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How to choose a chain for your pendant

If you’re buying a silver pendant from Myth and Silver or any other jewellery store, you might be wondering how to choose the perfect chain to match! Here are a few tips to help you select the best style for your new pendant:

Chain Link Type

Different chain link types can provide distinct visual aesthetics and styles. Examples include cable chains, box chains, rope chains, snake chains, wheat chains, and more. Each link type offers a unique look and texture that can complement different pendant designs. Here is a visual of some popular types:

Types of silver chain
Types of silver chain

You can find a description of each type in a guide under the products in our silver chains category. If you’re not sure which to choose, curb and cable chains are a fairly safe bet as they look good with most styles of pendant.

Chain Weight:

The weight of the chain can affect how it hangs and feels when worn. Lighter chains may be more comfortable for everyday wear, but they don’t always stay where you’d like them to on your neck! Heavier chains can provide a sense of durability and presence, but they don’t always look right with lighter pendants.

We do provide the weight information for some of our chains but the width or thickness measurements will likely give you a better understanding. Chains below 1mm in thickness tend to be lighter and suitable for small or light pendants.

Do give some thought to the strength of the chain, especially if you plan to wear the pendant regularly or if it holds sentimental value. A 0.5mm chain is fine for a small light pendant but it may snap more easily if caught – so don’t use it for anything particularly special.

Chain Closure:

When it comes to chain closures, different types offer distinct advantages and considerations. The choice of closure depends on factors such as personal preference, ease of use, security, and aesthetics. While there isn’t a single “best” type of closure that suits everyone, here are some commonly used chain closures and their characteristics:

  • Lobster Clasp: Lobster clasps are popular and widely used due to their ease of use and secure fastening. They feature a spring-loaded mechanism that opens and closes with a small lever. Lobster clasps are reliable, durable, and can securely hold pendants. Try our 1mm snake chain which has a lobster clasp.
  • Bolt Ring Clasp: Bolt ring clasps  are similar to lobster clasps but have a smaller circular shape. They are lightweight and easy to handle. While they offer adequate security, they may be slightly more challenging to operate for individuals with dexterity issues. Many of our silver chains have bolt ring clasps.
  • Toggle Clasp: Toggle clasps consist of a bar that is inserted through a circular loop to secure the chain. They offer a unique and stylish look, making them popular for decorative purposes. However, they may not provide the same level of security as lobster or spring ring clasps.
  • Magnetic Clasp: Magnetic clasps feature magnets that attract and securely hold the ends of the chain together. They are easy to fasten and ideal for individuals with limited dexterity. However, magnetic clasps may not be as secure as other types, and there is a risk of the clasp accidentally opening.
  • Box Clasp: Box clasps feature a box-shaped enclosure that fits into a groove, creating a secure closure. They are often used for heavier or more substantial chains and offer a sleek and seamless look. Box clasps provide good security, but they can be a bit more challenging to open and close.
  • Slide Clasp: Slide clasps consist of a small tube that slides into another tube to secure the chain. They are sleek, minimalistic, and easy to use. Slide clasps are commonly used for delicate chains and pendants, but they may not be as secure for heavier or larger pendants.

Each closure type has its own pros and cons, and the best choice depends on your personal preferences, the weight and size of the pendant, ease of use, and the overall aesthetic you desire. Generally we recommend lobster or bolt ring clasps – they’re the most common, reasonably secure and least fiddly.

Chain Durability:

Material quality will determine the chain’s ability to withstand daily wear and tear. The cheapest “costume” chains are often made from one or more base metals: and these will typically consist of whatever is cheap and abundant right now, such as copper, iron, nickel, tin, and aluminum. Of course, both nickel and aluminum are huge irritants to some people, leading to an allergic reaction.

These cheaper metals tarnish or go some ‘interesting’ colours. Unlike more expensive metals, they cannot be polished back to their original shine. They may leave marks on your skin or clothes. Even Stainless Steel, which is less prone to tarnish, contains a mix of nickel, chromium, copper, titanium, and iron, among other metals, and many people are sensitive to it.

For this reason it is advisable to choose 925 Sterling Silver or gold for your chains. Some Sterling Silver jewellery that you can buy online contains nickel (because it is only 92.5% silver – the rest is an alloy of whatever the manufacturer decides to put in). For this reason we strongly advise choosing a reputable seller when buying silver online and avoiding marketplaces where there is only limited background information about a product’s origin. Our Sterling Silver jewellery does not contain any nickel.

Chain Length:

You can completely change the look of a pendant by varying up the length: for example, our Angel locket looks amazing on a long chain but also looks fabulous at choker-length! If you can afford to splash out on a short, medium and long length quality chain and you swap them between pendants, you’ll add so many different looks to your jewellery collection without having to buy lots of new pieces.

Some chains may offer versatility by allowing you to adjust the length or style. For example, a chain with adjustable links or extender chains can provide flexibility to wear the pendant at different lengths or layer it with other necklaces.

Chain Compatibility:

Consider how well the chain complements the design, style, and size of your pendant. A chain that enhances and showcases the pendant’s unique features can make a significant impact on the overall look.

One factor that we often mention here is the colour: if you have a heavily oxidised pendant, will it really look good with a bright shiny almost-white snake chain? Some styles can get away with it but others cannot. Sometimes a rhodium-plated Sterling Silver chain looks better with the heavily oxidised designs (and as a plus factor, the rhodium coating will help keep away the tarnish).

Chain Care and Maintenance:

Different materials and finishes require specific care and maintenance. For example, cheaper metals will more readily react to moisture, acids, oils and air, and your jewellery will quickly look old and tired. You really need to avoid wearing costume jewellery in the shower or swimming pool, or where you’re also wearing creams or fake tan.

Sterling silver will also tarnish but unlike costume jewellery, it’s fixable. You can clean up silver with a polishing cloth or (provided that there are no stones attached to the piece) a liquid jewellery bath. We personally prefer the cloths – see our care guide which is for threader earrings but applies to silver chains too.

Personal Style:

Ultimately, choose a chain that aligns with your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer minimalist, bold, delicate, or statement-making pieces, finding a chain that resonates with your aesthetic will ensure you feel confident and comfortable wearing it.

Cost:

Cost is indeed an important factor to consider when choosing a chain for your pendants. Jewelry prices can vary greatly based on factors such as the material used, craftsmanship, brand reputation, and any additional decorative elements or gemstones incorporated into the chain.

It’s easy for us to preach how silver and gold is more preferable but your budget may not always align with your desired quality and design preferences!

Of course, if you’re hesitating to splash out a little more on silver or gold, consider the long-term value and durability of the chain as well. Investing in a higher-quality chain may be more cost-effective in the long run, as it will likely last longer and require fewer replacements.

Ultimately, finding a balance between your desired style, quality, and budget is key. By exploring different options and comparing prices, you can choose a chain that not only suits your aesthetic preferences but also aligns with your financial considerations.

Featured Image by https://pixabay.com/users/efulop-97816/ on Pixabay

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