How to choose a Sterling Silver Pendant Chain
With today being the start of British Summer time, signifying longer days and shorter nights, we thought it would be a great time to publish our blog post that will help to consider the best types of Sterling Silver Chain to match your Pendant - whether the intention is for style, comfort or functionality. When it comes to meeting people and being out and about, necklaces, pendants and other neckwear can often be one of the first things someone will notice, with the neck being at an eye-level.
The common types of jewellery pieces hosted on a Sterling Silver Chain usually include: Beads, Charms, Lockets and Pendants.
Whichever of these you are wearing with a Sterling Silver Chain or that made from another precious metal, each Pendant will feature inherent characteristics that are important to consider when matching with a Chain. To start with, in order of importance such characteristics to judge when matching your Pendants briefly are:
2. Bail Type & Size: Will the Chain thread through to hang your Pendant on?
4. Pendant Precious Metal Type: Sterling Silver, 9ct 18ct 22ct 24ct Gold
Equally, the characteristics of Chain to consider when matching with a Pendant, briefly are:
1. Chain Length: Short, Mid, Long
2. Chain Link Width & Thickness: Fine, Medium, Thick, Super thick
3. Chain Link Style: Strength & Durability and Link Prominence (see more information about different chain link styles)
4. Chain Link Finishing: Diamond-Cut, High Polish, Rounded, Dull
5. Chain Link Colour: Sterling Silver, Rhodium, Rose, Yellow, Oxidised, others
6. Chain Precious Metal Type: Sterling Silver, 9ct 18ct 22ct 24ct Gold
Substance before style
Here, we'll first start with the practicalities and then we'll get to the fun and creative side which is the creative matching of your jewellery.
Weight for it..
Reading this, you may already have an idea in mind for whether you’re looking to wear your Pendant everyday or occasionally and this will quickly help to seek out the most obvious but important characteristic of your chain: durability.
Whether it’s everyday wear or occasional wear, a Sterling Silver Chain always has to be durable and support the weight of a pendant. You may find chains with a relatively fine link width/thickness can hold much heavier pendants beyond 5 times their weight and of course it can be visually appealing. But in the long run the constant weight may not hold or your chain may experience wear & tear slightly more. Ultimately, this will depend upon the style of chain link concerned and this will either result in the deforming or stretching of the links or in rare instances even breakage. Some chains fair much better than others simply because of the link shape than others like Sterling Silver Curb Chains.
Overall, this is generally common for Women who are often looking for a feminine and dainty look that Fine Chains possess. Many a time this isn’t usually an issue and fine Sterling Silver chains or other precious metal chains can hold the pendant. However, to be on the safe side when you’re choosing a Sterling Silver Chain for your Pendant ideally you want to ensure that the weight of the Pendant is less than the Chain or the Pendant weight is up to x1.5-2 times heavier than the chain.
Whether your Pendant is lightweight, medium, or quite heavy – you should make your choice accordingly, since the ultimate disappointment isn't just in the damage of the chain but a potential to lose the pendant altogether.
Get through this..
The next thing that is vital, is to ensure that you can hang your pendant upon the Chain. Sounds fairly straightforward right? Well, although most Pendants will have a basic bail where one end is attached to the pendant and is a simple round shape to thread the chain straight through, other Pendants may have more unusual styles. This includes pendants where there is no obvious bail but a hole running in an unusual area such as through the side of the pendant in order to create a floating effect.
Either way, we need to make sure the width of the Chain links are narrower than the bail itself. Additionally, you’d also have to make sure at least one end of the chain will pass through the bail to thread the chain through. If not, you can either look at changing the bail on your pendant if possible, or opt for a narrower chain end or chain link width. Occasionally, Sterling Silver chain ends can be adjusted and reshaped to pass through certain type of pendant bails, but should only be done by a professional jeweller to prevent irreversible damage.
Chain Link Styles matter.
You’ll often find certain styles of chain share the same width or thickness of link, but it shouldn’t be assumed that they can support the weight of a pendant equally. For example, let’s take a look at 2mm Curb Chain vs a 2mm Popcorn Chain. This is a great example because the Curb Chain is made from a solid wire, twisted and then soldered to hook onto the subsequent link. Compare it with a Popcorn chain, and you’ll find that this style is comprised of delicate domed shaped links, which when assembled together will a chain of 2mm width, the individually solid dome links are light in weight. Therefore, a Popcorn chain would be ideally suited to lighter pendants for occasional wear.
If you’re looking for advice for the sturdiest types of chain, you can check out our detailed blog post The 6 Strongest Types of Silver Chain HERE, but that won’t stop us from quickly providing the following suggestions, all of which will support a Pendant much beyond their weight, but will also fashionably suit the pendant.
Classic Types of Sterling Silver Pendant Chains suitable for everyday wear & sturdy support, but not interfering with the dynamics or mood of a pendant include:
Style after substance
Achieving the functional aims is great when searching for a sturdy chain – but the fun starts in choosing the chain style to match the pendant.
For men and women, when wearing jewellery, it should feel as an enhancement to your look and have a feel good factor. It can also feel rewarding when we can customise or personalise our look in some way.
There may be several aims and often it can be a balancing act to achieve your preferred look or style. Your intention may be to make the Pendant stand out more and be the centre of the attention or to just blend a Pendant and Chain together where both may either be equally bold or equally light and dainty.
Making a decision...Pendant focussed
Going back to the original characteristics we’d mentioned earlier on in the blog post, you'll find in further detail important points for consideration:
Usually when smaller pendants are paired with chains with fine link widths, it creates a look that ensures the attention stays on the pendant. For women when wearing a pendant that you have matching earrings for – going for a dainty chain will help to maintain the attention on the set of the pendant and earrings with the chain merely playing the role of a brilliant supporting actor! Overly thick Sterling Silver chains, on the other hand would take the attention away from the pendant and achieve a focus the chain – which is great is the chain is eye-catching.
Whether your Pendant is a plain Sterling Silver, a darker Rhodium plated Sterling Silver, White Gold, Yellow Gold, Rose Gold or a combination – matching the colour shouldn’t be ignored. Modern fashion trends are seeing a mixture of metal colours – which means you can easily pair more easily, but the choice simply comes down to personal preference.
Regardless of whether the stone is synthetic or genuine, when a Pendant features stones there’s a specific feature you can be forgiven in overlooking when choosing your chain. Your pendant may feature a collection of small stones, or one large stone – each with facets that catch the light beautifully to bring the attention towards it. On the other hand it may be a smooth rounded stone without facets- known as cabochon, in which case this next point may not apply as much. But here, we’re looking at a feature of chain links known as Diamond Cut links. Almost all chains, have a diamond cut and a non-diamond cut version. The effect of diamond cut links causes the chain links to twinkle intermittently. Therefore, when you are pairing a pendant that contains a stone you may or may not want to pair it with a Sterling Silver Chain that features diamond cutting- simply because the diamond cutting again can twinkle and sparkle that it may clash with the sparkle from the pendant.
Does the Pendant have a theme? For example, someone with a Marine or nautical themed Pendant, might be savvy to choose a chain that shares a name with the theme, such as a Marina chain, an Anchor Chain or a Rope Chain!Or for items such as lockets or otherwise, paying attention to any detailing on the locket cover such as floral engraving patterns fit in perfectly with the intrinsic design of the Wheat Chain, which is Spiga in Italian.
At The Chain Hut we have one of the largest choices of Sterling Silver Chains with a variety for every purpose and person; shorter to longer lengths, fine to thicker link widths, plated colours, link styles and finishes gift boxed as standard.