FIGARO VS. CURB CHAIN


When it comes to choosing a necklace, there are two main types of chains: Figaro and curb. But which one is right for you? Let's take a closer look at the differences between these two popular chain styles.



WHAT IS A FIGARO CHAIN? WHAT DOES A FIGARO CHAIN LOOK LIKE?


Figaro chains resemble curb or cable chains in appearance. That's because they are built the same way, with an extended link placed every 2-4 ordinary links or so in the pattern. Three-round, one-long link is a popular pattern for Figaro chains. Most Figaro chains are curb chains (meaning each link lies flat); however, a few aren't (simple circles).


Some specialty Figaro chains replace a "long link" with a different shape, such as a large heart or clover. This pattern isn't a classic Figaro chain, but you'll understand why many brands choose to call them that. Because the long link is usually the most eye-catching piece on the chain, people associate Figaro chains with having an elongated center link.



WHERE DOES THE FIGARO CHAIN COME FROM?


The Figaro chain's name originates most likely from Figaro, the main character in both "The Barber of Seville" and "The Marriage of Figaro," two highly popular operas in Italy during the 18th century. Although the Italians were not the first to create this chain design, its usage and popularity in Italy and its association with Italian opera ensured that the term stuck and has a continuing connection to the country.



HOW MANY LINKS ARE IN A FIGARO CHAIN?


Figaro chains generally have between 60 and 80 links. However, the number of links can vary depending on the manufacturer. The number of links in Figaro chains may also be affected by the size and width of the links and the overall length. For example, a Figaro chain that is 18 inches long will have fewer links than a chain that is 30 inches long.


 

ARE FIGARO LINK CHAINS DURABLE?


Figaro chains are extremely durable due to their soldered links, which are harder to tear apart than open-link styles. Figaro link chains are also, on average, some of the heaviest chains available. Thus, thicker links give the chain more stability, preventing it from kinking or breaking as easily as a thinner chain style.


The durability of Figaro chains also depends on their material; gold is a softer metal than steel, so a gold Figaro chain will be more prone to bending and breaking than a steel chain. However, if you take care of your Figaro chain properly, it should last you many years without any major issues.



HOW TO STYLE FIGARO CHAINS?


You can wear Figaro link chains with just about anything. Because of their classic style, Figaro chains are more versatile than most other chain styles.


Figaro chains can be worn alone or layered with other necklace styles. They also look great when paired with pendants. Figaro chains look especially great with round, oval, or teardrop-shaped pendants.



ARE FIGARO CHAINS IN STYLE?


Yes, there are six main reasons why Figaro link chains are so popular.


AFFORDABILITY: Figaro chains are a great option if you're looking for something affordable. The price of a Figaro chain will depend on the metal it's made of, the length, and the width. Other detailing, such as pavé, will increase the price.


DURABILITY: Figaro chains are also heavier and more durable than other chain styles due to the soldered and the larger link sizes.


WEARABILITY: Figaro chains are easy to wear because the links lie flat against the skin, making them comfortable to wear and less likely to get tangled.


EASY REPAIRS: Although Figaro chains are built very well, the chain links may still break. In case of breakage, you can repair a Figaro chain quickly and easily. A metalsmith will remove a part of the pattern and fix the chain without having to ruin the symmetry of the design.


VERSATILITY: As mentioned before, Figaro chains look good with every fashion style you can think of. Its versatility is one of the reasons it is popular. You can wear it as is or with charms and pendants like crosses or medallions.


EASY MAINTENANCE: Figaro chains are relatively easy to care for. You can clean them at home with a mild soap and water solution. You can also take them to a professional jeweler for a more thorough cleaning.



WHAT IS A CURB CHAIN? WHAT DOES A CURB CHAIN LOOK LIKE?


Curb chains are a simple and classic option. The design pattern is straightforward; it consists of flat, uniform, interlocking links that meet at two distinct grooves.


Curb chains are available in a variety of shapes such as rounded curb, open curb, close curb, concaved curb, square curb, flat curb, diamond cut curb, pave curb, etc.



HOW MANY LINKS ARE IN A CURB CHAIN NECKLACE?


Curb chains in the thickest gauge typically have between 18 and 20 links. The length will determine how many links are necessary. For example, a thick gauge 18" necklace uses about 18 chain links, while a 20" necklace uses 20 chain links.



WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CURB CHAINS?


ROUND CURB CHAINS: This style is the root of all curb chain styles because it is untouched by any special treatments on the links. The rounded curves on the curb links that make it up give it the name.


OPEN CURB CHAINS/CHEVAL CURB CHAINS: The open curb chains' shape is notably distinctive, with grooves at each end of the link. While the width of the curb links in this style is consistent from end to end, the length of each link stretches and opens up slightly.

