Understanding Chain Types

Chain Types

If you’re in the market to purchase a gold chain into your jewelry collection, it is best to understand the different types of chain and style options you can pick from.

We made this handy guide to cover the many types of chain, how each type is created, and what they are best for.

Cable chain

Cable chain is the traditional link chain that most of us are familiar with. It consists of several round or oval links that are uniform in size, and that are connected together to form the chain.

Cable chains can be altered by elongating or flattening the links, and texturing the metal surface. This type of chain can be worn as a bracelet without adornment, for a minimalist look, but you can also add pendants or charms of your choice to fit your intended usage for the chain.

Belcher chain

A belcher chain, also known as rolo chain, is made with symmetrical links that are connected together. The links are typically identical in size and shape. This chain is heavier than cable chains because of the metal strips that are used to form it.

Rolo chains are a popular choice among people looking for a jewelry piece that can bring versatility to any look. It comes in varying sizes, and can be worn as a solo chain or as a pendant chain.

Curb chain

A curb chain features links that are twisted in such a way that they interlock tightly together and they lie flat on surfaces. The flattened loops are usually identical in size and oval in shape. This type of chain has the most variety of sizes, from very fine formations up to several centimeters.

Curb chains are traditionally made with heavy links, which are popular with men. Nowadays, there are smaller curb chains that give off a more feminine vibe.

Figaro chain

This chain is similar to curb chain in that it features flattened links that have a uniform shape or size. Typically, figaro chains have three to five shorter links alternating between a longer link. Figaro chains, which originated in Italy, have a repeating pattern of twisted links that makes it an attractive piece of jewelry for both men and women.

Snake chain

Snake chain, also referred to as Brazilian chain, is made of smooth metal plate that are tightly connected with thin links to form a flexible chain. This type of chain is typically narrow and delicate, and with a texture of a smooth snake skin, hence its name. Because the rings in a snake chain are fit together very closely, some may think that this is not a flexible chain. But once you wear it, you’ll find that the wavy metal provides its flexible qualities. Snake chains can be worn with or without a pendant.  

Ball chain

A ball chain consists of metal balls fixed along a chain. The balls are commonly connected close together with short lengths in between.

Anchor chain

Anchor chains resemble the chains used by old sailors to attach an anchor to a boat. They are fairly heavy and are quite popular as jewelry pieces for men. It features uniformly sized links that are round and oval in shape, and are arranged alternatively in a vertical and then horizontal orientation. Anchor chains are also referred to as mariner chains.

You may find variations of this chain design including flat anchor chain where the links are flattened and lie on the surface the same way, and resembles a cable chain, a round anchor chain where the outer surfaces of the links are rounded, and a version called maritime chain where every other link is an anchor link.

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