I bet you didn’t know that chains date all the way back to approximately 2500 BC when the Ancient Egyptians started to experiment with weaving precious metals together.
Sure, the Egyptians deserve some credit for the emergence of the method, but they can’t really be credited for the popularity of chains today.
Wearing chains as necklaces really started to boom in the 80s and 90s with the rise of rap and hip-hop groups like the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, and KRS1. Extravagant chains with large centerpieces became part and parcel of being in the industry. Remember Flavor Flav’s clock necklace?
It is unsurprising that men’s chain link necklaces are still popular today, since they are so versatile and can be worn with anything. There are few things that look as refined as a sharply-dressed man wearing some shiny bling, and that’s why we decided to provide you with a selection of the best chain link necklaces for men.
How to Shop for the Best Chain Link Necklace
When you want to shop for a chain link necklace, you’ll want to ask yourself some questions about what your priorities are. Do you care about the brand? If so, then look into which labels carry items that appeal to you. Do you have a budget? This could limit the materials, size, and brand, but it is possibly one of the most important questions to ask yourself.
Speaking of materials, do you lean more towards gold? Silver? Both? And in terms of size and length, are you a wrap around once kind of person, or twice? Do you want a thick chain with three c’s, or do you prefer a thin and delicate looking piece?
All of these are important considerations that lie at the foundation of choosing the right chain for you.
We will expand on each topic – brand, price, size, material, length, and resale value – a bit more in length to make sure that we are setting you up for success.
The brand you decide to buy from depends totally on your budget, preferences, and loyalty. Luxury brands will offer you pieces at a higher price, but also generally at a higher quality. Non-luxury brands will be more cost-effective, but probably won’t offer you the same quality, which will then affect the resale value.
Ultimately, more than anything, this factor depends on your tastes and intentions for the jewelry. If you desire to be on-trend, there are a few brands that are currently being singled out for the men’s chain necklaces that they offer. These are Mejuri, Versace, Thomas Sabo, and David Yurman, just to name a handful.
The price of your chain necklace will depend on all kinds of things. For example, a chain made of precious metals will carry a hefty price tag. Likewise, a larger or a thicker chain requires more material to make, which will also drive up the price.
If you choose to wear a chain with a pendant, you will be paying for the chain and the pendant. Lastly, if you buy from a luxury brand over a non-luxury brand, you will be paying luxury prices. No matter the case, it is good to have an idea of what you are willing to spend before you begin shopping because your budget will influence where you direct your attention.
Chain link necklaces can be made out of any kind of material really, but there are a few that are more commonly seen. One of those is sterling silver or oxidized sterling silver. This material is incredibly masculine and looks fantastic as a part of your winter wardrobe. It works very well with darker toned clothing, which makes it a versatile material to choose.
Gold, on the other hand, is the most luxurious choice. It is brighter, has a good contrast against darker colours, and it brings out warmth. If you prefer something cost-effective and casual, but not as durable as the others, you might want to opt for plastic, cord, or another synthetic material.
The size of the necklace depends heavily on what you intend to do with it. If you want to place a pendant on your chain, then it is wiser to opt for a thinner necklace because thicker necklaces with pendants look a tiny bit awkward. It might also be hard to find a pendant that will fit a super thick chain. However, the pendant must be proportionate to the chain thickness because you don’t want to run the risk of a heavy pendant breaking your chain.
If you want your chain to stand alone without a pendant hanging off of it, then you can choose whatever size of chain you’d like. Thicker chains might be more suited to night-out, while thinner chains are suitable for any time and day, including in the office.
Typically, most men shopping for a chain get one that is approximately 20 inches in length, but if they opt to add a pendant to it, then it increases slightly to 22 to 24 inches in length. Generally though, the length you choose depends on what you intend the chain to be worn with.
For instance, shorter chains are closer to the neck and are suited for all types of clothing. Mid-length chains lie just atop the breast bone and are more visible than shorter chains. However, they are not the most suitable for pendants.
On the flipside, long chains are the most visible if worn outside or on top of clothing and perfect for pendants. That said, they are not very suitable for the office.
If you are investing in a piece of jewelry with the intention of selling it one day, it is important to know which factors affect its resale value. Those are:
- Brand: Luxury brands will often sell for much more than non-luxury brands.
