Chain Types: Different Types of Chains Explained

Jewelry enthusiasts know chains are an essential cornerstone in any fashion-forward collection. Nevertheless, with diverse options readily accessible at every turn, figuring out which type perfectly aligns with your needs may feel like an uphill battle

Although not exhaustive, our guide has many of the principal chain styles and several obscure variations that offer distinct characteristics that may match your unique style or look.

Related: How We Make Our Chains

Classic Chain Styles

First are the simple and timeless chain styles you can mix and match or wear to get an elegant and understated look. They include: 

Belcher or Rolo Chain

This is a popular cable chain variation, and it features round links with flat insides and rounded outsides. A rolo chain is a variation where the links have a rounded design on both the inside and outside. 

  • Uses: Layering or pendants
  • Box Chain

    The simple but sturdy design makes box chains favorites with jewelry enthusiasts. Each link has a square shape with a sleek look. Also, they usually feature thinner profiles; you may hear people call them book or Venetian chains. 

  • Uses: Pendants or layering
  • Cable Chain

    Cable chains are likely the first thing that pops into one’s head when thinking about chains. These chains boast uniform links, which can either be oval or round with a single joint on both sides. A version of the cable chain, the trombone or paperclip chain, has elongated oblong links that alternate with smaller circular links. Ring and connector chains are other names for them.

  • Uses: Pendants or layering
  • Are you looking for new chains to update your style? LaCkore Couture has a range of high-quality necklaces and chains to consider. 

    Flat Chain Styles 

    Flat chains are patterned, attractive, and very comfortable to wear for extended periods. Some of the most popular options include: 

    Anchor or Marine Chain

    Anchor chains are curb chains with central bar support. This design strengthens the chain and creates a lovely neck pattern. As the name suggests, this chain style is what people use to anchor ships, which showcases the brilliant engineering behind the design.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Boston Link Chain

    Boston link chains are flattened cable chains that stack. These chains are thinner than other flat chains, making them suitable for specific pendants.

  • Uses: Layering or pendants 
  • C-Link Chain

    C-link chains have a curved boomerang-like shape instead of trapezoidal Boston link chain shapes. As a result, C-link links are more flexible than herringbone chains, but they still lay flat.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Cobra Chain

    Flat-laying cobra chains feature a zigzag center design. Triangle-shaped links distinguish the cobra from the Boston link and C-link chains.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Curb Chain

    Curb chains are cable chains with twisted, diamond-cut links that lay flat. These chains have many thicknesses and are flexible. Cuban chains are a heavier variation of the curb chain and have more tightly packed links. The double link or parallel chain is another option that works as a charm bracelet base.

  • Uses: Layering and pendants 
  • Figaro Chain

    Figaro chains resemble curb chains but have alternate link sizes that create a design. Men love figaro chains and find it fashionable to wear them alone. Figarucci chains are a similar style, and like anchor chains, they have alternate link forms and a reinforcing bar.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Foxtail Chain

    It’s common to confuse Foxtail chains with wheat chains; however, they have a squared edge and 45° links. In addition, these chains are narrower on two sides and broader on top and bottom, laying flat and displaying the chevron pattern.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Herringbone Chain

    Herringbone chains have sharp, interlocking links. This flat design is perfect for wearing alone as a display item. These chains also balance fluidity and stiffness, keeping them in place.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Infinity or Figure of Eight Chain

    Infinity chains feature oval links gently bent to lay flat (like a curb) and figure eight links that join them. This feminine pattern uses alternating links to create the look. 

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering 
  • Mesh Chain

    Depending on their construction, mesh chains can be flat or spherical. The woven or knitted thin wire creates these strands with a fabric-like fluidity for the wearer.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Omega Chain

    Omega chains are famous for their sleekness and near-seamless links. They get this look by crimping closely matched plates to a mesh substructure. Omega chains are rigid and might be flat or circular. 

  • Uses: Pendants or solo wear 
  • Panther Chain

    Panther chains are brick-patterned. You can make a bold chain with drapes from offset rectangular links in three or more rows. Depending on the link size, this design can look mesh-like.

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Scroll or Snail Chain

    Two wires spiraling together make scroll chain links. These links form a lovely flat pattern when worn. Additionally, you can pile scroll chains when they have thinner profiles.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • Serpentine Chain

    Parallel "S"-shaped connections distinguish serpentine chains. Serpentine chains are slender, beautiful, and great for layering. Nugget or tinsel chains are twisted serpentine chain variations. 

