The 12 Best Gold Necklaces, From Dainty Chokers To Chunky Chains

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PARIS, FRANCE - AUGUST 25: Emy venturini wears gold large chain necklace, a black long sleeves ribbe...
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When it comes to jewelry, the best gold necklaces aren’t always what you’d expect. I’ve found that for jewelry for daily wear, karats matter less than you might think (more on that later) so it’s helpful to focus more on the gold type. Between gold plate, gold vermeil, gold fill, and solid gold, there are quite a lot of options to consider. Here’s what you need to know about each:

Gold Jewelry 101

  • Gold plate: This is going to be your most budget-friendly option. A thin layer of gold is bonded to a cheaper base metal, which makes it affordable and it still has the potential to last a fair amount of time if it’s on a piece you don’t plan on wearing too often (if you plan on wearing it daily, be prepared for the plating to wear down faster). Gold plating is likely to tarnish and can irritate sensitive skin depending on which additional metals get blended in. That said, it’s a great option for sampling trends without the investment.
  • Gold vermeil: A step up from gold plate, vermeil is made with a thick layer of gold plated onto sterling silver instead of cheaper base metals. It’s hypoallergenic and lasts far longer than gold plate (although it may wear down after years of heavy use). It’s great for high-quality everyday pieces that can handle some wear and tear.
  • Gold fill: An even thicker layer than gold vermeil, gold fill uses up to 100 times as much gold used for plating. It’s physically bonded to a base metal and offers basically all the characteristics of solid gold pieces at a budget-friendlier price. It’s hypoallergenic, won’t rub off, and can last a lifetime. There’s a bit of a price hike up from gold vermeil and it comes in limited designs because of how it’s made, however.
  • Solid gold: Twenty-four karat solid gold is as premium as it comes. But opting for solid gold jewelry is not practical for day-to-day wear, given the softness of pure gold.

Why Karats Matter Less Than You Think

As mentioned above, 24 karat gold — pure gold, the good stuff — is too malleable to be used on its own in jewelry, which is why it’s blended with other metals; the more metal is added, the lower the karat number gets (from 22 karat down to 10 karat). While less gold might sound like a bad thing, it actually makes the piece stronger and more scratch-resistant as a result. Not surprisingly then, 14 karat pieces are the most popular for daily wear, and many engagement rings are offered in this karat. It’s worth noting, however, that if you’re sensitive to certain metals, lower karats may cause irritation since they contain a greater percentage of filler (often nickel or iron).

Now that you’re armed with the specs to shop smartly, here are the best gold necklaces on Amazon for every price point: Get ready to shine.


A Graduated Necklace That Looks More Expensive Than It Is

Chunky without feeling overwhelming, this graduated chain necklace mixes links and sizes for a statement that’s easy to wear every day. Made of 14 karat gold with a base that’s free of nickel, lead, and cadmium, even the most sensitive types will get mileage out of it. Slip it on with a T-shirt and mules for the weekend, or dress up a collared shirt on days you need to nail those meetings. “A trendy necklace at a super affordable price,” one fan praised. “The quality is much higher than the price would lead you to believe. It looks great with my other real gold jewelry [...]”

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 18 inches with a 3-inch extender


This Dainty Gold Choker That Comes In So Many Classic Styles

From box chains to curb chains and delicate sphere necklaces like the style shown here, PAVOI’s chain choker options promise to be the perfect white tee of your jewelry box. Available in both gold-plated yellow and white gold, this is an affordable 14 karat necklace is one you can count on to shine at a wallet-friendly price point. “Looks great and has a nice weight to it. Feels like it'll be sturdy and last a long time. I like every Pavoi product I've bought and this is no different,” a shopper mentioned. For an option in 18 karat gold, consider this delicate chain from a different brand.