- Market value: Is the item hot on the market? Will it sell within a reasonable time or not at all?
- Materials: High-quality materials will have a higher resale value than others.
- Condition: Jewelry that is not damaged and has been taken care of properly – cleaned, polished, etc. – will sell for much higher than jewelry that looks like it has been thrown around.
- Authenticity papers: Designer jewelry often comes with papers that certify its authenticity. If you have these papers with you at the time of resale, this will be a major asset to you.
Typically, jewelry resells at anywhere between 30%-50% of its original retail value, but this can fluctuate depending on the factors noted above.
- Vitaly Vapor Chain, $127
- In Gold We Trust Paris Silver Cuban Link Necklace, $237
- Mejuri Long Link Chain Necklace, $135
- David Yurman Chain Links Narrow Necklace, $14,400/ $2,450
- Tiffany Makers Chain Necklace in Sterling Silver and 18k Gold, $2,200
- Rick Owens Chainlink Necklace, $1,200
- AllSaints Limited Edition Roan Sterling Silver Chain Necklace, $225
- Gucci Interlocking G Silver Chain Necklace, $560
- Versace Medusa Chainlink Necklace, $1,015
- Peoples Jewellers Men’s 4.7mm Curb Chain Necklace in 14K Gold, $1,699
The 10 Best Chain Link Necklaces For Men
Here is our list of the top 10 best chain link necklaces for men in 2021 (so far).
There are a wide variety of pieces on this list when it comes to aesthetics and price-points, so we are hoping that you find something that tickles your fancy.
#1 – Vitaly Vapor Chain
There are a few things that make Vitaly, a brand based in Toronto and established in 2011, a unique label. First, it sells products that are completely genderless and inspired by robotics and industrial manufacturing. Second, they exclusively offer pieces in stainless steel. The Vapor chain is no exception.
Vapor is a 2-inch stainless steel necklace composed of interlocking teardrop shaped links. It is a dynamic piece of jewelry that really captures Vitaly’s interest in mechanistic processes. You can purchase it in one of two finishes, gold or stainless steel, for $127 on the brand’s site.
#2 – In Gold We Trust Paris Silver Cuban Link Necklace
In Gold We Trust is a brand established in 2012 that is inspired by the earlier designs from its parent company Franzel Amsterdam. The label prides itself on its dedication to craftsmanship and quality, which is seen in products such as their Paris Silver Cuban Link Necklace.
This curb chain necklace is made of palladium-plated brass and features an 18 karat gold-plated brass carabiner fastening that is engraved with the brand’s logo. The product comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large, and is sold for $237.
#3 – Mejuri Long Link Chain Necklace
Mejuri is a brand that offers fine jewelry for everyday wear. They are committed to their core values of fair labor practices, safe working conditions, and fair pricing, making them a brand for the ethically-conscious buyer. Pieces sold by Mejuri are made in a large variety of materials, but their quality is non-negotiable regardless of their composition.
The Long Link Chain Necklace is a delicate thin-link piece that still makes a statement, but doesn’t go overboard. The chain, which is made of sterling silver dipped in rhodium, is 24 inches long and about 5 millimeters thick.
You can purchase this necklace in one of three colors, sterling silver, oxidized sterling silver, or gold vermeil, for $135 on Mejuri.
#4 – David Yurman Chain Links Narrow Necklace
This American designer jewelry company was founded in 1980 in New York City by David, a sculptor, and his wife Sybil, a painter. They fused their artistic abilities together to design high-quality, timeless, yet modern and bold pieces. Their son later joined the company, making this a truly successful family brand.
The Chain Links Narrow Necklace by David Yurman is a testament to the label’s dedication to producing absolutely stunning, enduring pieces. It features a push clasp and is 26 inches long and 5.2 millimeters wide.
You have three options for the material at three different price points: 18 karat yellow gold or 18 karat rose gold for $14,400, and sterling silver for $2,450.
#5 – Tiffany Makers Chain Necklace in Sterling Silver and 18k Gold
This delicate piece is part of the Tiffany 1837 Maker’s Collection. This means that each piece carries the stamp of the year they were founded, acting as a nod to the authentic and artisanal craftsmanship that the company has built its legacy on.
To be worn alone or with other pieces, the Makers Chain Necklace offers a modern twist on the brand’s history. The chain, which is 24 inches long, is made of sterling silver links with 18 karat gold accents.
