If you’re trying to make your outfit go from a zero to a ten in a flash, you’ll need to throw on a stunning chain. From thick, solid gold chains to thin white gold masterpieces, you really can’t go wrong.
But if you’re trying to be the life of the party and turn some heads everywhere you go, you’ll want to ice out your chains to the max. And no, that doesn’t mean you should start putting your necklaces in the freezer.
Iced out chains are the epitome of hip hop fashion, and they’re also an important staple for mainstream looks as well. Let’s make sure you fully understand what iced-out chains are so you can truly see the power they can have.
The Ice Ages
When you throw some ice cubes into your glass of water (or a tall glass of rum and coke), you might not really pay much attention to their appearance. But ice cubes are translucent and unique, much in the same ways as diamond gemstones.
Believe it or not, this is sort of where the term “iced out” comes from. Ice is sometimes used to refer to diamonds because of their similarity in appearance. However, there’s another reason for these synonymous words as well.
Diamonds can conduct heat better than any other gemstone. Essentially, it means that diamonds can pull away heat from any object that they come in contact with. You can notice this yourself if you hold a diamond against your skin — it really feels like you’re holding an ice cube to your body.
But where exactly did this term originate? Who decided to start calling it ice in the first place?
While there’s no one clear answer to this question, it most likely has hip hop origins. The song “Ice, Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice was an extremely popular song in the early 90s, and it continues to be iconic even today. This is often recognized as the song that shot the slang term “ice” to refer to diamonds into the stratosphere.
Since ice is used to refer to diamonds, when something is “iced out,” it means that you’re adding diamonds to it. So, an iced-out chain is a necklace that is covered with diamonds from front to back. The gems are the main attraction rather than the chain itself.
Bling Is the Thing
Ice isn’t the only slang term that’s used to describe diamonds. In fact, hip hop culture has created tons of different variations of the word diamond, many of which are even recognized in Webster's dictionary.
Perhaps the most famous is “bling,” which was popularized by the rap group B.G. in the 90s after their song “Bling Bling” hit the charts. Since then, Lil Wayne has continued to use the term in his songs so often that it’s now recognized as an official word in the dictionary. While it’s unclear exactly what the word bling means, we can’t look at the sparkle of a diamond without this term coming to mind.
You might also hear some people refer to loading up with diamonds as “frosting” oneself. This is a term that was popularized from the Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey classic movieHow to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.McConaughey’s character suggested that in order to sell diamonds, women should “frost themselves” with as many as they’d wish. And since then, the term has stuck.
Picking the Right Ice
Even just saying the words “iced out chain” makes you want to load up your closet with a ton. Diamond-covered jewelry is always a move, and it can help to make your existing outfits feel brand new.
There are many variations of iced out chains to choose from, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. It all comes down to personal preference. With that said, we can help you out.
Since the ice is the main attraction of an iced-out chain, you’ll want to make sure it looks extra cold. You can assess the quality of a diamond with the four C’s: cut, clarity, color, and carat.
While each can have a huge effect on the cost and appearance of your piece, the ones that matter the most when picking your chain are cut and carat.
5mm Round Cut Diamond Tennis Chain 18k Gold
Cut refers to the shape of the diamonds themselves. This is what will make your piece have personality and charisma as opposed to others. Round cut diamonds tend to have a more classic and traditional feel, whereas something like this emerald cut tennis chain feels more contemporary and individualized.
Do your research and experiment with different cuts until you find the perfect fit.
Carat refers to the size of the diamonds. This is another factor that can heavily influence the feel of your piece as a whole. Bigger diamonds tend to make more of an impact on bystanders, but you’ll need to be okay with having fewer gemstones on the surface.
12mm Diamond Prong Cuban Chain White Gold
Going with tons of tiny gemstones typically has more of the desired “iced out” feel, which you can see in this 12mm Diamond Prong Cuban Chain.
While the underlying metal on the chain is rarely the entree on your necklace, it’s certainly a side dish. And people will take notice of your base metal — so make sure it’s up to standards.
Going with a gold base metal is reminiscent of royalty and tradition. Golden chains that are iced out with diamonds harken back to the hip hop icons of the 80s and 90s, who spurred an entire movement based on their style. Plus, traditional gold offers a nice contrast to your diamonds to really make them pop.
15mm Baguette Cuban Chain 18k Gold
But for something that truly feels icy to the max, you may want to go with a white gold base metal. White gold is meant to look just like platinum, and when you combine that with stunning diamonds, you get a chain that looks just as glacial as the polar ice caps. This is a great, professional look that will also look amazing under the nightclub strobe lights.
And if you really want to stand out in a crowd, why not try something completely different? Rose gold mixes the essence of traditional gold with the polish of white gold for a unique and stunning base metal to any chain. Rose gold is a solid pick for people who are comfortable enough wearing iced-out chains and are looking for something bolder.
The Icing on the Cake
If you ever hear someone say they’re getting an iced-out chain, you can immediately know that they’re someone to be respected. Iced-out chains are ones that are covered in diamonds from top to bottom, front to back.
The term “ice” to refer to diamonds isn’t new, and it’s related to the heat-conducting properties of diamonds as well as their visual similarity to ice cubes themselves. But it was popularized thanks to hip hop songs in the same way that the term “bling” rose to the mainstream.
Everyone needs an iced-out chain in their collection. This might just be your new favorite trend. Take a look at 6 Ice’s vast catalog of icy chains in every style.
Fun Terms Used To Describe Diamonds | CT Diamond Museum
Hip Hop History: From the Streets to the Mainstream | ICON Collective