Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of Chain Jewelry

Chain Jewelry

There are several gold and silver chain types that you can add to your jewelry collection. Each type offers a unique effect to the wearer, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the different chain styles available to you.

This handy guide, by Fraser Ross Jewelry, will help you understand chain types, how they are created, and the purpose that each type serves:

Belcher chain

Belcher chain
This type of chain is very popular especially in Britain. Also known as rolo chain, it is made up of round or oval links that are joined together and come in identical shapes and sizes. Belcher chains are classic for bracelets and necklaces, and can be worn either as a pendant chain or solo chain. Since belcher chains are made from half round wires that are connected in an alternating sequence, they are heavier than cable chains and look pleasantly simple.

Box chain

Box chain
A box chain has square links instead of the usual round links, giving this chain type the appearance of a box. Thicker versions of box chains are sturdy, and look great as statement pieces, while thinner box chains are favored by women, and are often adorned with pendants.

Anchor chain

Anchor chain
This jewelry chain is similar to the chains used by sailors to secure their boats, hence the name. The anchor chain, also known as mariner chain, is a classic chain design that is characterized by alternating oval and round links, which are arranged in a vertical then horizontal position. Anchor chains are fairly heavy and is popular with men who like adorning their marine chains with medallions and long pendants. Variations of this chain type include flat anchor chains which are characterized by flattened links, and round anchor chains that have slightly rounded chains.

Cable chain

Cable chain
Cable chain, or Link chain consists of oval or round links of the same size that intermingle with one another. Cable chain is one of the most common type of jewelry chain that most people choose for a bracelet, or a simple necklace that can be adorned with a charm. The links in a cable chain are often the same thickness, and are made from flattened wire or round wire.

Curb chain

Curb chain
Curb chains are a popular choice with men because of their large links that are able to hold heavy pendants. This type of chain features a classic design of identical oval links that are joined together. The links are twisted so that they interlock and lie flat along surfaces. You can find curb chains in a variety of different sizes, from large, heavy links, to smaller curb chains that will suit women.

Figaro chain

Figaro chain
This type of chain is similar to curb chain, as both feature flattened twisted links. The difference lies in the size of the links, as figaro chains do not feature uniform link shapes or sizes. Figaro chains typically have two to four shorter links alternating with a longer link to create a pattern of twisted links. This chain type originated from Italy, and is widely used by both men and women.

Snake chain

Snake chain
Also referred to as Brazilian chain, this type of chain is unique, as it is made up of round smooth metal plate rather than traditional links. The rings in a snake chain are joined together very closely to form a flexible piece that looks like smooth snake skin.

Rope chain

Rope chain
A rope chain consists of several oval links that are linked in a twisted pattern to resemble the shape of a rope. Rope chains are versatile, making them a popular choice for women looking for chains they can pendants on. You can also find heavier versions of this chain type, which can be worn without adornments.