This beauty is available on Tiffany’s website for $2,200.
#6 – Rick Owens Chainlink Necklace
Established in California in 1994, Rick Owens’ brand is known to be eccentric, brutalist, edgy, and ultra-avant garde. His new wave meets goth-grunge style is reflected in the pieces he designs, from his jackets to his shoes.
The Chainlink Necklace is an interesting take on a classic item, as it’s made from silver and sterling silver links that are reminiscent of pop tabs or even brass knuckles. Measuring at 55 cm long and 1 cm wide, this necklace sits against the breast bone.
Farfetch normally sells this artistic piece for $1,500, but it is now 20% off, knocking the price down to $1,200.
#7 – AllSaints Limited Edition Roan Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
Allsaints is a British label based in London, UK. Founded in 1994 by Stuart Trevor and Kait Bolongaro, it began as a wholesale menswear brand that sold to high-end retailers. The company name derives from Stuart’s nickname, ‘The Saint’.
Allsaints aims to capture typical, signature british style in its items, such as the limited edition Roan Chain Necklace. A skinny chain with a hook closure fashioned from boxy, 100% sterling silver links, it weighs in at 18 inches long.
You purchase it in the ‘warm silver’ finish for $225.
#8 – Gucci Interlocking G Silver Chain Necklace
Gucci is iconic, and that is all there is to it. Every time you see the interlocking G’s, you know exactly what brand you are dealing with. This necklace features that signature emblem, which is strategically placed in a pattern of interlocking silver links.
The look is more of an oxidized silver, so it would pair well with darker clothes. The 16.5 inch long chain with a lobster clasp is hypoallergenic and nickel-free, making it a safe option for those with sensitive skin.
Buy this bold unisex piece on Holt Renfrew for $560.
#9 – Versace Medusa Chainlink Necklace
Gianni Versace founded this luxury brand in 1978 in Milan, Italy. Versace’s product range is composed of both haute couture and pret-a-porter products, including accessories such as jewellery, eyewear, and fragrances.
The Medusa Chainlink Necklace is a true masterpiece, featuring thick links, a discrete clasp, and a chunky Medusa medallion made from gold-toned metal. The chain itself is 43.2 cm long and 1.9 cm wide.
Farfetch offers this monumental piece for $1,015.
#10 – Peoples Jewellers Men’s 4.7mm Curb Chain Necklace in 14K Gold
Peoples Jewellers is one of the most trusted and common accessory sellers in Canada, offering high-quality pieces for every person. This beautiful flat curb-chain necklace is made of 14 karat diamond-cut and polished yellow gold with white rhodium-plated accents.
Measuring at 22 inches long and 4.7 inches wide, this has to be the longest chain on this list, making it a perfect statement piece to be worn over clothing. It rings in at $1,699.
Which chain link necklaces are unisex?
There isn’t anything such as gendered chains, so that means any one of the items listed can be worn by either a male or a female.The chain an individual chooses depends on a few things, but mostly what they are wearing and whether they think it pairs well with their look.
However, if we are thinking about what is typical versus atypical for a given gender, men tend to choose thicker, bolder chains whereas women go for the thinner, daintier ones. The only brand that outwardly markets their chain necklace as unisex is Gucci with the Interlocking G Silver Necklace.
Which chain link necklaces are the most affordable?
It is unsurprising to see that many of the chains on the list come with a price tag that is north of $1,000, but there are a couple of pieces that are sold at a demi-fine price point. For instance, both the Vitaly Vapor Chain and the Mejuri Long Link Chain carry a price tag of just over $100. Mind you, they are both made from non-precious metals such as stainless steel and rhodium-dipped sterling silver.
How should I clean my chain link necklace?
Precise cleaning tips will depend on what material your necklace is made out of. Gold necklaces can be washed easily by hand in warm water with a drop of dish soap. If anything but your fingers is used to clean your necklace, make sure it is gentle because genuine gold is soft.
Silver, on the other hand, tarnishes as it is exposed to air, so it requires a bit more upkeep. You can clean silver gently with white toothpaste and a brush, but it may be better to just get silver polishing cloths such as the Sabrina Silver Polishing Cloth, available on Amazon for $41, and a silver tarnish remover such as Sparkle Bright for $12.