You’ve got your awesome tee, you’ve got your killer sneakers and now you only need a cool and radical hip-hop chain to complete that look. But purchasing chains can be a tricky business especially with all the different varieties floating around in the market. There are various factors to consider but foremost is the metal of your chain. Hip hop chains can be worn short for your everyday look, or all long and bling bling Lil Wayne style, or anywhere in between.
Based on the design of the chains, the different varieties are:
These chains can be spotted in any jewelry store and go from 26 inches long to 30 inches depending upon your preference. Crafted in gold, they come in various designs like Cuban link chain, Figaro chains and mariner chains.
Hip Hop Chains:
Hip hop chains are funkier than your basic chains and are majorly sported by celebrities. Traditionally sported long, these chains can come with or without a flashy pendant depending upon the look that you want to pull. These pieces tend to be uniquely made to cater to the individual tastes.
Iced Out chains:
Iced out chains can bring a whole new level of extravagance to your hip hop jewelry. Quite expensive in their making, iced out chains can be either crystal or CZ. The difference between the qualities lies primarily in the manner in which the stones are attached. While crystal chains are made of alloy metals with stones glued in, CZ chains come with the stones attached through prongs onto the chain making the jewelry look more authentic. The chain can be made of brass and the thickness of plating is based upon individual preferences.
Top End Chains:
Top end chains are much more preferred due to their longer lasting nature and higher complexities of design as they come in more detailed and intricate designs. These chains tend to be much heavier and a solid investment being made out of sterling silver or stainless steel.
Once the chain design has been selected, one needs to determine the type of finish they would prefer on the chain. While a gold finish looks better, a rhodium or gunmetal finish tends to be more durable and are perfect for chains intended for daily use. Gold tarnishes with regular usage making it unsuitable for daily wear.
A complementary design:
With the chain all set, you need to decide the kind of design which you want set on the pendant or if you want any gemstone set in. Gemstones like diamonds, white rhinestones and clear quartz match with both silver and gold base quite well, and are quite popular. However, gold bases are well suited by gemstones like rubies or sapphires. If opting for a silver base chain, gemstones like amethyst and other pastel-toned gems give it a grand look. Whether you want a plated jewelry or an original piece depends upon your budget largely. With the sky-rocketing prices of gold, people prefer to have plated jewelry made instead which doesn’t burn a metaphorical hole in their pockets.
5 shades of diamonds:
While including diamonds in your hip hop chain, here are the different grades or qualities of diamonds you can consider: the I1-13 “included” diamonds are of the lowest quality, followed by the SI1-SI2 “slightly included diamonds”, then the VS1-VS2 “Very slightly included diamonds”, VVS1-VVS2 “Very, very slightly included diamonds” and finally the IF or the “Internally flawless” diamonds. The IF is rare in usage and mostly the VVS graded diamonds are employed in jewelry making.
Diamonds can come in brilliant cuts like the princess cut which uses more square shaped diamonds to increase the brilliance. Iced out chains should be made of high quality heavy alloy metal that should feel sturdy for an authentic look. Available in a range of colors, iced out chains have gained popularity with celebrities like Lil Wayne sporting them. How authentic your iced out chain looks, depends majorly upon its quality of making. If each stone is hand-placed, then chances are that your chain will have a higher finish and a longer life.
Make way for Franco!
Franco chains have gained widespread popularity. A modification of the traditional Cuban link chains but four-sided, these Franco chains are flexible without any bendable parts and aren’t easily tangled. Franco chains don’t require a large bail (part of the pendant that connects it to the necklace) on their pendants to prevent entanglement. Rope chains too have a timeless appeal in their popularity as they are widely used by celebrities since many decades. Cuban links are the traditional hip hop chains and give you the irreplaceable feel of the heavy weight thus, giving them a regal appeal.
Whether you want a pendant displayed on our chain is completely your choice. While most people go for a pendant that has significance in their lives, like a mythological icon or a religious symbol, you can also go for pendants that showcase your initials. Inspirations for pendants can be sought from celebrities as well who display an array of impressive designs and symbols. All you need is a very basic idea of what you want from your pendant and your jewelry designer will work on the rest.
Materializing what’s on your mind
Customized pendants may cost the extra buck but will ensure that you get the exact design that you want. The designer will show you a photo-shopped version of the design to give you a basic idea; if the design feels right, a wax model is created to give you a real feel of the pendant. Custom-made pendants may take up to a month to prepare and finish.
If a pendant is too flashy an option for you, you can always go for dog tags which are fairly light and an excellent investment too.
Remember, the key is to not go tacky. As long as what you sport is original and you feel confident about sporting it, feel free to wear what you like. As a general rule, shorter chains look better and can be coupled with other short chains without risking you going overboard. Chains that go up to your crotch should be avoided for the risk of looking too tacky. Chains of different shades of gold shouldn’t be clubbed either; it may look classless. While investments into a chain might appear hefty, jewelry experts say that the investment is worth it. Indulge in a gold Cuban link chain which never goes out of style and that will give you excellent returns on your investment too.