 

CLOSED CURB CHAINS: Figaro Chains, consisting of a combination of open curb and closed curb links, are the most popular and recognized variation of the curb chain style. Close curb chains feature links joined together in a group of at least three and are closer to each other.


CONCAVED CURB CHAINS: Their center links are fashioned like a closed curb style and, from a bird's eye view, form inwardly forming grooves that run from end to end across the chains' surfaces.


SQUARE CURB CHAINS: Square curb chains are a closed curb chain style that emphasizes straight lines on the corners and surface. Their boxy appearance contrasts with the round curb chain style, and the distinctive grooves are easy to spot. Each side of the link has a distinctive triangle form on the surface.


FLAT CURB CHAINS: Compared to non-flat curb chains, flat curb chains will have less depth when laid out on a surface but have the same width. They can produce the appearance of a wide chain from a birds-eye view, be a lot lighter in weight, and thus often cost less.


SINGLE CURB CHAINS: Each link in a single curb chains pair with another link before and after in a repeatable pattern.


DOUBLE CURB CHAINS: There are two types of double curb chains. The first style involves stacking two single curb links and then linking them together. The second style is when there is just one link, but two links on either side of it fit inside the gap.


PAVÉ CURB CHAINS: This chain style incorporates synthetic or natural gemstones. Depending on the precious metal used to manufacture pavé curb chains, the stones are embedded on the surface or along the edges of curb links.


MILLED CURB CHAINS: They have a dazzling and glittering aesthetic similar to the pave curb chain in that it appears to have stones on the surface. This chain, however, contains no gemstones. In actuality, milling is a sophisticated technique that includes rolling a metal block with grooves over the length of a chain and leaving a pattern of imprints, resulting in a low-maintenance, worry-free – brilliant appearance.


DIAMOND-CUT CURB CHAINS: With diamond-cut curb chains, a diamond-tipped instrument slices the chain's surface, which creates a highly polished, unique pattern.


HOLLOW CURB CHAINS: They are similar to rounded curb chains in form. However, the actual formation of the links differs significantly. For example, the links on hollow curb chains began as cylinder-shaped tubes with hollow spaces inside. The hollow portion, which cannot be seen but only felt, is hidden within this cavity. Compared to other chains, these links are more affordable because they include less metal but still have the appearance and feel of solid chains.


The advantages of hollow curb chains are that they weigh less and are more comfortable for wearers. Hollow curb chains are also more affordable than solid gold chains of the same style.


The disadvantages of hollow chains are that they're not as strong or durable as solid gold chains, so they may bend more easily or break under stress. In addition, it's much more difficult to repair hollow curb chains if they break because the solder cannot form properly due to the hollow tube space.


SOLID CURB CHAINS: They vary in size, from delicate moderate to thick and thicker. Solid curb chains are made of solid wire rather than hollow, resulting in improved durability and longevity. Most curb chains with a thinner appearance in their width are most likely constructed from a solid wire because making a wire with such a tiny hollow space is physically difficult.



ARE CURB CHAINS STRONG?


There is no definitive answer to this question, as the strength of curb chains depends on several factors, including the quality of the materials and workmanship. However, in general, curb chains are quite strong and durable.



HOW TO STYLE CURB CHAINS?


Curb chains are very versatile. Most people like to wear them without pendants for a minimalistic look. You can also wear them with small or large pendants for different looks.



WHY ARE CURB CHAINS SO POPULAR?


There are six main reasons why curb link chains are so popular.


AFFORDABILITY: Curb chains are an excellent option for those on a budget. You can find them made of different materials, including gold-filled and sterling silver.


VERSATILITY: The curb chains can be worn with various pendants and charms or look great on their own as simple, elegant necklaces.


LOW-MAINTENANCE: Curb chains are very easy to take care of, as you can clean them with a soft cloth and soapy water.


CLASSIC DESIGN: Curb link chains have a timeless look that will never go out of style. They're the perfect choice for those who want a necklace that they can wear for years to come.


STRENGTH: Curb chains are very strong and durable.


THEY DON'T KINK: Curb chains are less likely to kink than other chains, making them an excellent option for those who want chains that will lay flat against their skin.



WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CURB VS. FIGARO?


The big difference between Figaro and curb chains is how they sit on your neck. Figaro chains lie straight and sit flat across your collar bones, whereas curb chains hang in a U shape.


Another difference is that curb chains are a type of necklace style with same-size links. In contrast, Figaro chains feature links that alternate between two different sizes. In addition, curb chains are typically more simplistic in design, while Figaro chains tend to be more intricate.



WRAPPING UP


If you're still on the fence about which type of necklace to get, Figaro or curb? Why not get both! They each have their own unique benefits that can complement your style. And at the end of the day, it's all about what makes you feel confident and comfortable.