What Exactly is “Bling”? A Complete Guide

What Exactly is

If you find yourself asking, “what is bling?” then you probably have a lot of unanswered questions about the world of hip-hop jewelry. No worries, we can help you understand the world of hip-hop jewelry, and even help you pick out your first piece.

Get Iced Out

First and foremost, you might want to know about some of the lingo within the hip-hop jewelry word. To answer the simple question: “bling” refers to chains, pendants, and other high-shine, iced-out jewelry worn by famous rappers and athletes.

Icing something out means that it’s covered in diamonds, as diamonds are often referred to as “ice.” Now that you know some of the most important lingo, it’s time to move on to the history of bling and how it came to be so popular.

The History of Bling

Bling and hip-hop jewelry date back decades, and even further than if you think about old civilizations in which high nobles would wear big jewels and flashy jewelry in order to show their social status.

Bling is still a symbol of social status, as the pieces can be very expensive. They show other people that you’re someone of high status because you can afford to buy expensive pieces. The more bling you have, the larger your reputation is like within the hip-hop and rap communities.  

Different Types of Hip-Hop Jewelry

There are so many different types of hip-hop jewelry, and they all have their place. Chains are the most common, and they have the most variety. There are many different types of chains, including Cuban, box, rope, Franco, and snake chains. The chain you choose depends on your own aesthetic and what you like.

Some chains lend themselves better to be iced-out or used for hanging pendants. For example, you would never use a Cuban chain for a pendant, but rope and box chains are great for pendants.

Most hip-hop jewelry comes in gold and silver. The most expensive pieces also have diamonds. There are affordable options out there, but most of them are silver or gold plated and use cubic zirconia instead of diamonds. While affordable jewelry is still cool, it’s not as much of a status symbol as the real thing.

Celebrities That are Known for Their Bling

Celebrities have helped to popularize the use of bling, especially in the hip-hop and rap communities. Some of the most famous celebrities that are or were known for their bling include:

  • 2 Chainz
  • ASAP Rocky
  • Swae Lee
  • Lil Uzi
  • Lil Jon
  • Jay-Z
  • Lil Wayne
  • Big Sean
  • Ludacris
  • Quavo

There are also many baseball players and other athletes that are famous for their use of chains. However, they don’t cover themselves in gold and silver like athletes do, but instead rock a single gold or silver chain under their shirt. If you’re looking to keep it minimal, this is a great look.  

Where to Find High-Quality Bling

There are many different retailers for high-quality bling, but there are also many retailers of jewelry that are fake, scammy, and overpriced. In order to choose the right retailer, you should go off of recommendations from friends, reviews, and word of mouth. If possible, you should always look at jewelry in person before making a purchase.

In order to make blinged-out jewelry your own, you can also purchase personalized or customized pieces from reputable shops. Nothing will show your status symbol more than a piece custom designed just for you.

To choose jewelry, it’s easiest to pick an icon you look up to or someone whose style you like and replicate it. You can also just pick out pieces that you like. Most jewelers will help you make the right decision for the look you’re going for.