Top 24 Types of Necklace Chains

Posted by Dave The Bunny on

Jewelry is a popular gift for many occasions and there are many types of jewelry chain link styles.  Women and men enjoy having a variety of jewelry to match different outfits or to make different statements depending on their mood on a particular day. Therefore, it only makes sense that when it comes to necklaces, there are numerous different types of chains to purchase and wear regularly.

Necklaces date back as far as the Stone Age. Various types of adornment, including shells, teeth, stones, claws and bones were worn on necklaces around a person's neck. They were used as a decorative aspect even as far back as the Stone Age. They also showed a person's economic status or religious affiliation.
As early as 2500 b.c., necklaces began to be created using gold. Beads, colored stones and gemstones began gaining popularity at this time as the decorative elements on the gold chains being created. Copper and silver also came into popularity as materials for the creation of necklaces.

The types of chains have been created in different countries, at different times throughout history. They are made up of different types of links and provide very different looks. The chains make each necklace different, and they go a long way toward making the individual wearing it feel good about themselves and their jewelry choices. The type of chains that are popular with men differ greatly from those that are the preferred choice of women. Each chain has a different place in history and in current culture. Some are popular with certain groups and are a status symbol for that group.

The choice of a necklace can be challenging due to the wide variety of chains and pendants available and the countless ways a necklace can be interpreted when viewed by other individuals. Keeping in mind both the personality and interests of the recipient, you may need to do some research before you just go purchase a chain and pendant for a loved one. Still, if you are careful and do the research, you might see great appreciation for the gift you so carefully chose for that person.

Below are some of the various chain link types that are popular with jewelers and customers today.

Bead Chain


This type of chain is made up of spheres of metal, rather than open links. The spheres can be hollow so as to minimize the weight of the necklace, or they can be solid. Also known as the ball chain or pelline chain, this type of necklace can have the balls evenly spaced along a chain or placed directly next to one another, with no spacer segments between.


Box Chain


Made from round wire, this type of chain is made when the wire is rolled flat and then folded into square links. This type of chain is admired for its simplicity and provides a sturdy and classic uniform appearance. Other names for this type of chain are book, briolette, square link and Venetian chain.

Braided Chain

Braided chains are popular in particular with the teenage group and are especially fine chains. They tend to be cheaper to purchase and look great with darker hair due to the sheer sparkle of such a fine chain. These chains are also known as Jaserons.


Cable Chain

Using individual oval or round links, this chain has the links at 90 degrees from one to the next. It resembles the chains used for ships, and it is the most common chain used in jewelry. The chain is uniform, with each link exactly like the next. This chain is also known as the link chain.


Curb Chain

A variation of cable chain, this type of chain takes the uniform oval or round links and makes them twisted and sometimes diamond cut. Also known as gourmette chain, the Curb chain has the most variety when it comes to widths.

Fancy Chain


Any chain that has a different variation on a standard chain, like links that are specific shapes or that have a special finish or have dangles attached, is considered to be a Fancy Chain. This means a wide variety of special links, like heart shapes or various chains adorned with tiny shapes in a specific number spread along the chain, are categorized as fancy chains.


Figaro Chain

Similar to Curb Chain, the Figaro chain has twisted, flattened links. The part that makes this type of chain unique, however, is there is no uniformity to the size of the links. A repeating pattern is created, usually with around five shorter links followed by a longer link. This pattern is maintained throughout the length of the chain.


This type of chain originated in Italy and is named after the opera, The Marriage of Figaro.


Foxtail Chain

Two rows of slanted oval links face each other at a 45 degree angle in the Foxtail Chain. They are connected by a series of flat rings running down the chain's center. This creates the impression of the hairs on a fox's tail, appearing full and braided or woven. This type of chain can be diamond cut, or it can be hammered into a square profile.


Franco Chain


The Franco Chain is a thicker type of chain, made with v-shaped links. The chain originated in Italy and is available in any width from four millimeters to eight millimeters. It is available in gold or silver plated, as well as a black variety.
This type of chain is sturdy and can support heavy pendants. For this reason, this type of chain is very popular in hip hop culture, in particular with rap and other music artists. These chains are durable and can be purchased in various lengths. They are very versatile and cost-efficient, since they are typically made of brass under the gold or silver plating.

Gourmette Chain

Also known as Curb Chain, the Gourmette Chain is made of oval or round links, all the same size and typically diamond cut or twisted so they lie flat on a surface. This type of chain has the most variety when it comes to widths.
This type of chain was originally created to link a horse's bit under the chin. It is still used for this purpose, but it has also gained popularity in jewelry. Gourmette comes from the French word “Grommet,” which means a ring or wreath of rope.