  • Available styles: 8
  • Chain length: 15 inches with a 2-inch extender


A Modern Gold Chain Necklace With Freshwater Pearls

Half paperclip chain and half baroque pearls, this gold necklace is your day-to-night power player. The toggle closure is easy to put on if you find lobster clasps impossible; plus, it looks like a modern design element when worn to the front. In 18 karat gold plate with genuine freshwater pearls, it’s a contemporary piece with timeless quality. “I’m pretty allergic to nickel, so jewelry (especially necklaces) tend to rash me out. This one however doesn’t! It hasn’t tarnished at all yet and it feels very high quality,” a shopper remarked.

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 18 inches


This Set Of Layering Necklaces With A *Serious* Following

Boasting more than 10,000 Amazon ratings, this set of delicate layering necklaces comes with four individual pieces: a tiny bead, a gorgeous bar, a hammered disc, and a lariat-style Y-necklace. They have a core of sturdy brass that’s lead- and nickel-free with a shiny 14-karat gold plating. Also within the listing are sets with only two or three necklaces to layer, if you want a more minimalist offering. “These are supercute! Can be worn together or individually. They are adjustable and i love that!” one fan reported.

  • Available styles: 37
  • Chain length: Bead (16 inches + 2-inch extender), Bar (18 inches + 2-inch extender), Disc (23 inches + 2-inch extender), Y-necklace (27 inches + 2-inch extender)


A Gold Vermeil Necklace That’s Custom Made

This modern nameplate necklace comes in a sleek cursive with a sterling silver core and thick 14 karat gold vermeil. It’s ideal for gifting to someone special — yourself or someone else. Customize your necklace with a name or phrase up to nine letters long, then choose from three lengths of chain for the recipient’s perfect fit. Within the same listing, the brand also offers more affordable options in gold plate and sterling silver if vermeil is out of your price range. “The quality, beauty and daintiness are gorgeous. I love that it looks handwritten, as opposed to the other name necklaces we viewed with standard lettering,” a reviewer remarked.

  • Available styles: 7
  • Chain lengths: 14, 16, or 18 inches (each comes with a 2-inch extender)


A Statement Lariat Necklace (With A Great Giving Model)

Delicate yet assertive, this fashion-forward long lariat necklace fills open necklines with streamlined sparkle in 14 karat gold plate that’s hypoallergenic. (It’s free of nickel, cadmium, and lead). A sleek bar slips through the delicate crystal-encrusted disc (no clasps to fuss with) and hangs nearly to the waist, but don’t worry: it’s not overwhelming. The necklace takes its name from the Lollipop Theater Network, which works to put movie theaters in children's hospitals, and proceeds from sales of this necklace go towards its support. “The chain is so pretty! Something about how it's constructed makes the links catch the light. It looks more expensive than it is. The crystals are small and tasteful,” a reviewer noted, adding it was unexpectedly versatile. “It is quite a long chain but I can wear it as a choker if I wrap it twice.”

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 28 inches


A Luxe Solid Gold Necklace That Promises Good Vibes Only

This solid gold necklace is designer luxe in high-quality materials — and it’s offered for a song compared to similar styles sold at Neiman Marcus. Its evil eye motif is intended to deflect negative energy, and it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you’re wearing pure gold. The 14 karat cable chain and pendant are nickel- and lead-free, so even sensitive types can indulge, with a genuine diamond suspended in the center. “I bought this as a birthday gift for my sister,” one shopper wrote. “It is simply beautiful. Great quality and a necklace that you can wear everyday. I liked the packaging and that it came with an authenticity card. I'm thinking about buying one for myself!”

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 18 inches


A Best-Selling Gold Pendant Necklace With Stellar Details

Hamsa hands, an anchor symbol, and lock pendants are just a few of the options available with this gold pendant necklace listing — but the fan favorite seems to be the moon and stars medallion (featured here). It’s more noticeable than a delicate choker yet falls short of chunkier chains with a length that’s spot-on for most necklines. The 18-karat gold-plated brass is nickel-free and hypoallergenic, and fans were thrilled by the unexpectedly high-quality heft for the price. “This necklace is truly gorgeous!! The quality is quite nice, and looks expensive, if that matters to you. It layers beautifully with two similar box chains I have from Mejuri, so I'm very pleased,” one shopper raved of the celestial necklace.

