at the jewellers, but remember that if it is a neck chain to ensure that it will pass over your head for putting on and taking off. It is not so advisable for heavy chains, which if caught will be less likely to break. The fact that a chain or clasp can fail can be a life saver in the event of the chain getting caught!

Cardiff Local Guide


 

How many carats?

Carats are a way of indicating gold content in a chain, and typically in the UK we see 9ct, 18ct and 24ct as a rough guide. 9ct gold chains have less gold content than 18ct and 24ct, but will be tougher. 18ct is said to feel more comfortable and generally 24ct gold chains are considered a bit too weak for hanging items.

Note: gold is a soft metal, and a chain that was 100% gold would break as soon as you touched it. That is why gold chains always have around 50% other metals in the mix, to make them stronger. There is no such thing as a 100% gold chain, and 24ct is actually around 54% gold, but is seen to be the maximum, which is why some people think that they are 100% gold.

Value of gold chains

The value of gold chains depends on style, length, weight and carat. It is no good simply weighing a chain and then looking at the price of gold today, that is not how it works. All gold chains contain 50% other metals, so you will need to cut the weight roughly in half to start with, depending on how many carats it is.

You then have the craftsmanship, the cost of the other metals, the cost of the gold clasp, and the shop’s mark-up (which is often 30%-50%). So it is often impossible to judge the value of a gold chain, not least because there are thousands of different types.

Having chosen the style of your gold chain, the next issue is to consider what length of chain best suits the individual. For women, typically the chain will either be 16 inches, 18 inches or 20 inches.

The most common length of chain in use in the UK is 18 inches, and the length of chain will emphasise different parts of the wearer’s chest. A 16inch chain will be closer to the neck line and will lie above the collarbone. The more common length, the 18inch gold chain, will lie over the collar bones, and longer lengths will not only on the skin but also on clothing, and with the right choice of clothing it can have a dramatic effect.
Value of gold chains



Weight of chain

One of most common complaints about value of 9ct gold chains is that the chain was too thin or light. It is all too easy to buy on price without remembering the 0.75g spread over 18inches can only result in a really fine chain.

Gold chain weights are an important factor if you are going to make a comparison of the value of one gold chain with another. The comparison can obviously only be done if one takes account of the carat rating. Other factors that come into play when comparing chains are how it was made (the time and labour and the skill of the craftsman).

It is difficult to compare value of gold chains in the Belcher chain style with that of a Prince of Wales Rope chain – the work involved in the manufacture of each type of chain is somewhat different, so we have to compare like with like.

Gold chains comparison by weight
How do we estimate the value of gold chains? Can we compare a thin light and cheap gold chain with one that is heavier thicker and more expensive?

The answer is weight; the weight of gold in a chain is dependent on its carat content and what it tips the scales at. The percentage of gold in a 9ct gold chain will be 37.5% gold, the remainder being other base metals. Colchester gold chains.

Gold chains comparison by weight
So to summarise, to estimate the value of a 9ct gold chain it is important to look to see if the weight is listed in the product details. Fine chains should weigh 2g as a rough minimum, and size should also be considered, but a little caution here as some gold items might be hollow to achieve a bigger profile per gram of weight.

Email: info@colchestergold.co.uk

 

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