What are the different types of chains?


Use our straightforward guide to the different kinds of jewellery chains to help you choose the right chain for what you need – and one that will complement the rest of your jewellery collection.


1. What is a Cable Chain?


One of the most classic types of chains, cable chains feature a symmetrical chain link design with a consistent level of thickness and size, connected one after the other.

Cable chains are typically oval or round in shape. The cable links are either made from round wire or flattened wire, but the link is always the same thickness all around. The cable links interlock to form a secure and robust chain.


2. What is a Curb Chain?


A curb-style neck chain is a type of jewellery chain made up of flattened and twisted chain links that interlock securely to form a chain. A curb neck chain is popular in fine gauges at around 1mm and thick chains, ideal for creating bold necklaces.


Yes, curb chains are very. The strength varies depending upon the type of jewelry material used. For example, the most popular style is a thick silver curb chain necklace, and that is because it is less likely to kink and more durable than a thinner chain. A chunky silver curb chain necklace is also a great option for those who want a bit more of a statement necklace.


3. What is a Figaro Chain?


Figaro chains are very similar to curb or cable chains. They're built the same way, with an elongated link inserted in a pattern every 2-4 regular links. A popular design is 3 round shorter links, 1 long. Most Figaro chains are curb chains (meaning each link lies flat), but some are curb (simple circles).

Some specialty chain stores exchange a "long link" with a different shape, such as a large heart or diamond.


4. What is a Ball Chain?


A ball chain necklace is a type of chain necklace consisting of small sheet metal balls connected by short lengths of wire.

The balls are hollow and have two small antipodal holes. These holes accept a short length of wire deformed on the end like a rivet so that the end is bound inside the ball. The process repeats with the same wire connected to another ball. Many of the balls and wires link together to create a ball chain.


Due to this linking technique, a ball chain necklace can freely swivel on itself, avoiding kinking. On the flip side, the disadvantage of this lovely chain is that it is not as strong as some of the other chains mentioned here and can break relatively easily.


5. What is a Trace Chain?


A trace chain is a delicate jewellery chain with fine and small oval-shaped links. The trace chain style is ideal for delicate charm necklaces with dainty, lightweight pendants. Choose a diamond cut trace chain for added opulence when you require more glitz.


6. What is a Belcher Chain?


A belcher chain, also known as a "rolo chain," is a type of trace chain made of D-shaped links that are relatively broad and uniform in size and shape. The links alternate 180 degrees when pulled, giving the belcher chain a classic, timeless look and feel.

A round belcher chain is slightly different in that the links are entirely round rather than D-shaped.

A square belcher chain consists of flat, D-shaped links that are arranged in a square pattern. This type of chain is less flexible than a round belcher chain and is great for pendants and charms.


It is, indeed. A heavy rolo chain is not the most robust chain available, but it is among the strongest. Compared to a cable chain, even a fine belcher chain is sturdier and heavier.


7. What is a Rope Chain?


A rope chain necklace is a chain necklace made up of carefully woven links that form twisted, rope-like lengths of chain. Numerous designs are used to create more intricate and complex versions of the classic rope chain necklace.


Rope chains are one of the most durable and heaviest chain types and one of the most textural. A strong rope chain is ideal for wearing with a pendant because it is very strong, whether thick or thin and does not easily separate.


8. What is a Box Chain?


A box chain, also known as a "Venetian chain," features a series of cubed links constructed from round, flattened wire, forming a series of box-like shapes. These small cubes are then linked together to form a strong box chain with a smooth appearance ideal for topping off with larger pendants.


Box chains are tough and won't snap easily. If a link does break, it is replaceable. A metalsmith can also reattach the chain without replacing the broken link, preserving the design.


9. What is a Snake Chain?


Snake chains, also known as "Brazilian chains" in some circles, are popular for many jewelry buyers as standalone chains or with pendants. Brazilian chains feature lightly curved plates tightly woven together with thin links to form a continuous chain. The surface is smooth, and while it appears closed, the chain is highly flexible.


Snake chains are delicate, but they look amazing when paired with pendants. Due to their semi-rigid structure, they don't tangle easily and don't catch on hair or other objects. Snake chains are also simple to care for and clean, making them an excellent choice for an everyday accessory.


10. What is a Wheat Chain?


Unlike the others on this list, the wheat chain consists of four strands of intertwined tear-shaped links twisted to point in a single direction.


The wheat chain is the most durable of all chain styles, regardless of chain thickness or length. On the negative side, the wheat chain is rigid.


11. What is a Herringbone Chain?


The Herringbone chain consists of intertwined thin flat links that are slightly bent in the middle to give the chain a herringbone appearance.


The Herringbone chain is the only chain link style that does not look good with any pendant size, shape, or design. It's essentially best worn as is.


Herringbone chains are one of the most delicate styles as it kinks very easily.


Wrapping Up


In conclusion, thank you for reading this article about different types of jewellery chains. As you can see, there's a wide variety of jewellery chains available to choose from. So, when purchasing chain necklaces in the future, keep the article's information in mind. Remember to mix and match different types of chain necklaces when you want a more unique look. However, if you're only planning on buying one chain necklace for an outfit or occasion, try sticking to a classic style.

We hope that this article has helped you decide on the right chain to add to your jewellery collection.