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Article: Different Types Of Necklace Chains You Should Know About

different types of gold chains

Different Types Of Necklace Chains You Should Know About

With so many different types of chains to buy out there, it can be hard to identify their names, as well as which one to get. With so many options to choose from it can be difficult to choose which one to get. However,  don’t let this problem stop you from elevating your outfit with a necklace chain, we’ve got you covered!

In this blog, we solve your necklace chain woes by exploring the different types of necklace chains available. We’ll go over what each chain is, some key characteristics and some suggestions on how to style them!

Cuban Chain

8mm Silver Miami Cuban Link In 20 Inch by Sky Austria

The Miami Cuban Link chain necklace originated in Miami when the wearing of hip-hop jewellery was popularised and gained attention. Even today we still see many hip-hop artists rock chunky Cuban link chains in different variations.

Similar to the cable link chain, a Cuban chain features oval links that intersect in a rope pattern, whilst the links twist into a cable-like design. Often the appearance of the Cuban chain will be flat laying on the chest.

Cuban chains are one of the more durable and strong necklace designs as they are often thicker, and with the links being interconnected it creates a sturdy structure that is hard to break.

Depending on the thickness of the Cuban chain we recommend wearing thicker Cuban chains as a statement piece. If you have a thinner Cuban chain wear it with a pendant or layered with a pendant for that extra wow factor.

Learn more about the Cuban chain necklace in our blog post that covers what is a Cuban chain.

Rope Chain

male wearing 3mm gold rope chain on neck 

3mm 18 Inch Gold Rope Chain by Sky Austria

Similar to the Cuban chain, the rope chain became popular in the Hip hop community and was popularised by various Golden Age rap groups.

Rope chains come in two variations with the most common being where the links are extremely close together to create a rope-like effect, this is known as the standard / French rope chains. Some rope chains have larger gaps between them, and which one you decide to choose is a matter of preference.

Rope chain necklaces are chains with a woven rope appearance that don't have individual links connected, but instead links or strands that are twisted or braided together to give the effect of a single continuous chain.

Rope chains are another extremely strong chain as they consist of multiple links and strands. Its increased strength does come with reduced flexibility, which can be a benefit as the chain is less likely to knot or tangle. If the rope chain breaks the whole chain can be disrupted and the rest of the links could unravel. In addition, getting a rope chain fixed is much more problematic as it consists of single strands.

Often you'll find the rope chain is used to hold a pendant as the chain is such a versatile piece. The chain is great for layering with other chains or with another pendant chain.

To learn more about this chain, check out our ultimate guide to the rope chain.
Looking to buy yourself a timeless rope chain? Shop our rope chains.


Herringbone Chain

male wearing 3mm gold herringbone chain on neck

3mm Gold Herringbone Chain In 20 Inch by Sky Austria

The origins of the herringbone chain trace back to Ancient Egypt, with the chain resembling the slanted bones of a herring fish.

The herringbone is a flat chain necklace with patterns that consists of several rows of V-shaped links that create a chain that is flexible and moves similar to a snake. The flatness of the chain gives the appearance of a wide chain necklace and is a classic piece that looks expensive and luxurious, with many females and males choosing to wear it.

Due to the chain's flexibility, it is one of the more fragile chains with any significant weight or pulls being able to bend the links. In addition to this because it has a complex chain structure the herringbone chain cannot be fixed, and if one area of the link is damaged it can unravel the entire structure.

Therefore we don't recommend putting a pendant on this chain as it can cause the chain to break. At the same time the flat structure would disrupt the movement of the pendant if you were to try and put a pendant on it. Wear this chain flat on skin without anything attached to it to keep your chain in the best condition, however saying this many still choose to wear this chain layered with a pendant.

To learn more about the herringbone chain check out our blog posts covering what is a herringbone chain.

Figaro Chain

male wearing 3mm silver figaro chain

3mm Silver Figaro by Sky Austria

The Figaro chain was first designed in Italy and is popular among men due to its minimalistic design. This simple chain was thought to be named after the main character of the classic opera "The Barber Of Seville" and "The Marriage Of Figaro"

The structure of the Figaro chain consists of two to three small circular links followed by a longer oval link. The longer oval links give the chain the appearance of it being longer even at shorter necklace lengths. The Figaro necklace is a very unique chain with separate chain sections looking like two different designs joined together.

