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Buying gold jewelry for children is common in cultures across the world, from crucifix chains in Christianity to gold bangles in India. The problem when buying a gold chain for a child is being able to select a piece of jewelry that combines durability, functionality, safety and style, while also taking into account any symbolic or sentimental significance.
After all, children are prone to both losing delicate jewelry items, and do tend to participate in a more active lifestyle than most adults. From tussling with friends to playing team sports, kids typically encounter a lot of environments where losing or breaking jewelry is a real possibility.
In this quick guide, we’re going to go over some of the most important factors to consider when buying a gold chain for kids, from picking the right metals to prioritizing durability. Let’s take a look!
What to consider when buying a gold chain for kids
As mentioned above, kids do tend to practice a more active lifestyle than most adults, and this means an increased possibility of incurring damage (or breaking entirely!) a gold chain, especially if it’s made with high karat gold. The best way around this is to opt for a more durable gold karat. For example, rather than choosing a 24k gold (pure gold) necklace, opt for 22 karat gold chains instead. 22 karat gold items are made with 91.7% real gold, which means you’ll still enjoy the shiny, yellow-gold hue synonymous with pure gold, but the 9.1% alloyed metals mean that the chain is more durable, and won’t damage easily when your child carries out their day-to-day activities.
Metal allergies are incredibly common in the US, which is why skin sensitivity is another important factor to take into consideration when purchasing a gold chain for a child. Metal sensitivities tend to stem from an intolerance to nickel; if your child does have a nickel allergy, wearing a gold chain can provoke redness, irritation, and symptoms similar to contact dermatitis. Not fun!
To avoid this, always invest in hypoallergenic, skin-safe metals for children’s jewelry pieces. Where possible, opt for a gold chain with a higher gold karat, which will limit their exposure to a high number of alloyed metals. Don’t opt for a gold-plated necklace; the gold plating will wear away in time, and the nickel and other metals underneath will make contact with the skin, causing irritation.
Some children might be resistant to wearing jewelry; they might find it uncomfortable, or find that it gets in the way of their playing, or simply just find it new, and therefore bothersome. One way to get around this is to let them take an active role in picking a gold chain that they love; if you allow them the choice in selecting something that catches their eye, they’re much more likely to wear it on a long-term basis. This also increases the chance that the child develops a sentimental attachment to the chain, which will encourage them to take greater care of it and protect it against damage and loss.
Your child’s neck is still growing and developing when they’re a child, so it’s important to also consider the weight of any necklace, especially if you’re shopping for a younger child. For children under 8, you might want to avoid adding any heavy pendants to the chain until they’re a bit older, as these can put unnecessary strain on your child’s neck and lead to discomfort. A pendant can also become easily detached if a younger child tugs on it, so avoid these until your child is a bit older and more mature.
Finally, safety is another important concern when shopping for children’s jewelry, especially chains. Chains can pose a choking hazard, especially to younger children, so you’ll want to opt for something that won’t easily get caught on surfaces or other objects. For ultimate safety, you’ll also want to ensure that your child removes any gold chain before going to sleep.
When it comes to picking the perfect gold chain for kids, the most important factors to take into consideration are safety and durability. When it comes to specific gold chain styles, this is up to you and your child; rope, figaro, and cable necklaces can all be adapted to suit your little one, so long as it doesn’t present a choking hazard.