  • Uses: Solo wear, layering, or pendants 
  • Related: Polishing Metal Jewelry 


    Rounded chain with wedding rings


    Rounded Chain Styles

    Rounded-style chains are usually textured and sleek, giving you a very fluid look and feel when you wear them. A few standard rounded chains include: 

    Ball or Bead Chain

    Ball chains feature more patterns and textures than cable chains but have a thinner profile. You can get hollow or solid spheres with these chains, joined with connector bars. It’s more rigid, but it offers a decent amount of fluidity. 

  • Uses: Layering or pendants
  • Byzantine Chain

    It’s clear why Byzantine chains have lasted since 300 BCE. This intricate, robust, and regal chain stands out. The name may have derived from using “Byzantine” to symbolize detail or elaborateness. Birdcage or idiot’s joy chain are other common names you may hear people call it

  • Uses: Solo wear 
  • Popcorn Chain

    As the name suggests, this chain is stunningly textured and unique. You get hollow, rounded cup-shaped or flat links that connect to form a tubular design with excellent fluidity. As a result, they can offer a thicker profile without adding a lot of weight or being uncomfortable to wear. 

  • Uses: Solo wear
  • Snake Chain

    Snake chains come with a sleek and fluid look, making them immensely popular. Each link comes with a slight point that creates a chevron pattern that mimics snakeskin’s look and is very flexible. 

  • Uses: Pendants or layering 
  • Wheat or Spiga Chain

    Wheat or Spiga chains come with a woven or braided look that mimics how a stalk of wheat looks. They can be flat or rounded, offer great flexibility, and you can choose from various profiles and weights. 

  • Uses: Layering or pendants 
  • Specialty Chain Styles 

    Specialty chains are more high-end and unique, and they can feature a patterned design. Common examples include: 

    Bar Chain 

    Art Deco and Retro watch chains were bar or link chains. They range from plain to ornate bar links and alternate with oval links. These chains look great alone, but their smaller profile makes them easy to layer.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • Barleycorn Chain

    Barleycorn chains get the name for their links, which resemble barley grains. This scalloped chain is flexible and simple.

  • Uses: Layering or pendants 
  • Filigree Chain

    Marquise or oval filigree chains have scrolling wire links. These chains are feminine and beautiful, and they look like delicate lace.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • Peanut or Crinkle Chain

    Peanut or crinkle chains feature links crimped into a wavy peanut form. These thin chains provide texture while being very lightweight for comfortable extended wear.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • San Marco Chain

    San Marco chains have tubular semi-circle links with flat backs and twisted, rope-like fronts. This innovative design gives the chain a weighty, bold appearance while being comfortable against the skin.

  • Uses: Solo wear
  • Saturn Chain

    Cable, curb, or box Saturn chains have equally spaced beads. Station chains form a beautiful neck design that's ideal for layering.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • Do you want to add specialty chains to your collection? At LaCkore Couture, our list of best sellers has something for everyone to elevate your outfit! 


    Guy wearing a rope chain


    Twisted Chain Styles 

    Generally speaking, twisted chain styles are eye-catching and textured, making them popular for people who want statement pieces. A few common examples include:  

    Margarita Chain

    Margarita chains have rectangular links twisted widthwise. This gives a rough, tubular look with incredible sparkle for a great gift idea. Margarita chains stand out even when combined with other metals because of their distinctive design.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • Nugget or Tinsel Chain

    This twisted serpentine chain sparkles when you wear it. The design features twisted S-shaped links with more dimension. Nugget chains are lightweight and match various pendants.

  • Uses: Layering or pendants 
  • Rope Chain

    Rope chains come in many forms and weights. Classic rope chains have uniform links joined to two others at a time. This chain design twists naturally. Another variation is the French rope chains, they are robust, twisted, and heavier than the classic rope chains.

  • Solo wear, pendants, or layering
  • Singapore Chain

    Singapore chains have flattened, twisted diamond-cut links. This design sparkles and flows. Also, Singapore chains can flatten but twist naturally by themselves.

  • Uses: Solo wear or layering
  • Related: Pendant vs Charm: What’s the Difference?

    Choosing the Perfect Chain for Your Look

    Jewelry chains come in many styles for any occasion. From delicate and dainty chains to bold and chunky ones, there is a chain for every jewelry design. LaCkore Couture has a chain for everyone, and we invite you to browse our inventory to pick one that matches your style.