  • Available styles: 20
  • Chain length: 20 inches


A Gorgeous Dog Tag In 18 Karat Gold

Equally timeless yet less expected than a standard pendant, this gorgeously textured gold dog tag necklace is endlessly versatile. The 18-karat gold-plated brass feels substantial but not heavy, and the beaded detail along the chain adds to an overall luxe aesthetic. The understated piece is made for layering and the brand recommends pairing it with their Parker paperclip chain. One reviewer mentioned the layering appeal, “I purchased this necklace as a 3rd chain to layer with 2 shorter gorjana ones. The length is perfect for that and the chain and dog tag are really cute!”

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 19 inches


An Authentic Vintage Coin Pendant In Gold Vermeil

An elegant take on the coin pendant, this gold necklace dangles a vintage Italian 500-Lira coin. The coin itself is minted from bronze and stainless steel and set in an open frame (it even spins!) while both frame and chain are cast in sterling silver and coated in 18 karat gold vermeil. And, if you’re particular about matching metals, the two-tone necklace lets you create a cohesive look with gold or silver. “I kid you not this necklace is beautiful. It's so finely made and the quality is perfection,” one fan gushed. On a budget? This 18 karat gold plated coin necklace has similar sparkle and a serious fanbase.

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain lengths: 18 or 20 inches


This Handcrafted Necklace For The Queen Bee In Your Life

This gold necklace is handmade in Franklin, Tennessee, by a trained artisan for a truly personal touch. The bee charm is crafted from 24 karat gold vermeil and dangles from a 14 karat gold fill chain, and the combination of gold jewelry types makes it possible to get something really high-quality at an affordable price point. Concerned about sensitivity? They’re both hypoallergenic and nickel-free. “Very beautiful delicate handmade necklace. Both the chain and pendant are lovely. The bee is pretty small but dainty and understated which I prefer,” a shopper commented. “Nice bright gold, more of a satin finish than a shiny one.”

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 18 inches


A 24-Karat Gold Rope Chain Necklace

When tracking down a 24 karat gold chain, it was important to find something that wouldn’t fade into the background while staying relatively affordable. This 7-millimeter gold rope chain from Lifetime Jewelry is bolder than dainty strands and more intricate than a paperclip chain. It uses a proprietary plating technique that uses up to 20 times as much gold as traditional plating (over a bronze core), so you can count on it to look (and feel) like a solid piece. The necklace comes in several lengths and has options for yellow or white gold — all made in the U.S. for over 30 years by a family-owned business (you even get a free lifetime replacement guarantee). One reviewer summed it up: “Very nice weight and feel to the piece. Looks better in person than photo shows.”

  • Available styles: 2
  • Chain lengths: 16 — 36 inches


Also Nice: A Trendy (Budget-Friendly!) Necklace That’s Too Great To Leave Out

The only gold in this necklace is its color, but I couldn’t resist the high-fashion appeal of this oversized chain lariat necklace with pearl baubles. It’s made from an unspecified alloy with paperclip chain links and gumball-sized pearls, one of which unscrews to thread the bar pin clasp through for a secure closure. “This necklace is such a great statement piece,” one early adopter wrote. “Used it to style a photoshoot and it was beautiful!”

  • Available styles: 1
  • Chain length: 18.3 inches


Worth Considering: An Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaner To Maintain Your Investment

This ultrasonic jewelry cleaner uses tap water and high-frequency vibrations to dissolve dirt, oil, and buildup without damaging delicate jewelry. Add a squeeze of dish soap for extra oomph, then choose from one of five pre-programmed cleaning cycles with a digital timer and automatic shutoff. In eight minutes or less, your favorites will look like you just unboxed them. Over 24,000 Amazon shoppers have weighed in and it’s earned a 4.5-star rating for its ability to make well-loved jewelry look brand new. “Isn't there a Rihanna song about this cleaner because now my jewelry shines bright like a diamond,” one fan quipped. “It did such a great job cleaning my favorite bracelet - brass with gold plating with hundreds of tiny crystals. [...]Doesn't take up much space, but you can still put a statement necklace through it...easy to use and so efficient.”