Hollow Vs Solid Gold Chains: Which Kind Should I Buy?

by   |  in Men's Jewelry » Jewelry Basics

If you’re shopping for a new gold chain, you might be wondering what the difference is between a hollow and solid gold chain. They’re both made of gold, obviously. But there are a few key differences to keep in mind.

Choosing the right type of chain can make a big difference in terms of both the look and feel of the piece, as well as its value and durability. And if you’re plunking down your hard-earned cash, it’s important to know the pros and cons of each type of chain.

So, are you ready to learn all about hollow vs solid gold chains? Buckle up, because we’re about to take you on a golden journey!

a few hollow vs solid gold chains laid out on a wood table

From the differences in weight and value, to the best uses for each type of chain, we’ll cover all the important details you need to know to make an informed choice.

What is a Hollow Gold Chain?

A hollow gold chain is a type of necklace (or bracelet) that is made by creating chain links in a tube-like structure using a thin layer of gold.

Hollow gold chains look exactly like solid gold chains, they just happen to not be gold-filled. They’re lighter in weight compared to solid gold chains, as well as more affordable.

Advantages of a Hollow Gold Chain

1. Lightweight

If you’re looking for a gold chain that won’t weigh you down, a hollow gold chain is the way to go! It’s a great option for those who want a chain that’s comfortable to wear all day long.

2. More affordable

Let’s be real, solid gold chains can get pretty pricey. If you’re on a budget, a hollow gold chain is a great alternative that still gives you that gold look without breaking the bank.

Disadvantages of a Hollow Gold Chain

1. Thin walls

Since the walls of the chain are thin, the metal is more likely to bend or break under pressure. But as long as you take care of your jewelry and aren’t bending it in directions it shouldn’t be bent, this shouldn’t be an issue.

2. Susceptible to damage

A hollow gold chain is less dense, and therefore less reinforced. So naturally, this chain link style can be scratched and damaged more easily than solid gold chains. It’s important to take good care of your chain to ensure it lasts for a long time.

Can you tell which are hollow vs solid gold chains? It’s not obvious at a glance

What is a Solid Gold Chain?

A solid gold chain is just what it sounds like: a chain made entirely out of solid gold. There are no hollow spaces in each link; they’re completely gold-filled.

These chains are known for their durability and thickness, making them a good investment if you’re looking for something long-lasting. But keep in mind, they come with a heavier price tag and added weight to your neck.

Advantages of a Solid Gold Chain

1. Durable

With solid gold, you don’t have to worry about links breaking or the chain bending easily. This type of chain is made from links that are solid pieces of gold. Durability and long-lastingness is a given.

2. Heavier and thicker

Solid gold chains are heavier and thicker compared to hollow gold chains, which gives them a more substantial look and feel.

3. Good investment

Because solid gold is a precious metal, it retains its value over time, unlike most clothing and accessories. If you’re spending money on a gold chain anyway, might as well invest in a solid gold one. Then you have a wearable asset that has the potential to appreciate throughout the years.

closeup of man wearing chain necklaces of different thicknesses

Disadvantages of a Solid Gold Chain

1. More expensive

The cost of a solid gold chain is higher than a hollow gold chain because it’s made of a larger amount of gold.

2. Heavier weight

Solid gold chains are heavier than hollow gold chains, which some people might find uncomfortable to wear all day long.

3. Susceptible to bending and breaking

While solid gold chains are generally more durable than hollow gold chains, they are still susceptible to bending and breaking if not cared for properly, especially as you go up in karats. 18-24k gold, while more pure, is also more easily bent than 10-14k gold.

Which is Better: A Hollow or Solid Gold Chain?

Alright, so let’s dive into the big debate: Hollow Chain vs Solid Gold Chain?

On one hand, you got the lightweight and affordable hollow chain, and on the other, you got the durable and heavy solid chain. Both are great, and both have their drawbacks! It’s a classic case of weighing pros and cons, but don’t worry, I got you covered.

closeup of 2 chains on man wearing button up shirt
Gold chains of different lengths. Are they hollow gold, solid gold, or gold vermeil?

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Hollow and Solid Gold Chain

1. Purpose of the Chain

First up, consider what you’ll be using the chain for. If you’re looking for something to wear every day, a lightweight and comfortable hollow gold chain might be your best bet. But if you want something to last a lifetime, a solid gold chain could be your answer.

2. Budget

Budget is always a factor, and of course solid gold chains are pricier than hollow gold chains. So, if you’re on a budget, a hollow chain could be the way to go for some gold bling without much ka-ching. (Was that corny? I mean, it rhymed, so I had to do it.)

3. Durability

Durability is key, and both chains have their strengths and weaknesses. In general, hollow chains can bend and break, and are more easily damaged. Solid chains, on the other hand, are more durable.

Knowing this, I’d first consider how rough and careless you are with your things. If you take care of your stuff, I wouldn’t worry too much about your chain bending and breaking. Both are durable, it just so happens that a solid metal link and chain is more durable than a hollow link chain.

4. Style and appearance

It all boils down to the look.

