Hollow vs Solid Gold Rope Chain Mens: Which to Choose?

Lester Fangonilo - October 19, 2021


3mm Cuban Chain Gold by Oliver Cabell

Some gold rope chains come with solid gold, others with hollow gold. Is one better than the other?

Gold chains come in different types, texture, length, and thickness. The most common type of gold chain, though, are rope chains. Rope chains are uniquely designed chains that look exactly like a rope. 

This intricate design is handcrafted by jewelers and is the biggest factor in this style’s popularity. One can wear a gold rope chain as is, but some wear it with a pendant. Aesthetics aside, gold rope chains are very durable accessories. 

Some come with solid gold, others with hollow gold. However, how do we know if a gold chain is hollow or solid?

Solid vs Hollow Gold Rope Chains

5mm Cuban Chain Gold by Oliver Cabell

Solid Gold Chains

Solid gold chains have three subtypes, namely: solid gold, gold-filled, and gold-plated.

Solid gold chains are chains that are full of gold. They are not necessarily 100% gold, or 24k, since pure gold is not a sturdy material for jewelry. Solid gold chains have 9k-24k karat numbers depending on the amount of gold alloy included in the gold chain, with 24k having 99.9% gold alloy and the weakest. 

Among the karats, 18k and 14k are the most popular because of their excellent gold and metal alloy proportion. These gold chains have 75% and 60% of gold allowed, respectively. On the other hand, the lowest karat available is 9k with 37.5% of gold alloy. 

However, between these different karat numbers, 9k gold chains are the sturdiest and cheapest gold chains. So you can get quality gold chains at an affordable price, definitely making them worth the purchase. 

Gold-filled gold chains, also called rolled gold, are those chains that are made by blending gold sheets to any base metal such as silver, copper, zinc, etc. gold-filled chains are in between solid gold chains and plated gold chains. 

The price, quality of gold, and sturdiness of the gold-filled chains are less than solid gold chains but better than gold-plated gold rope chains.

Gold-plated gold rope chains are made by submerging a base metal like silver into molten gold. The gold will then coat the base metal and make the exterior look gold. Yup, gold-plated jewelry are often coated with gold, and that’s why they easily tarnish. 

Most of these gold chains are cheaper than most, but they quickly wear out. So although it is affordable, maintaining these gold to make them last longer is challenging. 

Hollow Gold Chains

Hollow gold chains are made up of gold alloy, just like solid gold chains. However, hollow gold chains have hollow centers that look like a tube. Hollow gold chains are made just like this because manufacturers want to reduce the amount of gold being added to a piece of jewelry. 

Also, by reducing the amount of gold alloy from each piece of jewelry, manufacturers can mass-produce gold jewelry at a much more affordable price while retaining good quality gold. Although most hollow gold rope chains are real (depending on their karat number), others are fake so look out for those. Since hollow gold chains are not full gold, they are less expensive than solid gold. 


Cuban chain set in gold

How to differentiate solid gold from hollow gold?

When purchasing gold rope chains, you might want to consider a few things beforehand. Like, is it solid or hollow gold? This page will give you a few things to remember to differentiate a solid gold chain from a hollow gold chain.

Tip #1. Feel the weight.

Solid gold chains are heavier when worn than hollow gold chains since solid gold chains weigh more than hollow ones.

Tip #2. Look for the price.

Solid gold chains are more expensive than hollow gold since they contain more gold alloy than hollow gold chains.

Tip #3. Check the chain strength.

Solid gold diamond cut rope chains are sturdier than hollow gold diamond cut rope chains. The gold alloy contents make it so.

Tip #4. Make sure it is not fake.

Look for the hallmark of the jewelry you will be purchasing. It is usually found in the clasp at the ends of the chain. The hallmark contains the number of karats in that jewelry, and on some occasions, a manufacturer is also included. 


In conclusion, if you don't know what to purchase between solid gold rope chains or hollow gold rope chains, we recommend that you purchase solid gold diamond cut rope chains instead. They are much better than hollow gold rope chains since they are sturdier have more gold alloy contents. 

The downside of solid gold rope chains is their weight. They are heavier than the hollow ones and also much more expensive than the hollow gold rope chains. 

For people who can afford it, you should go for solid gold. However, if you’re on a budget, then go for the hollow gold chains. They may be less expensive, but they are still gold and therefore still valuable.