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by Jesus Zabala - 5 min read

How Thick Should a Chain Necklace Be?

There are a few things you must consider when purchasing a chain necklace. The length and style are the obvious two aspects, but the thickness of the chain is just as important in ensuring the chain aids your appearance. How thick should a chain necklace be? 

In this post, we will include a chain width guide to help you narrow your choice and find which chain thickness works for you. We will also examine how to choose the appropriate pendant size to elevate your chain’s appearance. 

Let’s get started!

How Thick Should a Chain Necklace Be
Source: jewelrylab.co

How Thick Should a Chain Necklace Be?

Thick chain necklace preferences are subjective. That is, speaking about them only from a personal point of view can be misleading. While such a chunky jewelry might be normal to some, others might classify it as oversized. Due to such reasons, we will remain as objective as possible while discussing chain necklace thickness. 

The market offers a variety of chain widths for men. While the main focus is usually aimed at the length size of the necklace, width is just as important to the chain’s appeal. Unlike length, which is generally measured in inches and centimeters, necklace links are measured side to side in millimeters (mm).

Join us through the sections below, where we discuss how thick the average men's chain necklace is and how to find one that complements your style. 

What Is a Good Thickness for a Chain?

We must note that there is no good or bad proportion, nor a right or a wrong one. The width you will choose for your chain necklace is a matter of personal style and preference rather than a commonly agreed-upon dimension. 

It is difficult to imagine the width of a necklace just from words alone. Throughout the explanations below, we will try to illustrate examples related to style and wardrobe to give you a better idea of the chain necklace thickness. We will also include pictures of some of our most purchased chains. 

Most Common Chain Thickness

What is a good thickness for a chain? Some say that the most common width available is between 1-2 mm, while other claims suggest that 4-5 mm thick chains are average among men.

So, how thick is the average men's chain necklace? To avoid any misunderstandings, we present to you a size scale that can serve as a general guide to men’s chain necklaces:

A 1-2 mm chain necklaces

1-2 mm chain necklaces are standard small chains worn with casual and more formal outfits. In strictly formal settings, chains usually go underneath your clothes, but this is not a strict rule. 

Still, as you can see in the picture above, 1-2 mm chains are not necessarily hidden. Due to its greater length, the Best Wishes Necklace makes an excellent choice for a more casual yet stylish presentation. 

A 1-2 mm chain necklaces
Source: jewelrylab.co

A 3-6 mm chain necklaces

3-6 mm chain necklaces are also readily available but for a steeper price. As the width of the chain increases, so does its cost due to more material being involved in the making. A thick gold chain will cost you more than a longer chain smaller in width.

Chains such as our Altas Necklace are considered average-thickness necklaces suitable for any look. This is because their size makes them very versatile. These necklaces are usually worn with a cross, pendant, or locket. 

A 3-6 mm chain necklaces
Source: jewelrylab.co

A 6-20 mm chain necklaces

6-20 mm chain necklaces are the most massive and voluminous chains available. Many claim that they are usually chosen by guys with larger physiques and worn on their own without pendants, but this is very subjective.

The Gopa Chain is a good example that doesn’t necessarily call for a larger physique. We should note that a thick chain necklace is worn above the shirt as it is a statement piece. 

A 6-20 mm chain necklaces
Source: jewelrylab.co

How Thick Should a Chain Be for a Pendant?

Individuals have different style preferences, meaning there is no straightforward answer to this question. We find that there is no right size. Instead, we advise you to try and match the chain width range with the size of the pendant. 

Lightweight pendants are best suited for a necklace with a gauge between 0.9 mm - 1 mm. However, the most popular pendant chain necklaces range between 0.9 mm - 1.7 mm. These require a larger and heavier pendant. 

Still, as we mentioned, it is all a matter of preference. As you can see in the picture above, our Chunky Unna Necklace accommodates a rather large smoky quartz pendant. 

This might not be every man’s cup of tea, but it makes a great choice for those that wish to add a tribal element to their wardrobe or individuals who are fond of cyberpunk fashion. 

What Type of Chain Is Ideal for a Pendant? 

Choosing a chain that will both fit your style and accommodate a pendant that you got your eye on is probably the most difficult task. However, when looking to find how thick a chain should be for a pendant you might be choosing for another person. 

No matter your situation, here are some pointers to keep in mind when choosing a chain necklace for a pendant: 

  • Snake, belcher, trace, and curb chains are widely accepted as some of the best types of necklaces for pendants. You can’t go wrong with any of these, as they accommodate many pendant styles. 
  • Pendants that have a more contemporary design go well with curb and snake necklaces due to their clean silhouette. 
  • Trace and belcher chains are better suited for more traditional pendant styles due to their visible link. 
What Type of Chain Is Ideal for a Pendant
Source: jewelrylab.co

Final Thoughts 

How thick should a chain necklace be? It mainly depends on your preference. From what we discussed throughout the article, we may conclude that it is essential for the diameter of the chain to complement your physic and style. 

The chain necklace offerings are diverse, and the market features chains ranging between 1 mm - 20 mm in width. The thickness and type of necklace you chose speaks to you individually. 

Some general rules are best to keep in mind as there is no way of going around them. A thick gold chain will always be a statement piece that goes above your outfit, while a standard smaller-sized necklace will always go under your clothing in a casual outfit. 

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