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How to Stack Different Types of Gold Chains

How to Stack Different Types of Gold Chains

Key Insights
  • It All Starts with Link Styles 
  • Chain Length and Width 
  • Metal Finish 
  • To Ice Your Chains or Not?
  • Adding Pendants 
  • Stacking It All Up 
  • Build a Chain Stack with the Only Source You’ll Ever Need 

Accessories take your fit to the next level, and nothing makes a statement like rocking a stack of chains. Layering chains of different link styles, lengths, and widths on top of each other creates a dramatic visual effect that instantly draws eyes in your direction. 

Creating a dope chain stack isn’t a one-size-fits-all process, though. It’s an art form where you can be creative, express yourself, and give yourself a confidence boost in any situation. 

With that said, while selecting the right chains is all about personal preference, it’s not a complicated process. Just like anything else, learning how to stack chains is also about finding out what works best for you. 

A chain stack is all about creating an impactful visual appeal. From the link style to the length and thickness of the chain and any pendants you might want to add to complete the look, there are limitless combinations you can add to your fit. 

If you’re looking to find out more about types of gold chains and how to stack them, we got you. Today, we’re going to break down some essential tips for layering pieces so you can get a general idea of how to do it. From there, you should be able to shop confidently, knowing you’re choosing the perfect chains and pendants to wear together. 

It All Starts with Link Styles 

The way the actual links in a chain look is what you’ll notice first on any piece. Each one brings a different aesthetic and texture to your fit, some complementing each other and others creating a stylish contrast. 

If you start browsing chains, you’ll see terms like “Cuban,” “Figaro,” and “Tennis” used to describe different types of links. What do these all mean? Here’s a quick rundown to help you out: 

  • Cuban Link: Known for its durability and weight, the Cuban link chain features a series of interconnected oval links that create a rounded, smooth chain. It's a popular choice for both men and women due to its stylish yet durable design.
  • Tennis: The tennis chain is a simple and elegant design featuring stones linked together with thin metal settings. It's named after professional tennis player Chris Evert, who popularized this type of chain after she lost her diamond bracelet during a match.
  • Figaro: A distinctive chain design of Italian origin, Figaro chains have a pattern of alternating small and large links. The typical pattern includes three smaller links separated by a larger one, providing a unique and appealing visual contrast.
  • Franco: Franco chains are characterized by tightly interconnected square links, forming a sturdy chain with a consistent width and thickness throughout. It's a particularly strong chain, making it a good option for wearing on the daily. 
  • Rope: As the name suggests, these chains appear twisted, resembling a rope. They are created by many small links which are twisted and braided together. This design gives the chain durability and a rich, complex texture.
  • Palm: Palm chains are lightweight with a braided rope-style design. Not quite as tight as a rope chain, and not as heavy as a Franco. It’s perfect for adding some breathable texture on a hot day. 
  • Ball: The ball chain consists of small spheres or 'balls' linked closely together, typically with a small amount of space in between each. Stacked on top of a chain with a smoother silhouette, you can create some eye-catching contrast for your fit. 
  • Box: This type of chain consists of squared links that are connected to create a continuous, smooth chain. The box chain is known for its strength and simplicity, making it a versatile choice that can be worn alone or with a pendant.

Of course, these aren’t all the link styles you can choose from. Each one tells its own story, and you might not know you’ll like a specific one until you come across it. 

For example, at GLD, we’re always creating unique pieces that differ from the classics for anyone that wants to rock something that’s not easy to come by. From styles like our Figaro + Pearl chain to the Iced Barbed Wire, the Multi Stone Lariat, and our unique GLD Link, you’ll always have options that aren’t afraid to introduce something different from the pack. 

Chain Length and Width 

The length and width of a chain are the most important part of stacking pieces. Two chains that are the same length won’t “stack.” They’ll simply be one on top of the other, and one will always be hidden from view. 