Often the links of a Figaro chain are soldered and with them being one of the heavier chain options, they are extremely strong and resistant to breaking which makes it a long-lasting jewellery piece.

Because of its simplistic design, we recommend wearing a Figaro chain with a pendant or layered with a pendant to add dimension to your fit. If you are looking for a more subtle look wearing it alone works great too.

Learn more about the Figaro chain at our blog which covers what is a Figaro chain.

Wheat Chain

3mm Gold Wheat Chain by Sky Austria

The wheat chain is another chain that originated from Italy and often goes by the name "espiga chain". The wheat chain also has connections with Spain as well and is known by this name too.

The chain structure consists of twisted figure of eight shaped links that join together to form a symmetrical three-dimensional chain. Its braided and interlocking structure mimics that of wheat.

Due to the interlocking structure of the wheat necklace chain, it has reduced flexibility but is still more flexible than a rope chain. Because of its durable characteristics, the wheat chain is great for holding the weight of a heavy pendant.

We recommend wearing the wheat chain on its own as a statement piece if it is a thick diameter, however, if you decide on a thinner chain we'd advise putting a pendant on it or layer with another chain or pendant.

To learn more about the wheat chain check out our blog post about what is a wheat chain.

Box Chain

The box chain also known as the "Venetian Chain" or the "Rectangular Chain Necklace" originated in Venice Italy. The box chain can be described as a square chain necklace, which gives it a smooth appearance. 

The box chain is made from round wire which is flattened into square and box-shaped links with four equal sides, interconnected with one another to form a symmetrical flat and square structure that gives it a sleek and reflective design.

Because of the chain's interlinking wires and box-shaped structure, these chains are known for being super durable and a great chain for holding pendants. 

We recommend wearing box chains layered with a pendant or holding a pendant, as the square and symmetrical design can be boring for some.


Tennis Chain

4mm 18k Gold Plated Tennis Necklace by Sky Austria

The tennis necklace is a chain that consists of a row or multiple row of diamonds or gemstones. These stones are usually symmetrical in size but can also come in various shapes, sizes and colours mixed together.

They come in a variety of materials the most popular being stainless steel, silver, sterling, silver and gold. In addition, they also come in a variety of colours including silver, gold and rose gold. Furthermore, they can come in various settings including prong and bezel settings which affect the look of a tennis chain.

Because of how shiny a tennis chain is, this is the perfect piece to wear as a statement. If you are feeling braced layer up a tennis chain with another chain or a pendant of the same colour. A truly versatile chain, the tennis chain goes with both formal and informal outfits as well.

Learn more about this type of chain by reading our ultimate guide to tennis chains.

Pearl Chain

6mm half pearl half cuban chain

6mm Silver Half Pearl Half Cuban Necklace by Sky Austria

The pearl chain necklace is a type of beaded bracelet that consist of single or multiple rows of pearls strung together by a string or metal wire. It is rare to find a "natural" pearl used to make pearl necklaces, with the majority of pearl chains being cultured by humans.

Pearl chain necklaces can consist of imitation or faux pearls or they can be made from real pearls. If the pearl necklace is made from real pearls it can come in different types of including Akoya pearls, south sea pearls, Tahitian pearls and many more.

People tend to think that the pearl chain necklace is a boring style of the necklace because pearls are seen as just white beads, however, each type of pearl will have a different characteristic whether it be the size, lustre, shine, colour or surface texture. The types of pearls and their characteristics will also affect the overall price of the necklace.

Learn more about the pearl chain necklace by reading our ultimate guide to pearl chain necklaces.

Curb Chain

male wearing silver curb chain around neck

The Curb chain is characterised by its flattened and twisted links. Each link is tightly interlinked with the other allowing the chain to lie flat on the chest. The Curb chain has a similar look to the Cuban chain but has much larger gaps between each link and each link is much more oval in shape and flatter. Because of this the Curb chain also tends to be on the lighter side. Other names for the Curb chain include the “Gourmette chain” or the “Grumetta chain”

The Curb chain usually comes with a diamond-cut design. This is where the corners and sides of the links are shaped to create factors. This creates a super reflective chain surface. They are available in a range of lengths and widths and can be worn as both a statement piece or a subtle accent to an outfit. Usually, these types of chains are made using precious metals such as gold or silver, but can also be made using stainless steel or brass. Each end of the Curb chain is usually connected together using a simple lobster clasp. 

