22ct Gold -
This gold is almost pure with an average purity of 91.6%. Although it is relatively rare in the UK, you are likely to stumble across it when shopping for jewellery in far eastern countries.
18ct Gold -
This gold has a purity of approx. 75% and is a good compromise between purity and strength.
9ct Gold -
This is the least pure form of gold generally accepted and has a purity of approx. 37.5%. It is very strong and durable due to the amount of other metals in the alloy – it is also very cheap (33% of the price of 24ct) making it a popular choice for jewellery.
Consider the color
Of all the gold necklace designs, the color is considered the most attractive feature. The most common colors are white gold, where the gold has been mixed with another white metal such as manganese, nickel or palladium. The white gold diamond necklaces are good gifts to give for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.
Yellow gold, such as 10kt gold necklaces, have a brighter color, and rose gold necklaces are a combination of gold and copper. The more copper there is, the darker the hue. When assessing the different types of gold necklace designs, remember that an attractive color will make the jewellery piece even more beautiful and will also complement a wearer's skin tone.
One of the best aspects of thinking about how to choose a gold necklace is the many choices in styles you will have. As such, you will want to plan your jewellery wardrobe in advance to make it easier to know your options in the various gold necklace designs.
Consider the clasp
You will want to consider the clasp on the necklace. You might like to choose lobster clasps because they are easy to release, are more durable, and are less likely to snag clothing. You might also find barrel clasps, hook clasps and ring clasps that might be more suited to either your style or ease of use.
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.
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.
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.