Types of Necklace Chains (Ultimate Guide)

Types of Necklace Chains (Ultimate Guide)

Want to buy a necklace? There are a lot of things you have to consider.

The necklace chain is one of the key factors you cannot afford to ignore. There are several types and designs of chains to choose from and not all of them will match your personality or look.

gold chain

This simple guide will teach you about:

  • Gold chain styles
  • The strongest type of chain for necklaces
  • The name of a flat chain necklace
  • Materials used to make chains for necklaces

Popular Types of  Necklace Chains

The most common styles of gold chain in the market are Figaro, Mariner, and Cuban. Apart from these, there are many others that you can buy too. We need to look at other styles too to appreciate how brilliant and complex the styles are. Here are other gold chain styles:

1. Cuban Link Chain

Also known as Curb chain, the Cuban Link Chain is a hot cake in the jewelry industry, it is the type of necklace chain that is most popular sells more than any other.

22" Miami Cuban Link Chain
22″ Miami Cuban Link Chain

This chain features an interlocking pattern that makes the chain and the entire necklace last long. These chains are attractive to the eye and are versatile.

2. Rope Chain

This is a classic chain and popular among Hip Hop lovers. The links in the chain are joined together to form a pattern that looks similar to a rope.

Rope Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (1.15 mm)

Popular Rap music groups have done a good job in making these chains resurface by showing off this type of jewelry in public appearances and their music videos.

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3. Figaro Chain

This is a unique chain that attracts the eye from a distance. Its pattern is made up of two or three round links that are joined by an oval link end to end.

Figaro Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (2.25 mm)
Figaro Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (2.25 mm)

This chain style was initially designed to be worn by both men and women but men seem to have owned this style of chain. Medallions and crosses are the most popular pendants that are paired with Figaro chains.

4. Mariner Chain

This style of chain almost looks like the Cuban chain in terms of pattern and shape. The links of this chain have a shape that is identical to a ship’s anchor.

8.5" Men's High Polish Alternating Mariner Link Bracelet
8.5″ Men’s High Polish Alternating Mariner Link Bracelet

This chain comes in two designs- the flat link edge and the rounded edge.

5. Snake Chain

This chain has round or square cross-links that are tightly joined together in a diagonal format to create a zigzag pattern.

18″ Snake Chain Necklace

The links are tightly interconnected such that the chains look like a snake’s skin.

6. Box Chain

This chain design consists of square links that are connected. Unlike other chain designs, the box chain is very thick and bulky.

Box Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (0.9 mm)

7. Byzantine Chain

Of all the chain designs listed here, this has the most obscure design. The links are interconnected in such a complex design.

Byzantine Necklace in 18k Italian Yellow Gold (7.5 mm)
Byzantine Necklace in 18k Italian Yellow Gold (7.5 mm)

The interconnection gives the chain a texture that can be compared to the rope chain. Because the links intermingle, this chain is expandable and hangs well around your collarbone.

8. Belcher Chain

This chain can also be called the Rolo chain. It is made of wide D-shaped links. It is a common choice of many jewelers and is made of different metal mixtures and sizes.

9. Wheat Chain

This chain has a complex design composed of four strands of tear-shaped links intertwined such that they all face in one direction.

Wheat Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (1.2 mm)
Wheat Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (1.2 mm)

The Wheat chain is the most durable necklace accessory amongst all chin styles regardless of its length and thickness. The bad news is it is not expandable.

10. Diamond Cut Chain

The term Diamond in this type of chain should not confuse you, this chain does not have a diamond pendant.

22" Men's Diamond Cut Square Franco Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (4 mm)
22″ Men’s Diamond Cut Square Franco Chain in 14k Yellow Gold (4 mm)

This chain sells at a fairly high price because it has sharp edges that make it shine a lot. Diamond Cut chain can be compared to the Rope chain design.

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11. Herringbone Chain

Heringbone chain style is one of those chains that can only be worn as it is made. You cannot adorn it with a pendant of any design, size, and shape.

18" Herringbone Chain in 14k Italian Yellow Gold (3 mm)

This is because the chain is made of slim flat links that are intertwined. The links are bent at the center to portray a herringbone appearance. This is one of the most delicate chain types, it kinks very easily.

 Strongest Necklace Chain

Two important factors determine how strong and stable a necklace chain can be-link sizes and patterns of interlocking as well as their shape. A close look at all the chain styles above will reveal that the Wheat chain is the strongest. This is because it is made of four strands intertwined in oval links which are then interlocked and twisted in the same direction.

The wheat chain can be worn independently or matched with a pendant. It is closely related to the rope chain and features a smooth texture. Although it is light, it does not kink easily. Other strong chains include Byzantine, Cuban link, and Rope.

Remember, other factors determine how strong a necklace chain is. One of those factors is the kind of material used to make the chain. The most durable material is platinum, although it is rarely found. You cannot compare platinum strength to a material that is less expensive and considered light too. We shall look at this later on.

What is a Flat Chain Necklace Called?

In simple terms, a flat chain necklace is a term used to refer to a Herringbone chain. As already mentioned, the Herringbone chain is made of thin flat metal links tightly connected. It is considered among the chains that do not last long since it can easily kink up. If you are not convinced about the Herringbone chain, you can try out the Mariner chain, it is also a flat style chain.

Materials Used to Make Necklace Chains

If you have been shopping for jewelry for some time now, you know how important the material used in manufacturing jewelry is. This is because the material has a great impact on factors such as durability, appearance, flexibility, and feel. There are myriad materials that different manufacturers use in the construction of necklace chains.

Most neck chains are made using sterling silver that contains a small percentage of copper in it. This silver and copper combination boasts of a durable chain but one that tarnishes easily.

Another good but very expensive material is gold. Karat is the measure used to tell how pure a neck chain is made of gold. The purest gold chain is 24 karat while an 18 karat chain has 75% pure gold. As the number of karats reduces, so does the gold purity. However, a neck chain made of pure gold is not the best since it is highly malleable.

Jewelry manufacturers mix gold and other metals to determine the color and strength of the neck chain. an alloy is what results from mixing pure gold and other metals. The commonest metals mixed with gold are nickel, silver, copper, palladium, and zinc. A white gold necklace chain refers to a chain that is made of a mixture of gold and materials like nickel, silver, and palladium. Rose gold on the other hand is an alloy of gold and a lot of copper.

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Platinum is another material used to make chains. However, it is the hardest material to find and thus the most expensive. It is also the heaviest of all metals. Apart from the price and rarity, platinum is extremely durable and does not scratch.

Platinum is said to be very durable, but not as much as titanium. Titanium is stronger than platinum but costs less. It is also the lightest metal, is hypoallergenic and scratch-resistant.

Where to Buy Necklace Chains

Blue Nile is the best place to buy necklace chains. The store has a wide range of chains that fit different budgets. This is also the store that I recommend if you are looking to  buy gold chains online.

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