What kind of chain link style do you like? How long do you want your necklace to be? How thick do you want your chain to be? You can find practically any chain length and chain thickness in both solid and hollow gold versions.

Once you determine that, then perhaps you’ll have to consider your budget, since the two types of necklaces will most likely have very different prices.

Recommendations for different scenarios

So here are some basic, high-level recommendations:

  • If you’re looking for a daily wear necklace you don’t have to worry about breaking or losing, go for a lightweight hollow chain.
  • If you’re looking for more of an investment piece, go for a solid chain.

If you’re looking for a mix of both, a relatively small and subtle-looking solid gold chain—something like a cuban link chain necklace at a 18” length, 2-3mm thickness—could be a suitable option.

It’s not too flashy, can be worn in casual and formal situations, is durable, and will hold its value. I’d say something like this would work well for a majority of guys looking to buy their first serious gold chain they can wear day in and day out.

Of course, budget always plays a factor.

GLD Solid Gold Micro Cuban

Micro cuban link chain in both 10k and 14k solid gold options, 16"–28" lengths.

Shop GLD

As an example, an 18″ 2.5mm cuban link chain in 10k solid gold will run you about $750. Want it in 14k solid gold? That’ll be $1140.

And these prices can fluctuate depending on the price of gold, which changes daily.

Contrast that with an 18″ 3mm cuban link chain in 18k vermeil… that’ll run you $179. They’re visually the exact same; it’s not glaringly obvious that one is vermeil, vs real solid gold.

GLD Micro Cuban Chain in Gold Vermeil
Starting at $159

Classic cuban link design at 3mm. Can easily be worn solo or stacked with other chain lengths and styles.

Shop GLD

So really, it depends what you want! No right or wrong answer.

FAQs about Hollow Chains vs Solid Gold Chains

Are hollow or solid gold chains better?

Well, it depends on what you’re looking for! If you want a more valuable investment, solid gold is the way to go. If you want a lightweight and affordable everyday accessory, hollow gold is a great choice. It’s all about weighing the pros and cons and deciding what works best for you.

Are hollow chains worth it?

Absolutely! As long as you’re choosing a high-quality chain made of real gold, a hollow chain can be a great choice. It’s more affordable than a solid gold chain, but still provides that golden gleam and is very much a “real” gold neckalce. Plus, it’s a great option for everyday wear, as it won’t weigh you down.

What does it mean if a necklace is hollow?

Basically, it means the chain’s links have a hollow interior and are not fully gold-filled. This makes it lighter and more affordable than a solid gold chain. It’s just like a hollow chocolate Easter bunny—it’s still made of chocolate, but there’s less of it. So, you still get the golden gleam, but at a lighter weight and cost!

How can you tell if a necklace is solid or hollow?

You can check the thickness of the chain. If it’s relatively thin and lightweight, it’s probably hollow. If it’s thick and heavy, it’s likely solid. You can also look at the price – if it’s significantly cheaper than other gold necklaces, chances are it’s hollow. But, always make sure to check with the seller to confirm.

closeup of man's neck with gold chains of different thicknesses

Can you wear hollow gold everyday?

Of course! As long as you’re gentle with it and avoid putting too much pressure on it, a hollow gold chain is a great everyday accessory. Plus, it won’t weigh you down like a solid gold chain might.

What type of necklace chain is best?

That depends on your personal style and in what situations you’ll be wearing your chain. If you want a durable and long-lasting option, go for a solid gold chain. If you want a lightweight, everyday accessory, a hollow gold chain might be the way to go.

Does hollow gold hold value?

Yes, it does. But, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not as valuable as solid gold due to its lighter weight and less gold content. If you’re looking for a more valuable investment, solid gold is the way to go.

Can hollow chains hold pendants?

Yes, they can! As long as the chain is strong enough to support the weight of the pendant, you’re good to go. Just be mindful of the size and weight of the pendant to avoid putting too much pressure on the chain.

Is hollow gold OK?

Absolutely! There’s nothing wrong with choosing a hollow gold chain. As long as it’s made of real gold, you’ll still get that golden gleam and it’s a more affordable option than a solid gold chain. Plus, it’s a great choice for everyday wear.

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So, Hollow or Solid Gold Chain? What’s It Gonna Be?

Look, when it comes to choosing between a hollow or solid gold chain, it’s important to consider your personal preferences, needs, and budget.

Let’s do a quick recap:

A hollow gold chain is lightweight and more affordable. However, it’s also more susceptible to bending, breaking, and general damage because of its thin walls.

On the other hand, a solid gold chain is durable, heavier, and has thicker walls, making it a good investment. But it also comes with a higher price tag and added weight.

In the end, it all boils down to what you’re looking for in a chain, whether it’s style, comfort, durability, or investment. 

And of course, budget plays a big role! Maybe you have a certain amount you can spend. That means you can either have a solid gold chain of a certain size, or, you can buy a slightly larger gold chain, but it’s hollow gold.

There’s no one definitive answer, but I hope with the info we laid out in this article, you’re able to make a more informed decision about choosing the gold chain that best suits you!

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