Gold jewelry comes in so many different styles and patterns like earrings, necklaces, rings, and chains. Of all of these, gold chains are one of the most used ornaments when it comes to jewelry. But have we thought of how many types of chains are available in the market while purchasing one? Many of us would have noticed the different sizes and patterns of gold chains, but might not know their intricate details. We would not have been aware that these chains even have different names that match their designs. Chains vary in thickness, length, pattern, and design. Adding pendants or lockets to the chains can deliver a more extended look. These versatile pieces of jewelry can make or break your overall style. In this article, we explore hollow and solid chains.
Hollow and solid gold chains are two popular types of chains. At first glance, hollow or solid chains in the same style and pattern do not look very different from each other. But who would have ever thought there would be so much difference in the specifics? Knowing them better will help you choose the right design that is durable and fashionable, and also adhering to your tastes.
General Differences between Hollow and Solid Chains
As we can rightly guess, the hollow chain is hollow inside and so is much lighter than its solid counterpart. A hollow chain has space inside, which means less gold is used. Because of its volume, a solid chain is much heavier than a hollow chain. Solid chains, when melted, are more valuable than hollow ones.
Solid chains are much flatter or thinner in appearance when they come with a certain minimum thickness. As the thickness increases, they look like hollow ones but are filled inside with gold. Hollow chains are mostly used for casual wear.
Level of Comfort
Although solid chains carry much more value, hollow chains are preferred when it comes to comfort. Since hollow chains are lighter, they are much more comfortable to wear.
Strength and Durability
Even though hollow chains are not as strong as solid chains, both solid and hollow chains can be worn daily without any worry. However, one must be extra careful with a hollow chain as it has higher chances of breakage.
Undoubtedly, solid chains are costlier than hollow ones because of their volume and the amount of gold used. Many go for hollow ones primarily because they are affordable.
Types and Patterns of Hollow and Solid Chains
Apart from the general differences between hollow and solid chains, there are specific differences we can look into to determine which chain patterns fall under solid and which under hollow.
Solid Chain Examples
Solid chains come in different varieties depending on their designs. Curb Chains are most common, with equally-sized links interlocked to each other to form a chain. The links are made finely with an even thickness of around 1-2 mm and are laid flat, and the links form a twist to interlock together.
There is another variety of curb chains in which they are designed with gemstones, and are called Pave chains. Synthetic gems are more affordable, but natural gems look more sophisticated. Solid pave curb chains are also made of other metals like white gold or platinum along with yellow gold, which gives them a distinctive look, and these metals are often paired with gemstones. Curb chains are also available in hollow designs when cylindrically shaped. Hollow curb chains do not look very different from their solid chain counterparts.
Solid Figaro Chains are cable chains that are made by attaching two or three small links (usually round in shape) with a long, oval-shaped link. This pattern is repeated throughout the chain. Each of the links is generally of uniform thickness. These chains can be long or short, and are quite popular. Both Curb chains and Figaro chains could be diamond cut. This style of chain has notches in the links which add an extra shine by reflecting the light.
Mariner Chains are an interesting type of chain having links of oval shapes along with a bar in the middle. The bar connects the two sides of the oval links. Mariner chains are designed with an overall size of 2mm to even 10mm with lobster clasps for the links. The designs become much more prominent as the thickness increases. Solid pave mariner chains can come with gemstones held together with small pieces of metals along with the base patterns. Tiny beads of metals hold the gems together, and other types of metals like white gold can also be added to such types of pave chains. It is always ideal to opt for chains with at least 1.8mm thickness so that the chains are not too brittle.
Hollow Chain Examples
Franco chains, inspired by the Cuban chains, are sturdier with their ‘V’ design. They are moulded by clasping curb chains against each other. The links of Franco chains are also soldered with lobster clasps. They come with flexibility because of their design.
Miami Cuban chains are much costlier versions of hollow chains as they require high skill levels, time, and precision for their making. This fact is much evident in their designs. As the name suggests, Miami Cuban chains originated in Miami, Florida in the early ’70s. While curb chains are thin and flat, Miami Cuban chains are broad, thick, and round.
Rope chains come in both solid and hollow patterns. The links of the rope chains are woven in a rope-like twisting pattern. The hollow rope chains are quite light even though they look similar to the solid version. However, more complex versions of rope chains with larger and thicker sizes are almost as heavy and durable as the solid rope chains.
We can layer multiple types of chains together along with pendants to mix and match for different looks. It is fashionable to wear multiple chains. The same type of chains with different lengths can be layered one after the other to give a uniform look or different patterns of chains can be used to create a more bold layered look.
In case of different types of chains, layering is done with a smaller chain and a longer chain of two types and pendants are added in either of these. For example, a hollow chain of 22 inches is layered with a solid mariner chain of 26 inches. Using a 22 inch chain with a 26 inch chain leaves a gap in the middle for showcasing the pendant on the smaller chain. More than two chains can be used if you are feeling adventurous.
Famous celebrities, especially rappers are known for their styles with different types of chains. Their looks are often imitated by their fans. The famous American rapper, JayZ’s Cuban chain is famous and worth millions of dollars. It includes a chunkier chain with a heavy pendant to go along with it. Kanye West, on the other hand, wears a mariner chain which is quite prominent. When it comes to Jake Gyllenhaal, he can be often spotted wearing a thin curb chain to go with his casual turtleneck outfits.
Chains are a perfect accessory when it comes to completing a fashionable look. There are some important tips to remember while styling with gold chains.
- First is to use the same type of bracelets or a watch that often gives prominence to the type of chain used. For example, if you are wearing a rope type of chain, the same kind of bracelets are available in the market.
- For turtlenecks, one plain chain or a chain along with a pendant can be used. An open jacket with a t-shirt is an example of a casual outfit that perfectly goes with layered chains. The look adds a texture to the neckline.
- Use the same kind of metal for all your accessories. For example, if you are using yellow gold for the main chain, it is advisable to use it for any other chains or accessories that you wear.
- Match the link patterns when layering chains. While layering, even if one chain is a little bit thicker than the other, it is better if they are of the same patterns.
- Do not overdo it. Just adding one short chain with a longer one of the same link pattern is just enough to deliver a rich look.
As long as the chains are color coordinated and synchronised in terms of length, you are good to go. Whichever type of chain you choose, solid or hollow, you should understand that each has its unique properties that make them apt for different occasions. For a classy look, both solid and hollow gold chains are a fantastic option. Choose the patterns that you like the most and put together a head-turning look.
At Bayam Jewelry, we provide both types of hollow and solid gold chains. Our gold jewelry is of the finest quality with a hallmarked guarantee. We offer a 30-day free return policy and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Visit us for gold chains with designs of your choice!