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How Much Is a Gold Chain? Everything You Need to Know

Posted on April 19 2021

If you’re in the market for a new gold chain, you want to know how much it costs. The price of a gold chain necklace depends on how many karats of gold the necklace has in it, its weight, and the current market price for gold. 

A gold chain is a significant investment, and you want to ensure the piece you choose is of high quality and durable, so it is suitable for everyday wear. Understanding the value of gold chains on the market and working with an experienced jeweler from Frost NYC can help inform your decision-making, ensuring that you get the very best that money can buy. To help you decide on the right piece for your collection, here’s everything you need to know about evaluating the cost of gold chains.

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Karats Equal Worth

Gold is measured by its purity, expressed in karats, not to be confused with the other carats that specify the weight of gems. 24 karat gold (24k) is the purest of all gold, but it is too soft for most jewelry-making purposes and scratches easily. Other metals like copper or zinc are added to the gold to create a stronger alloy to mitigate malleability. 

The word karat derives from an ancient Medieval coin called a mark, which weighed around 24 karats. The more karats a piece of gold has, the fewer additional alloys are present. While 24k is the maximum number of carats, you’ll often see chains offered in various purities, including 9k, 14k, 18k, 22k, and 24k. 

Since a 24k chain will be too soft, especially for everyday use, you should look for a 14k or 18k model. Chains with this number of karats are an excellent choice for jewelry you’ll regularly wear, as they are most resistant to scratches and other damage.

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Gram vs. Ounces

There is a bit of math required when you’re assessing how much a gold chain should cost. Pure gold is usually sold by the Troy ounce, which is slightly higher than a standard imperial ounce, whereas karat jewelry is sold by the gram. If you want to understand how much a gold chain or any other piece of gold jewelry is worth, you need to convert ounces into grams to do so. 

rapper with sunglasses

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Here’s how it works: one Troy ounce of gold equals 31.1 grams. The current market price is $1,739 per ounce; then, one gram will be worth $55.91 (divide 1,739 by 31.1).

To calculate how much a necklace is worth, you need to know how many karats it has and its weight. If you have a 20g necklace that’s 14ks, you need to calculate how many grams of its 20 is pure gold. In a 14k chain, only 58% of it is gold, which works out to 11.6 grams of the 20g necklace. If the market price of gold is $55.91 a gram, the gold portion of your chain will be worth $648.63.

This number—how much the gold portion of your chain is worth—is called the melt price and is what a jeweler would get if they sold this gold to a refiner. Because of the fluctuating price of gold, this price may change. A chain will always cost you more in the store than this base price due to the added costs of artistry, labor, any inlaid stones, and retail markup.

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Why Do Chains Cost More in the Store?

You may be astonished to see a $1,000 price tag on a chain with a melt price of $648.63. This is due to several reasons. The other metals, or metal alloys, in the chain also cost money, and the higher the quality of these materials, the more the chain will cost. 

You also have to consider the amount of labor that went into making the chain, as this also increases the cost of the jewelry. The style also matters, as some types of gold chains take more time to create than others. The addition of any precious stones increases the price, with the most expensive chains typically having lots of ice and large links

gold chain on black leather

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Know Your Chain’s Worth and Choose High-Quality Gold Jewelry at Frost NYC

If you are looking to buy a gold chain, you should know how to calculate your new purchase’s exact cost. The purity of the gold and the chain’s weight are significant elements that affect the price of gold chains. The chain style can affect how much you will pay. If there are any precious gems, they will raise the price. 

A gold chain is a timeless piece of jewelry. Make sure you’re getting your money’s worth by working with high-end jewelers like Frost NYC.

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