How to Style Silver Chains for Men
When it comes to styling a mens sterling silver chain necklace, a variety of options are available. Even though you should always base your choice on personal preference, knowing the available types can only help you. If you’re new to these accessories, there’s more than what meets the eye.
So when choosing your first sterling silver mens chain, several elements play an important role. These are:
- Clasp types
Even though often overlooked, the clasp type helps keep your silver chain in place. So when choosing a jewelry piece, always choose the one that fits you personally. While some are intended for quick placement, others are designed to hold firmly. The most common ones you’ll come across are:
- Spring ring. A spring mechanism with a small lever that opens and closes. You open it to put the ring on the other end inside and close it to keep it sturdy.
- Barrel clasp. A small barrel form made from two metal pieces that can be screwed together.
- Magnetic clasp. Two magnets that can be easily clicked together but aren’t as secure.
- Fish hook clasp. Small metal hook that holds the ring on the other end in place.
- Lobster claw. Resembling a lobster claw, this clasp has a spring mechanism. The small lever opens when pushed to place the ring inside and closes when released.
The second important aspect is the chain’s thickness. It can range from 1 mm up to 12 mm. The standard size is usually from one to eight millimeters. However, most jewelry vendors usually stock up on one and two millimeter thicknesses.
As you go up the scale, thicker chains are harder to find and are more expensive. The price goes up because more precious metal is used to create it. Furthermore, the smaller the thickness, the more elegant the look. Big and hefty chains are usually worn in rap culture to showcase wealth and status.
The next thing you should look into is the weight of the silver chain. It usually goes hand-in-hand with the thickness and length. For example, a sterling silver mens chain weighs 2.4 grams per inch. Therefore, an 18-inch one can weigh up to 43.2 grams. It’s only logical that the more metal there is in the chain, the heavier it will be.
The alloys mixed with the silver also add up to the weight. So the purer it is, the lighter it may be.
Types of silver chains for men
A sterling silver chain for men can come in many different shapes and forms. Even though there are unique custom-made pieces, the ten most common types you’ll find are:
- Marine or anchor
Styling tips and tricks
After you’ve chosen your desired length, thickness, and design, you should know how to combine it with your outfit.
First, you have to decide whether to go for a casual or formal look. Depending on the chain length, professional attire often goes with the chain tucked inside the shirt. For a more casual look, you can let it dangle freely outside the shirt.
Next, you should always try to match the color of the metals you’ll be wearing. So be mindful of any rings, belts, or other accessories. If you decide to wear multiple necklaces, ensure you know how to layer them properly. Otherwise, you may end up with a big tangled mess on your neck.
Lastly, always show your creative side and experiment. The best look is the one that highlights your unique personality.
What Are Silver Chains Made Of
Even though many people think that silver is the only metal used in these chains, they’re mistaken. Silver jewelry also contains other alloys that make it more durable and lasting. The most common ones used are copper, nickel, and zinc.
Furthermore, the quantity of pure silver used to make this jewelry also affects the price. So chains that have more silver in them also hold a higher price. If you’re looking to buy your first silver chain, here are the most common purity standards you’ll find:
- Fine silver
- 950 silver
- 925 silver
When purchasing such jewelry, it’s important to know what percentage of metals it contains. So always check for small engraved letters or numbers used as a hallmark. This way, you’ll ensure you’re getting your money’s worth and can avoid being scammed.
999 fine silver
Fine silver or pure silver contains 99.9% silver in it. The other metals are present in such insignificant amounts that they don’t affect it at all.
This jewelry often comes in a dull grayish color. Since it doesn’t have the strength of the other alloys, it can easily get damaged. This type of silver is also very resistant to tarnish, so it won’t discolor over time.
This silver standard has 95% pure silver and 5% copper or other alloys. It was popular in the US during the 19th century. It’s mostly used to create higher-quality jewelry like rings, earrings, and necklaces. Furthermore, it has more shine than fine silver and is commonly found in Japan, France, and Switzerland.
