The Most Popular Chain Styles for Necklaces

The Most Popular Chain Styles for Necklaces

Day's Jewelers Day's Jewelers
6 minute read

Choosing a necklace chain can be a trial; with so many different styles and so many different names, how do you choose? And what does each of these chain styles look like? Day's is here to answer those questions. Take a look at this blog post to get an idea of what each individual chain style looks like and a bit of the history behind each style. 

anchor chain

ANCHOR CHAIN: Anchor chains are characterized by their uniformly sized, repeating oval links arranged alternatively in a horizontal, and then vertical orientation, traditionally with a vertical bar in the middle of each link. This creates a flexible ligament giving the chain strength, durability, and an eye-catching style.

BALL or BEAD CHAIN: Ball chains (interchangeably known as bead chains) are composed of orbs of metal rather than open links. These tiny orbs are set at regular intervals along the length of the chain set with connector bars, or adjacent to each other. 

BOX CHAIN: The four-sided construction of the box chain creates a durable chain with an extraordinary look. It is made from round wire which is rolled flat and then folded into square links that form open boxes or cubes, creating a smooth, four-sided shape. 

BYZANTINE CHAIN: Byzantine chains are an intricate, closely linked sequential chain design that incorporates a rope-like texture and intriguing textural design. Soft, flexible with an elegant drape, the Byzantine link is instantly recognizable by its maze-like intricacy, making it a stand out among chain styles.

CABLE CHAINStrong, durable and attractive, the cable chain is a heavy chain, featuring links with a crossbar across the inside of each link. Each section of the cable chain is identical, giving it a simple but classic look.

C LINK CHAIN: C link chains are made up of solid, C-shaped sections that fit into one another in a repeating pattern for a style that is both on-trend and beautifully classic. It is designed to lie flat and is noted for its flexibility.

CLOSED LINK CHAIN: Closed link chains feature an additional process which ensures every individual chain join has solder applied ensure the link cannot open easily. 

CURB CHAINA curb chain is designed with circular rings; each ring has tiny indentations that allow the rings to remain flat for a sleek and comfortable fit. Sometimes, links will be twisted and feature a diamond cut that enhances the chain with style and shimmer.

ESPIGA CHAIN: Espiga chains are crafted by intricately weaving metals in small links closely resembling an ear of corn or wheat. Also called a wheat chain, it is strong and durable, and is perfectly suitable for pendants.

FANCY CHAIN: Fancy chains cover a broad variety of styles. Specifically, it is a chain that has a different variation on a standard chain, like links that are specific shapes or that have a special finish or have dangles attached. This means a variety of special links, like heart shapes or various chains adorned with tiny shapes along the chain are considered fancy chains.

FIGARO CHAIN: A figaro chain is comprised of flat twisted links. It is a modified version of the curb chain where the interlocking flat links vary in size. It lays flat around the neck, is crafted with strength and durability and its versatility gives it a sense of fashion and style. 

FIGARUCCI CHAIN: Figarucci chains are a variation of the anchor or marine chain, but with long links that add decoration, like a Florentine pattern, that gives it a lace or filigree finish.

FOXTAIL CHAINTwo rows of slanted oval links face each other at a 45 degree angle in a foxtail chain. These links are connected by a series of flat rings running down the chain's center. This creates the impression of the hairs on a fox's tail. Foxtail chains are one of the most sturdy in appearance among the many chain styles.

FRANCO CHAINThe Franco chain is a thicker type of chain made with v-shaped links. The chain is sturdy and can support heavy pendants.

HERRINGBONE CHAINMultiple rows of v-shaped links are used to make up a herringbone chain. They lie completely flat, and each row alternates in direction, creating the herringbone pattern.

LINK CHAINThe link chain is the most common type of chain. It is formed of individual oval or round links interlocked in a uniform pattern with each link lying 90 degrees to the next. This chain is popular for its simple but classic look.

MARINER CHAINMariner chains are the strongest type of jewelry chain. It is designed with repeating oval links that are all the same size. They have a vertical bar in the middle of each link, and are arranged in a horizontal, then vertical arrangement. Also known as the anchor chain, it has a few variations, such as the Figarucci chain.

OMEGA CHAINPopular for its strength and how shiny it is, the Omega chain is made of individual metal plates lined up side by side and crimped to an underlying mesh base. The embedded wire is what provides the strength. There are both flat and round versions of this chain and it can be reversible. The omega chain is somewhat flexible, but it is still sufficiently rigid that it retains its ring shape when worn.

RAILROAD CHAINThe railroad chain features two continuous lines with cross bars that form a track-like design resembling railroad tracks. 

ROLO CHAINThe links of the rolo chain are usually smaller and thicker than that those of a cable chain and they tend to be oval or round. The links are flat on the inside and alternate in the direction they face. This is a popular chain style used for charm bracelets.

ROPE CHAINRows of metal links are woven together to create the appearance of two strands of rope in a rope chain. The join of each link is like a tiny hinge, meaning this style is not as flexible or liquid-like as some others.  

SHADBELLY CHAINA shadbelly chain is composed of points that are similar to shadbelly points used to enhance riding jackets worn by equestrians. The chain's links are woven closely together to provide strength as well as elegance.

SINGAPORE CHAINFlat diamond cut chain links are woven together to form a diamond shape. These diamond shaped links are then woven together, creating the Singapore chain. It is eye catching as it reflects light from different angles. The chain also has a natural curve, created by the weaving process, that is pleasing to the eye.

SNAKE CHAINCrafted of smooth, round metal plates or bands, a snake chain has a curve at the mid-point of each link. The links are then joined to create a continual flexible tube, reminiscent of a snake skin due to a slight zigzag pattern.

WHEAT CHAINA symmetrical type of rope chain, the wheat chain features small figure 8 links that display as a plaited appearance. Also known as the Espiga or Spiga chain, it is a symbol of wealth or faith.

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