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The Best Chain Earrings

Last updated on August 19, 2022

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Don't Waste Your Money is focused on helping you make the best purchasing decision. Our team of experts spends hundreds of hours analyzing, testing, and researching products so you don't have to. Learn more.

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Our Picks For The Top Chain Earrings

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
 Top Pick

Reffeer Sterling Silver Hoop & Tassel Chain Earrings

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Reffeer

Sterling Silver Hoop & Tassel Chain Earrings

These dainty hoop earrings add a touch of class to any outfit. The sterling silver can be expected to stay bright for years, and there's a polishing cloth included for touch-ups. The chain has enough length to be noticeable but isn't so long that it gets easily caught.

Overall Take

Shine That StaysThese posh accessories have a lasting silver gleam.

 Strong Contender

SLUYNZ Hypoallergenic Sterling Silver Dangle Chain Earrings

SLUYNZ

Hypoallergenic Sterling Silver Dangle Chain Earrings

With a little upkeep, the sterling silver on this chain will stay free of tarnish. The bar at the end is a subtle accent to a draped design that can complement any ensemble. The length is just over 2 inches, which makes them less prone to tangling than longer chains.

Overall Take

Striking DesignA draped configuration showcases the sterling silver shine.

Meow Star 14K Gold Plated Bar & Tassel Chain Earrings

Meow Star

14K Gold Plated Bar & Tassel Chain Earrings

Overall Take

Benevolence LA Double Piercing Threader Chain Earrings

Benevolence LA

Double Piercing Threader Chain Earrings

Overall Take

Buying Guide

Is there any piece of jewelry that can do more for your face than a good set of earrings? We think not. These little bits of bling on your lobes can make a big impression, and chain earrings can even provide the basis for a whole outfit.

Chain earrings come in many different lengths and styles, but the basic look is long and thin. They can also be known as drop earrings or dangles, and they generally consist of a chain hanging down from the setting. There may be a decorative piece in the stud or just the chain itself, but they function as a kind of “tinsel” for your face. As such, they can do wonders for faces that are more rounded, though really, a subtle set can work for just about anyone.

Again, there are so many different styles of chain earring that it’s impossible to cover them all here. Trying on new earrings is half the fun, and you should do plenty of that before you settle on a type. Chain earrings generally work best for more formal occasions, but you’ll want to think about practicality too. Are you wearing fuzzy sweaters? Does your long, curly hair tend to crowd your ears? Then you might want to avoid earrings that hang down to your shoulders — chain or otherwise.

Allergies are another factor to consider. Hopefully you won’t have to worry about the metal that goes into your jewelry, but as many as 17% of women have a nickel allergy that can cause a rash or other reaction on the skin. Your earrings don’t have to be fully nickel-plated to cause this reaction, either (not that many are). Even an alloy comprised partly of nickel may set you off. Cobalt is another metal that can affect sensitive skin.

If you do have any kind of metal allergy, sterling silver should still be OK. It’s not completely silver, but the other alloys that go into it (7.5%) are usually harmless. If you find that you still have some sensitivity, you may want to seek out surgical stainless steel earrings, which have the added bonus of being resistant to corrosion. If your earrings are still giving you a rash, titanium or niobium ones can be found for a steeper price. Before you spend the extra money, though, it might be best to consult an allergist who can help pinpoint exactly what metals might be giving you trouble.

Finally, you may want to give a thought to how those earrings go in — and how well they stay on. Unlike stud earrings, you generally won’t want to wear your chains to bed. Look for those with a safety lock closure that you can manipulate easily, or a “lever back” system that you can simply squeeze and pop off.

What to Look For

  • The more you love your earrings, the less you’ll want to take them off. But the less you take them off, the dirtier they’ll get. Even the shiniest metals won’t keep that shine forever, and periodic cleaning is a must.
  • You might dread doing that with chain earrings, but there’s usually no need to get out a tiny scrub brush. Most of the time, simply soaking your earrings in hot water will do the trick.
  • If you’ve really let the oil and dirt build up, you might try filling that cleaning bowl with hydrogen peroxide or just a mixture of water and dish soap.
  • Let your earrings soak overnight, and resist the temptation to get at the dirt with anything abrasive. Most chain earrings have tiny links, and they’re all too easy to break or tangle.

More to Explore

Throughout history, women and men have worn earrings for many reasons. During the golden age of piracy, getting your ears pierced was more than just a fashion statement. Pirates who had any kind of means would get gold earrings to ensure that whoever found their bodies would have money for a proper funeral. Sailors in general would also wear them to commemorate their first crossing of the equator.

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