Ten Most Common Chains Explained

Ten Most Common Chains Explained

Chains are on trend right now whether they’re thin and delicate or chunky and bold. There are a lot of options when it comes to chains though and some chains are built sturdier than others. Depending what the purpose of the chain is for, some styles work better better than others. While there are certainly more chain styles than mentioned, I’m reviewing the ten most common when it comes to necklace and bracelet chains. Keep in mind that some popular chains today like the paperclip, are really just certain styles of cable chains.



cable chain 


The traditional chain link, cable chains are interlocking uniform oval or round links. Cable links can also be flattened, textured, or long uniform links making cable chains very versatile style wise. Popular cable chains include the paperclip (elongated oval interconnecting links), traditional round or oval links, and flattened round or oval links.


curb chain


Curb chains are a spin off the traditional cable chain but with twisted links. Flattened and twisted interlocking links, curb chains are least likely to kink. Its design lays flat against the body and is an incredibly strong chain. Larger, chunky curb chains are a popular style with both men and women.


rolo chain


Similar to the curb and cable chain, rolo chains are interlocking links that are round and flattened. They are less likely than curb and cable chain to snag on clothing because of its flattened round links. Smaller rolo chains are popular to style with pendants while larger rolo chains are popular by itself.


figaro chain


Figaro chains involve alternating chain lengths to create a pattern and similar to curb chains, have interlocking links. The most common pattern being 3 small links and 1 elongated link, there are many other variations as well including flattened and textured links. Popular with men, larger linked figaro chains are popular worn without adornments.


box chain


Similar to its obvious name, box chains are cubed interconnecting links. Its minimal design and chain strength make these chains great for pendants or jewelry that will be worn frequently. Popular box chains are smaller cubed links whose chain can be used in both necklaces and bracelets.


snake chain


Snake chains are a series of wavy bands joined tightly together, which creates the appearance of a flexible tube. Snake chains are not the sturdiest design making them a poor choice for pendants. Delicate snake chains worn unadorned either layered or singular are a popular style with women.


satellite chain


This popular layering necklace is made with standard links and equally spaced accents. Metal orbs or discs placed equal lengths apart turns a minimalist chain into a decorative one. While satellite chains can be used for any style, they are most popularly worn layered with other chain necklaces.


bead chain


As its name hints, bead chains do not appear to have links and instead are metal spheres connected together with wire. Metal spheres can be hollow or solid so not all bead chains weigh the same. Most commonly associated with military dog tags and window blinds, bead chains are a popular statement piece. With a variety of bead (ex. gemstones, glass, or metal) options, metal bead chains are a popular style choice for women.


rope chain


Rope chains appear to look like rope due to twisted links that are connected to other links in a row. The twist creates a spiral effect and gives it its woven look. Like snake and bead chains, rope chains are delicate. Larger rope chains worn alone is a popular style with men while smaller rope chains worn layered is popular with women.


wheat chain


Wheat chains are similar to rope chains but with a weaved/braided appearance. Each link contains four twisted ovals that are weaved together creating a distinctive strand pattern. As sturdy as cable and curb chains, wheat chains are fairly versatile with styles.


Most people have their preferences when it comes to chains and some chains simply must be used with certain styles of jewelry. By breaking down each type, it will hopefully help your decision making process the next time you need to choose which style you’d prefer while also sounding like a boss who’s totally in the know when it comes to chains.

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