Looking for the best place to buy a gold chain online?
Perfect! In this LearningJewelry.com guide, you’ll learn:
- The Difference Between 14 and 18K
- Are Gold Chains Hypoallergenic?
- How to Spot Fake Gold Chains
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of all my top picks. Keep scrolling to learn more about my best buying tips and tricks, as well as a comprehensive FAQ section.
#1. Buying Gold Chains At Blue Nile
Blue Nile is one of our favorite online retailers for many reasons. They operate mainly online, with a handful of physical locations in New York, California, Oregon, Colorado, and others. Blue Nile is one of the oldest online retailers in the diamond game, which means they've built up a solid reputation.
Their gold chain options range in price, from under $500 to well over $2000. Blue Nile is great for having affordable fine jewelry, but also has high end jewelry for those with just a little bit more cash. You'll also see more options in 18K gold than other retailers on this list.
They offer the most options as an online store in plain gold chains. You can also build your own diamond pendant and pick out your diamond as well as a variety of other gold pendant necklaces.
The only thing I wish they had was a lifetime warranty that covered routine maintenance. Instead, Blue Nile only has a manufacturer's warranty that only covers design flaws. So, if you do buy from Blue Nile, just make sure you have a local jeweler to repair any breakages if they happen.
- Many options of chains
- Build Your Own Pendant
- More options in 18K
- Nice range of price
- No real warranty
#2 Buying Gold Chains at James Allen
James Allen is an online jewelry retailer that sells engagement rings, wedding bands, loose diamonds and gemstones, and fine jewelry. They don't have a lot of plain gold chains like our other picks, but they have a lot of unique gold diamond pendants and necklaces.
But as far as gold chains go, James Allen just doesn't have many. Most gold chains found in the inventory come with a pendant and are on a box chain. They do have a Design Your Own Pendant using loose diamonds or colored gemstones. If we're talking plain Jane chains, they're going to come up short.
One of the best things about James Allen as jewelry retailers is they offer a free Lifetime Warranty. Their warranty covers routine maintenance for your chains and pendants including rhodium plating, clasps and prong repair for those with gemstones.
- Lifetime warranty
- Build Your Own Pendant
- Unique designs
- Few choices for gold necklaces and plain gold chains
#3 Buying Gold Chains at Ritani
It's possible you've heard of Ritani, either by another guide on the site, or as a vague name in the back of your head. Ritani was known as a ring setting designer for most of their time in the jewelry business.
Ritani sells engagement rings, loose diamonds, and fine jewelry. But like James Allen, they don't carry a wide selection in plain gold chains like Blue Nile or Helzberg.
They also offer the build your own diamond pendant where you get to choose your diamond. They also have a bunch of different necklaces that come with gold chains.
When you buy gold chain necklaces with Ritani, you get a free lifetime warranty. They ask that you sign up for it online within 45 days, but you don't have to within that time frame. But you will have to sign up for it before you can use it. The warranty will cover all the routine maintenance for the chain and pendant.
- Must sign up online to use
- Not much choice in plain gold chains
#4 Buying Gold Chains at Helzberg
Helzberg is similar to other mega jewelry retailers like Jared and Zales, but it's one of the few jewelry companies that hasn't been bought by Signet Jewelers.
When it comes to gold chains, Helzberg has a ton of them. They have over 100 different gold chain options, and that's without any pendants. From unique byzantine chains to Miami Cuban link, they truly have it all.
Aside from the wide selection, Helzberg allows you to purchase a Lifetime Care and Jewelry Plan with their chains. This will cover broken or worn clasps, broken chains, and rhodium plating white gold chains. The cost of the warranty will vary based on cost of the chain, but here's an example below:
- Wide selection of styles
- Optional warranty
- Physical & online store
- Have to pay for warranty
- Redeem warranty in-store
Gold Chains FAQ
What's the difference between 14K and 18k gold chains?
Pure gold is made of 24 parts, but it's too soft a metal for most jewelry. It's mixed with other metals called alloy to make it wearable. In 14kt gold, 14 out of 24 parts are pure gold. With 18K, 18 parts. The more gold content, the softer the metal, which means less durable. Stay away from high karat gold with dainty and delicate gold chain styles.
How can you tell a fake gold chain from a real one?
The FTC made a rule saying all gold jewelry that is at least 10K should be inscribed somewhere in the metal with it's number karat followed by K or KT. This lets you know the whole piece is made of real gold. If it's not stamped, it's most likely fake gold.
You'll most often find the karat stamp on the clasp usually, or a small charm near the clasp. If your gold chain came with a pendant, you'll probably find it on the pendant itself. If you don't have crisp eyesight, you might need a magnifying glass or jewelers loupe.
It's possible to see other markings than the KT. If curb link chain is 14KGP (14 Karat Gold Plated), the piece is gold plated. Jewelers apply a very thin layer of real 14K gold overtop a different base metal, usually stainless steel or sterling silver.
Are gold chains hypoallergenic?
You already know that gold is soft at its most purest form. But since most jewelry is mixed with alloy metal, it may be mixed with nickel or other irritants. However, the amount of nickel content that 14 or 18K jewelry contains is minimal. Only those with severe metal allergies might be affected. In general, gold is considered a more hypoallergenic metal.