5 Gold Chain Styles That Every High Profile Athlete Is Wearing

While gold chains might typically be associated with the world of hip hop, there are tons of professional athletes out there that love to rock this look. Baseball players are always seen sporting a gold chain or two on and off the field, while basketball players tend to favor a flashier look off the court. 

If you love hip hop jewelry and urban street style, you probably get inspiration from some of the biggest icons in the hip hop and professional sports world—but how can you take their swag and make it your own? Frost NYC has all of the most popular styles of gold chains to help you look fresh to death everywhere you go. Check out some of the styles we’ve seen athletes wearing this year and try incorporating these into your own fresh style.

A Brief History of Gold Chains

Gold has long been a part of the jewelry world. Some researchers have traced the use of gold in jewelry all the way back to 3,000 BC when Egyptians began using gold in jewelry and to make currency. In fact, the ancient Egyptians were so fascinated by this precious metal, they used it for nearly all types of ornamentation, including decorating their clothing and tombs with it. Over the course of thousands of years, gold has been used as a bartered item, to create new currencies, and, of course, to make jewelry and other highly valuable items.

Egyptian gold jewelry 

Everyone from Ancient Greeks to 18th-century European monarchs used gold to display their status in society, which is not much different from the way we treat gold today. The more gold you don, the higher your status and bank account probably are. While gold jewelry is definitely a way to flash your place in society, it also features a shiny, beautiful component that humans seem to be naturally drawn to in many ways. 

The gold chains that we think of today definitely were inspired by earlier, more dainty forms of gold jewelry. However, the hip hop jewelry industry that has thrived in the last few decades was really sparked by the rise of hip hop music in general. 

When hip hop was born in the 70s and 80s, rappers and other artists began publicly sporting these flashy pieces. And, as the musical genre’s popularity rose, so did the fashion trends that went along with it. Hip hop jewelry quickly became recognizable by the specific chain styles and large, showy pendants. Diamonds are often integrated into gold chain styles as an additional way to symbolize luxury and wealth. 

Why Do Athletes Wear Gold Chains?

Though men’s gold chain necklaces are associated with hip hop stars, there are countless professional athletes seen rocking these pieces on the reg. The reason for this is similar to the reason behind sporting any fancy or expensive jewelry—status. The larger and flashier an athlete’s jewelry is, the more successful they probably are. It’s basically a way to stunt on everyone else in the industry (or the world). 

Certain types of gold chain styles tend to appeal to different types of athletes. Baseball players sport thinner chains, usually without a pendant, while NBA stars can be spotted out with thick, eye-catching gold chains. 

When it comes to wearing chains during a game, each sport has a particular set of rules. Baseball players can almost always be seen sporting at least one gold chain during a game, and the MLB allows this because baseball isn’t much of a contact sport. When it comes to football, the NFL permits players to wear jewelry under their uniform to prevent injuries, so players will often wear a thinner, smaller chain during a game. 

The NBA, however, has strict rules against wearing chains, which Michael Jordan, who famously re-wrote some of the uniform rules by wearing custom sneakers and longer shorts, tried to break. Because of the physical contact involved in basketball, the league decided that chains were a dangerous addition to the game, which is why so many players don their best pieces off the court. 

Our Favorite Athletes Wearing Chains

Athletes from nearly every sport can be spotted wearing jewelry of some sort. These days, gold chains have become extremely popular in the world of professional sports. Many baseball players have been wearing simple gold chains for decades. Typically, they rock figaro or curb chains without the addition of any pendants. 

Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts is usually on the field flossing with a figaro chain. This style is inspired by Italian chainmakers and features several circular links connected by one elongated oval shaped chain. This interesting pattern stands out from the Cuban link and curb chain because of the variation in link style.

Kevin Durant

NBA player Kevin Durant is often seen wearing a gold chain or two when he’s off the court. Highly regarded for his swaggy style, Kevin Durant tends to favor thinner curb-style chains that are longer in length. He has been seen sporting thin gold chains with large, flashy pendants before, but, in more recent years, he likes to mix a solo gold chain with a dope jacket or even a velvet blazer. 

Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree usually has a chain tucked under his jersey each game. This athlete favors the rope chain look, though, while playing, he opts for a thin gold chain over the larger, flashier ones. 