Start with choosing the right length. The higher the number of inches on a chain, the longer it will be. 

To make sure each one is visible, keep the lengths of each chain at least 2” apart from the one immediately above or beneath it. This creates enough room for each one to hang without competing for space on your chest. As an example, if you’re building a stack of 3 chains, you could start with an 18” chain at the top, a 20” in the middle, and 24” at the bottom. 

Right after the length, you need to keep the width of the links in mind. Measured in millimeters, the higher the mm the wider it will be. Ones that are above 3 or 4mm may not be able to fit with certain pendants, so if you want to add one to your chain, make sure you have one that’s the right width. 

If you want to learn more about sizing up your chains in-depth, check out our other guides on chain lengths and chain widths

Metal Finish 

Gold chains are available in yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold. Each one brings a unique vibe to your look. Rose is typically the warmest, white the coolest, and yellow balancing out the two. The color of the metal is completely up to you and what you want to achieve with your look. 

If you’re just starting out, or you want to wear the same pieces over and over, build a stack using chains that are all the same color. This will create a look that you can rock whenever, wherever, and it will always look dope. 

For longtime collectors or those that want to do something different, rocking two different metals can create a two-toned look that draws more attention. 

To Ice Your Chains or Not?

“Iced” refers to any chains that are flooded in stones to turn the shine up. The shine on these pieces are more intense than a plain gold finish. They’re perfect for those that want to make a true statement and stand out from others in a crowd. 

Diamond Prong chains are perfect for creating an iced out look. Covering the iconic aesthetic of a Cuban link chain with hand-set stones, you’ll be ready to catch light at any angle. 

Ultimately, the more iced pieces on your person, the more shine you’ll emanate. You can wear all iced chains, some, or none. It’s all up to your personal taste and how much flash you prefer. 

Adding Pendants 

Pendants can highlight focal points on your fit and add that perfect finishing touch to a chain. Rocking one on the middle or top chain in your stack can show off your personality or provide some extra flash where you need it. From your favorite NBA team to a timeless cross, you can find one that you’ll be proud to have hanging from your neck. 

With pendants, you want to choose one that’s not too big that it will overpower the chain beneath the one it’s attached to in your stack. For example, if we go by the 2” space rule, our bestselling Diamond Cross is only 1¼” high and will fit seamlessly between 22” and 24” chains stacked on top of each other. 

Keep in mind that, if you’re looking to rock a pendant with a licensed image, make sure you’re getting one from a legit collaborator with that brand. This means that the jewelry brand is selling pieces that are vetted by the rights holder and that the piece is faithful to the official design, like MLB logos and Marvel characters. 

Stacking It All Up 

Now that you know about link styles, chain sizes, metals, stones, and pendants, let’s put it together. 

First up is the chain on the top of the stack. This will be your shortest chain, about 18” long at the max. You can add a pendant or keep it a simple finisher at the top of the stack. When it comes to the width of the links, keep it no wider than 5-6mm to avoid overpowering the chains beneath it. 

Next, we’re moving to the middle chain. This one should be about 20-22” long. This is the best place to rock a pendant to break up the lines of the chains in the middle. If you don’t want to add a pendant, you could wear an iced chain in the middle of two plain gold ones to create a visual contrast. 

For the bottom chain on a three-chain lineup, choose one that’s 24” or longer. This one is the one that frames the two above it in the stack. If you want a statement-making piece with wider links 8mm or higher, this is the perfect spot to add it. 

And like that, you have a simple way to get started rocking multiple chains at once in a way that will always look fresh whenever you’re ready for some extra drip. 

Build a Chain Stack with the Only Source You’ll Ever Need 

At GLD, you know what it is. We’re all about chains, pendants, and any other piece of jewelry you need to complete your fit. Each of our pieces is meticulously crafted and backed by a lifetime guarantee so you know we stand behind the quality. 

To get started, shop our full collection of chains today or hit us up anytime for more info.