Herringbone Chain

Multiple rows of v-shaped links are used to make up this type of chain. They lie completely flat, and each row alternates in direction. This creates the herringbone pattern. The links can have different colors for each row, making a tri-colored effect. Different strands of this type of chain can be plaited together to create an even more notable effect.


Mariner Chain

This is the strongest type of jewelry chain, thanks to its design. It has repeating oval links, all the same size. These links typically have a vertical bar in the middle of each link. The links are arranged in a horizontal, then vertical arrangement. Also known as the anchor chain, this type of chain has a few variations, including the Figarucci chain, flat anchor chain and round anchor chain. The maritime chain is another variation of this type of chain, and for that chain only every other link is the anchor link described above.


Miami Cuban Chain

Available in widths from 2.5 millimeters to 12 millimeters, the Miami Cuban chain is made in Italy. It is made of solid gold and looks like thick oval links interwoven to create a chain that resembles snake scales. The chain can also be found in Silver, material covered in gold plate or covered in diamonds, depending on your price range.

Milano Chain

The Milano Chain is a rope style, made to interlock with other chains and is especially popular for men to wear. It is typically made of gold and ranks in popularity with the Figaro chain. This type of chain has been around for many years and is well known upon sight.

Omega Chain

Popular for its strength and how shiny it is, the Omega Chain is made of individual metal plates lined up side by side and crimped to an underlying mesh base. There are both flat and rounded versions of this type of chain. It can also be reversible.


Rolo Chain

The links for a Rolo chain are usually smaller and thicker than those of a cable chain. However, they also tend to be oval or round. The links are flat on the inside and tend to be alternating in the direction they face. This type of chain is popular for charm bracelets. Another name for this type of chain is the Belcher Chain.


Rope Chain

Rows of metal links are woven for this type of chain, creating the appearance of a two-strand rope. It can also look as if more than two strands are woven together in a spiral effect. This chain has a significant downside: if one link fails, the rest of the chain can easily fall apart because each individual link is not fully joined to the next.


Singapore Chain

Flat, diamond cut chain links are woven together to form a diamond shape. These diamond shaped links are then woven together, creating the chain. This creates an eye-catching chain, as it reflects light from different angles. The chain also has a natural curve, created by the weaving process, that is appealing to the eye.


Snake Chain

Made of smooth, round metal plates or bands, this type of chain has a bend at the mid-point of each link. The links are joined to create a continual flexible tube. There is no support within this type of chain. Also known as the Brazilian Chain or Hexagon chain, this chain is popular for the display of a pendant.


Sparkle Chain

This chain is made of oval links that alternate to form the pattern of the chain. It can be purchased in white gold, sterling silver or gold. This type of chain can have a width of anywhere in the range of 0.475-0.525 millimeters, and it typically comes with a spring ring clasp.


Square Wheat Chain

Similar to the Wheat type of chain (below), the Square Wheat chain has four strands of links that are woven together, creating a rope chain. However, where the strands come together in a rounded presentation, the square wheat is a square chain. It is available in gold, silver and white gold. It can be plated in rhodium and can boast a diamond-cut finish.


Wheat Chain

A symmetrical type of rope chain, Wheat Chain has small, figure 8-shaped links that display as a plaited appearance. This type of chain is created using four strands of oval and/or twisted oval links. It is also known as Espiga Chain and Spiga Chain.


Today's jewelry is still a symbol of wealth or faith. It also is simply decoration and a way to accentuate the outfit a woman is wearing, or it is a method of making a statement for a man. Current cultures have moved away from the social status inferred from the jewelry worn by an individual or a group of individuals.
Birthstones are a popular choice to decorate necklaces today, as are crosses, hearts, stars and various lockets and shapes that show off a person's interests. It may be possible to determine a person's passion by the necklace they wear. It also may bear no significance to the wearer, other than the necklace was a gift and the recipient wishes to show their appreciation by wearing the gift.
The length of the chain for today's necklaces does not show anything other than a person's preference for where the necklace hits on the upper or lower chest.
In today's culture, a new trend has arisen as well: the popularity of children's necklaces. These necklaces are typically made of plastic and are continuous loops made out of plastic and beads, decorated with cartoon characters or simple shapes that catch the attention of a child. Another popular type of necklace in today's world is the candy necklace. Children wear these stretchy necklaces and can eat the round candies that decorate the necklace. Once the candy is gone, the elastic cord the candy was on can be thrown away.