Popular Gold Chain Styles for Athletes

Cuban Link Chain

Cuban Link Chain

Men’s gold chain necklaces are made in an array of styles, but the Cuban link look has long dominated the hip hop jewelry industry. Anyone looking to floss on their friends should invest in a high-quality Cuban link chain. If you’re looking for an understated look like some of our favorite athletes, you can opt for a chain with thinner links that still have that classic look. If you’re stepping out for the night, try adding a thick Cuban link chain without a pendant to grab everyone’s attention. This style often looks better when you’re rocking it solo, but you could potentially add a pendant to a thinner style. Cuban link bracelets are another good way to add swag to your outfit if you’re not feeling a necklace that day. Or, you can don both for an all-out fresh to death look.

Franco Chain

The Franco chain is another timeless look for athletes. This style is similar to the Cuban link, but it features smaller links for a tighter look. This makes the gold chain appear as one seamless piece of gold rather than a group of links interlocked together. If you’ve got a dope pendant you’ve been dying to flaunt out at the club, add it to your Franco chain. If you want a real flashy look, go for an iced-out chain coated in diamonds to add an extra bit of bling to your everyday look. 

Figaro Chain

Baseball players love sporting the Figaro chain, as it’s the perfect necklace to wear solo or with a pendant. For a chain you can wear every day, this is the way to go. Show off that same swag our favorite MLB players have with a white gold Figaro chain or the classic yellow gold option. The varying sizes of links on this chain make it unique from other styles and capture that original Italian-inspired appearance.

Curb Chain

Don’t curb your style when it comes to selecting a gold chain. We know you want something that’s gonna have all the chicks on the block turning your way. And, when rocking a curb chain, you’re sure to get that kind of attention. Similar to the Cuban link, the curb chain is made up of many interlocked links of the same circular size and shape. However, this style has more space between each piece, drawing attention to each individual link. Because the links are more noticeable, this is a great style to get iced out.

Rope Chain

The rope chain may be considered one of the swaggiest of chains. Many athletes wear this style on the field in a thinner variation, but if you’re trying to maximum your swag, you can purchase a thick rope chain to hold your largest of pendants. Made up of several thin link chains that are woven around each other, the rope chain is the perfect complement for a Jesus piece or iced-out pendant.

Portrait of an older man smoking a cigar, wearing gold necklaces and blue jacket

Tips for Wearing Your Gold Chain

Solo or With a Pendant

Different styles work better solo. If you’re trying to recreate the baseball player look or capture Kevin Durant’s laidback swag, try rocking one of the link-style chains like the Franco or curb. Solo gold chains are the way to go for a casual daytime look, but thicker, flashier options can stand out at the club or big event. A thick rope chain always looks dope with a pendant. Dog tag chains are also usually worn with a dog chain pendant because the chain itself is so thin, it may go unnoticed without the right focal point.

Choosing Between Yellow and White Gold

For the most part, opting for yellow or white gold is a personal choice, but we believe having a combination of both is a great way to add variety to your hip hop jewelry collection. Though either color will match with basically anything, we like to rock our gold chains with a white tee and white gold with a black tee. Of course, either style will pop against black, but you should also consider any other accessories you might be wearing. It would be seriously uncool to step out in a gold Cuban link bracelet and a white gold necklace. If you like to mix and match your pendants, never make the mistake of adding a gold pendant to a white gold chain. You don’t want to look like a fool. Keep your pieces matching and switch up your style from time to time.

Thick rope chain pendant

How to Select the Right Pendant

Adding a pendant to your gold chain is a great way to amp up your swag, but you can’t just throw any pendant on any chain. If you’ve got a thick rope chain you want to add a pendant to, the pendant should be portional to the chain. Don’t try to throw a tiny pendant on a thick chain. For the flossiest look, grab a large iced-out pendant for your thick chains. When wearing a thinner style chain, large pendants can work, but be sure they can support the weight; otherwise, opt for a smaller pendant.

Jesus Piece

Popularized by the Notorious B.I.G., the Jesus piece is a great way to show off your status, style, and faith all at once. Iced out Jesus pieces are extra swaggy, with the sparkle of dozens of diamonds catching the light, but a standard gold Jesus piece can be just as fresh. 

Iced Out Pendants

Iced out pendants will take your hip hop jewelry swag to a whole new level. These pieces are encrusted with diamonds to help you floss on everybody that you meet. You can pair a white gold iced out pendant with a white gold chain, or add your iced out pendant to an iced out necklace for a real boss look.

The Frost NYC Collection Brings Ultimate Swagger to Your Look

At Frost NYC, we’re dedicated to providing you with only the highest quality gold chains. All of our styles are available in multiple sizes and can be made in either yellow or white gold. Treat yourself to a simple solo chain or purchase a chain and pendant pair. If you’ve already got a large collection of chains, shop our pendant selection to customize each and every one of your pieces.

October 01, 2019

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