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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flat-laying cobra chains feature a zigzag center design. Triangle-shaped links distinguish the cobra from the Boston link and C-link chains.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Related: Polishing Metal Jewelry
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Specialty Chain Styles
Specialty chains are more high-end and unique, and they can feature a patterned design. Common examples include:
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.
Barleycorn chains get the name for their links, which resemble barley grains. This scalloped chain is flexible and simple.
Marquise or oval filigree chains have scrolling wire links. These chains are feminine and beautiful, and they look like delicate lace.
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.
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.
Cable, curb, or box Saturn chains have equally spaced beads. Station chains form a beautiful neck design that's ideal for 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!
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 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.
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.
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.
Singapore chains have flattened, twisted diamond-cut links. This design sparkles and flows. Also, Singapore chains can flatten but twist naturally by themselves.
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.