925 silver is most commonly known as sterling silver. It contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other alloys. With a vibrant color and strong durability, it’s often the customers’ favorite.
As one of the most common silver jewelry in the US, many different designs are available. However, it’s prone to tarnish, so you have to maintain it regularly.
How to regularly maintain silver chains for men
It’s only natural for jewelry to get dirty after you’ve worn it for a long time. Since dust and dirt gather over time, you should regularly maintain your jewelry to keep its vibrant colors and shine. This especially goes for a sterling silver chain with pendant since it can get smudgy from touching it.
The best way to clean your silver chains from dirt and tarnish is by using common household items. One of the go-to options for most people is warm water and dish soap. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Add warm water to a bowl and apply a few drops of dish soap to it
- Put the necklace in the bowl and let it soak for a maximum of ten minutes
- Use a gentle, lint-free cloth to wipe the chain and remove any dirt
- Rinse it thoroughly from any soap residue left behind
- Let it air dry, or go over it with a clean towel
If you want to give your mens sterling silver chain necklace an extra shine, you can use a polishing cloth. Not only will it restore the silver’s original brilliance, but it’ll also apply a layer of protection.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best silver chain length for men?
The average length for a sterling silver chain for men is around 20 inches. If you’re thinking of wearing a sterling silver chain with pendant, then you can go for a longer 22 to 25-inch length. Even though the choice mostly comes from personal preference, this type of jewelry looks best when it’s placed near the collarbones.
Can I wear a silver chain with a pendant?
Wearing a mens silver chain with pendant is always a powerful fashion statement. The design you choose should always be based on the necklace's thickness and length. For a thin silver chain for men, it’s best to use a smaller pendant with a simple design.
On the other hand, a thick silver mens chain can hold a heftier pendant with many details. You can also try combining them with different types of metals, like white or rose gold.
Can I wear a silver chain necklace during physical activity or exercise?
Wearing any jewelry during intense physical activities is not recommended. Regardless of the material, you can easily damage or lose it during the process. Furthermore, silver is naturally prone to tarnishing, so it can further discolor the necklace when it comes in contact with sweat.
Even though silver jewelry with higher purity, such as sterling or 925 silver, has a higher resistance, always ensure you take them off before exercise.
Can I shower or swim with a silver chain necklace?
Even though the water resistance depends on the silver’s quality, it’s not safe to shower or swim with a silver chain. As mentioned, this type of jewelry can easily tarnish, especially when it comes in contact with water. The liquid oxidizes the silver, and it might lose its color.
Furthermore, swimming is an activity that requires lots of movement. You don’t want to risk losing your silver chain in the process.
Will a silver chain cause skin irritation or allergies?
Silver itself doesn’t cause any allergic reactions. However, this type of jewelry is often made by combining pure silver with other compounds like nickel. So if you’re prone to sensitive skin, it may get irritated when exposed to it.
Before investing in a sterling silver mens chain, it’s recommended to consult with a medical professional to check for any allergies.
How to determine whether the silver chain for men is genuine?
Determining the authenticity of your jewelry depends on the type you’ve got. If you’ve purchased it from a reputable seller, most silver chains for men have a hallmark engraved on them. These marks often contain the numbers of the silver composition, such as “SS,” 925, or 800.
How to properly store silver chains to prevent tangling?
There are several useful hacks to prevent silver chains from tangling when stored. First, you can store them in a suitable jewelry box or use the original box. Next, you can put them in a pouch or ziplock bag to keep them separate from your other jewelry. Some other options you can try out are keyholders or anti-tarnishing strips.
How to properly clean silver chain necklaces without damaging them?
If you notice a tarnish on your silver jewelry, never try to remove it with harsh chemicals. Instead, you can use simple kitchen items found in any household.
If you’re dealing with a pure silver chain for men, then you can try cleaning it with warm water and dish soap. Other frequent household items effective for cleaning a sterling silver mens chain are vinegar and baking soda, lemon and olive oil, or toothpaste.