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by Jesus Zabala - 6 min read

How Thick is a 1 mm Necklace Chain Visually?

Chains are an important piece of jewelry, and they go well with almost every outfit. When it comes to styling them, the possibilities are nearly endless. If you’re buying your first chain, starting with a 1 to 2 mm thickness can be a good idea, as they are easy to pull off. But how thick is a 1 mm necklace chain visually? Or how thick is a 1.5 mm chain? If you have these doubts in mind, you have come to the right place.

In this article, I will talk about the visual appearance of a 1 mm necklace chain thickness, and the other important factors you should consider when making the purchase. Read this article carefully until the end to clarify your doubts about chain thicknesses.

How Thick is a 1 mm Necklace Chain Visually
Source: jewelrylab.co

How Thick Is a 1 mm Necklace Chain Visually?

Most people prefer chains that are 1 to 3 mm thick, as they go well with most outfits and are comfortable to wear. The visual thickness of a 1mm thick chain is approximately equal to 10 sheets of paper. Similarly, a 2 to 3 mm chain is approximately equal to 20 to 30 sheets of paper.

A 1 to 3 mm chain is generally sturdy enough for a small to medium pendant, and you can keep it underneath or over your shirt. Also, a long chunky chain necklace in this thickness range will pair well with both formal and casual outfits.



1 mm chain


10 sheets of paper

Approximately 1mm

Credit/debit card

About 0.76 mm

Sim card

About 0.67-0.76mm

Now that you are clear about the perceived thickness of a 1 mm necklace chain, it will be easy for you to choose the right option. However, visual appearance isn’t the only factor you should consider. Once you are done assessing the visual impact of a 1 mm necklace chain’s thickness, consider the following factors.

Chain Thickness: Other Important Factors to Consider

Pendant weight

You will have to choose the chain based on your pendant’s weight. Generally, a 1 mm chain goes well with small to medium pendants. So, if your pendant isn’t too heavy, you can go for a 1 mm chain without thinking twice. But if your pendant is on the heavier side, you will need a thicker chain.

The heavier the pendant, the stronger the chain has to be. Even a 2 or 3mm chain may not be strong enough for your pendant if it's too bulky. You will need a thicker chain necklace in this case. So, you should be aware of the pendant’s weight when buying a chain.

Material type

Your chain’s durability and strength will also vary depending on the material it’s made of. If you compare a 2 mm thick gold chain with a 2 mm thick silver chain, one will be more durable than the other (both can outmatch the other depending on the addition of other metals to them).

Similarly, a chain made of any other material can be less or more durable than the other. But it doesn’t necessarily make one option better than the other, as other factors, such as price, pendant weight, and personal preferences, also come into play.

Material quality

Material quality can highly influence the chain’s durability. A thick silver chain will be sturdy enough for the heaviest pendants if it doesn’t have impurities. But if it has impurities and the overall material quality isn’t up to the mark, even a 5 mm chain won’t last long enough. 

So, no matter which material your chain is made of, the material quality should be top-notch.

The chain’s weight

It’s clear that the chain’s weight will increase as its width increases. Remember that you will be adding weight around your neck, and not everyone is comfortable wearing a heavy chain. The pendant’s weight will also add up to the chain’s weight, so you should choose an option carefully.

Some materials are lighter than others, and if you don’t feel comfortable wearing a heavy chain, it’s best to choose a lightweight one. However, make sure not to compromise in terms of quality and durability for weight.

Link thickness

The link construction is different for different chains. It can be different for two chains even if they have the same width. Two cable chains with the same width but different link thicknesses won’t offer the same level of durability. 

In this case, the chain with thicker links will likely be sturdier and last longer. Make sure to check the link thickness before making a purchase.

So, these are the other important things you should consider when making a decision. With so many options available in terms of thickness, people often get confused. If you keep the above-mentioned factors in mind, it will be easy to make the right decision. But how thick is too thick for a chain necklace? Let’s find out!

Thick Chain Necklace: How Thick Is Too Thick?

Is 5mm chain too thick? What’s the right men’s chain thickness? If you have these questions in mind, you will be happy to know that there is no right or wrong thickness, size, or dimension, and there are no fixed rules either.

Some people easily pull off a 6 mm or an even thicker chain, and some feel more comfortable wearing a 1 to 2 mm chain. You can wear a small chain underneath your shirt or keep the top 2 or 3 buttons undone, as it will look good both ways. People who wear chains thicker than 4 to 5 mm usually wear them over their T-shirts, as they are a statement piece.

Some people have the wrong perception of chains and don’t think with an open mind. You shouldn’t limit yourself in any way, and there is nothing wrong with experimenting with different options. You can make a good impression with a chain of any thickness, so don’t hold back.

Now that you know how thick is a 1 mm necklace chain visually, you can easily get an idea about the visual appearance of chains with different thicknesses. You can choose an option based on your own estimation, observation, and personal preferences. However, there are some important things you should consider.

What Chain Thickness Is Right for Me?

The chain thickness you pick should suit your style and what you are trying to achieve with it. It should go well with your outfit. If you want to wear a chain thicker than 6 or 7 mm, you will have to pair it with a casual outfit. It won’t go well with formal attire, especially if you are going to attend a business meeting or presentation.

If you spend most of your time at the office, you will likely keep the chain underneath your shirt. There’s no point in wearing a 12 mm chain if you don’t show it off and keep it underneath your shirt. You are better off with a 1 to 6 mm chain in this case. On the other hand, if you usually wear casual outfits, you can go larger and thicker.

Some people also choose to pick a chain length and thickness based on their build. Generally, slimmer men choose a thickness between 1 to 3 mm, and broader men go for options between 3 to 6 mm or even larger. However, these are general preferences and not fixed rules, so you can choose a thickness you personally like. At the end of the day, you should feel good, comfortable, and confident wearing it.

What Chain Thickness Is Right for Me
Source: jewelrylab.co


So, how thick is a 1 mm necklace chain visually? If you have read this article carefully, you can easily evaluate the visual thickness of a 1 mm chain for necklaces. It’s true that a 1mm chain is easy to style and goes well with most outfits, but it’s also important to consider the other factors I have discussed above.

There are factors beyond the visual weight and appearance you have to consider, so don’t limit your options. If you don’t have budget issues, you can add chains of different thicknesses to your collection and wear them with different outfits based on the occasion. Just make sure you feel comfortable and confident.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.