How to Compare Prices for Gold Chains for Men
Lester Fangonilo - October 19, 2021
While yellow gold has always been - pun intended - the gold standard for men's jewelry, white gold has a pristine look that is very striking, particularly when used as an accessory with monochromatic outfits. White gold chains for men, in particular, add an elegant nuance to a man's OOTD: a subtle sign that one is a gentleman of taste and distinction.
However, one key challenge is knowing how much is too much to pay for for white gold chains. In today's highly competitive jewelry scene, one can easily get overwhelmed by the number of options available - so much, in fact, that you'll probably get blindsided by ostentatious prices for the simplest pieces.
In this guide, we'll show you how to assess correctly and compare prices of white gold chains based on the amount of pure gold used in them, their dimensions (length and width), the structure, and - most importantly - the quality of artistry that went into them.
For Starters, What is White Gold?
White gold is a misnomer, as it's actually an alloy of regular yellow gold with lesser metals like zinc or palladium.
Even after bonding, the resulting alloy still has a slight classic golden tint, so it gets plated with a rhodium coating to give it a proper pale and silvery shine.
Unfortunately, rhodium tends to fade and wear off over time. As a result, you will need to have white gold chains replaced every once so often.
Points to Consider Before Buying White Gold Chains for Men
There are three primary characteristics you need to look at before buying a white gold chain for men as these have the most bearing when it comes to the price:
The "k" in 14k refers to "karat," the unit of measurement for the amount of actual gold used in an alloy. Jewelers determine how much gold or precious metal is in a piece of jewelry by dividing its karat by 24 and multiplying the remainder by 100.
Rule of thumb: items with a higher karat rating (18 or 24k) have more gold in them, making them considerably more expensive. While that does sound like a good deal - more bling for your buck, after all - keep in mind that gold is a soft metal and that high-karat pieces will be more prone to scuffing, denting, and breakage.
It's easy to assume that heavier chains will have more gold than lighter ones. In which case, it follows that heavier chains are more expensive - but you could be wrong on that score. Heavier pieces are not always more expensive than lighter ones, as you also need to consider how many karats are in the piece.
Some jewelers rely on lesser metals in the alloys they use to add heft to their chains. Consider this example: never assume that a 10k white gold chain weighing 10g will cost more than a lighter chain - say around six or seven grams - with a 12k karat rating. The latter may weigh less, but it will cost more as it has more pure gold in its composition.
If weight is a somewhat misleading factor, structure is more straightforward. It follows that a solid white gold chain will cost more than a hollow one. It isn't so much because hollow chains are made with fewer materials which makes them weigh lighter and cost a bit less, but more because of how sturdy the piece is and how well it will wear over time.
In which case, if you find yourself needing to make a choice between a solid gold chain and a hollow gold chain of equal purity, keep in mind that the latter may be cheaper, lighter, and easier to wear, but it might cost you a whole lot more if it sustains damage and you need to take it to a professional jeweler for repairs.
Points of Comparison When Looking at the Prices of White Gold Chains
Now that you know the basics of what to look for in terms of white gold chains for men, let's consider scenarios where you're confronted with very similar-looking options. In this section, we'll show you how to compare prices for chains of the same karat rating and those with different karats.
When looking at white gold chains of the same karat, comparisons tend to be quite easy. All you need to do is divide the price of each chain by weight and consider the resulting prices per gram or troy ounce to make a comparison.
When you have two items of different ratings, you really have to take all of the factors into consideration. In which case, here's a step-by-step guide on how to compare prices:
- Calculate the percentage of pure gold in each item;
- Based on the percentage you find, divide the price of each chain by the amount of gold in the pieces;
- Also take into consideration the construction of each piece, whether these are solid or hollow;
- Be sure to factor in the craftsmanship that went into the making of each piece and the overall quality;
- Finally, check the design and see whether it works with your personal style.
Also, when it comes to choosing chains, keep in mind that you also have to check it for kinking and whether or not it could snag onto your clothes or hair. In which case, we recommend that you steer clear of link-types that are prone to twist. These can also be difficult to clean and also difficult to repair without having to break up the chain into individual links.
If you want a chain that is good value for money and also help you rock your look with minimal effort, we recommend chains whose links are both flexible and durable. Classic Miami-style Cuban links work in this context; other great choices are Figaro chains, box chains, rope chains, wheat chains, mariner and anchor chains, as well as curb chains. Again, there are numerous options available, so be sure to check which works best for you in terms of comfort and style.