The flat appearance of the Curb chain makes it a super versatile piece to style with. It can be worn with any outfit for any occasion and works well layered with other pendants or chains. 


Ball Chain

male wearing silver ball chain on neck

As the name suggests, the ball chain is made up of small metal balls joined together using a metal wire. Each ball within the ball chain is evenly spaced at regular intervals. These metal balls are hollow inside and have two antipodal holes. 

The end of the wire is housed inside of the ball and is bent and bound inside so that it doesn’t slide back out of the metal ball. At the end of the chain is a special connector mechanism with connects the end of the ball chain with the specially shaped clasp. 

This chain was most notably worn by people in the military in the 19th century with a dog tag attached to it. 

The ball chain comes in a variety of styles including diamond cut, oval-shaped, engraved and spiral. They can also come in a variety of widths with the most common being 1mm and 2mm. The ball chain tends to be made from low-grade materials, but can also be found in silver, gold, stainless steel, brass or nickel materials. Because of the usual low-grade materials used to make the ball chain, it lacks strength and durability. 

The ball chain is another versatile style of chain. It suits dog tag pendants well and can even work for some other lighter pendants as well. With its simple look, the ball chain suits both casual and smart outfits. 

Rolo Chain

female wearing thick gold rolo chain

The Rolo chain consists of small uniform links which are identical to one another. Each link on a Rolo chain is connected to each others. The chain has a similar look to the cable chain, but the links on a Rolo chain tend to be more rounded on the outside and flatter on the inside. Another name for this type of chain is the “belcher chain” 

The chain originated in the 18th century and is thought to be named after bare-knuckle boxer Jem Belcher. 

The Rolo chain comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Available in many different shapes including more round or oval options. These chains usually feature a lobster clasp. Usually, this chain is made from materials including silver, gold, stainless steel or brass. A truly timeless piece that suits any style. 

This is also a great chain for holding pendants as it has a uniform and simplistic design, keeping the attention on the pendants. Structurally the chain is also very durable and is great for holding heavier and larger pendants. Great to be layered with other necklace chains too.

Link / Paper Clip Chain

female wearing gold paper clip chain

The link chain features longer more oval-shaped links that are interlocked together in an alternating fashion. The elongated links of this chain resemble a paper clip, hence why it is also known as the “paperclip chain. Their simple but practical chain design makes them sturdy and long-lasting. 

The link chain comes in a variety of styles, lengths and widths. The link chain can come in variations that are more rectangular or more oval in nature. You can find these types of chains ranging from thin and subtle to bold and chunky. The link chain is usually made from materials including gold, silver, stainless steel, brass or nickel. They often come with a standard lobster clasp. 

Because of how simplistic the link chain is, is it the perfect chain for those looking for a subtle jewellery piece. It can even be layered with other pendants or necklaces to create a unique look. Because of how strong the chain is, it can even be used to hold heavy pendants. 

Cable Chain

female wearing gold cable chain on neck

One of the most common chain types out there the cable chain is characterised by oval links interlocked with each other. The chain has the appearance of thin wire that has been shaped into rounded and oval links. 

This chain also goes by the name “trace chain” or “anchor chain”. This is because the cable chain has a similar look to the chain that is used to anchor ships. One of the most simplistic styles of chain out there that suits most people's styles. Can come with diamond-cut links or plain rounded links. 

The Cable chain is usually thinner in nature with sizes only going up to 2mm to 3mm. Surprisingly despite its thin links, it is a very strong and durable chain. Because it is not as thick as other types of chains it is also extremely lightweight and easy to wear around the neck. You can find this chain in a variety of styles, with some being more round, oval or flat. 

Because of the Cable chain's exceptional durability, it is great for holding smaller pendants or charms. It has a simple design that is ideal for everyday wear and works well with any outfit or occasion. Layer with pendants or other chains to truly make a statement!

Lariat Chain

female wearing gold lariat chain on neck

The Lariat necklace chain is characterised by its unique decorative drop. This drop can be in the form of beads, tassels, bars or even pendants. The overall shape of the Lariat is a Y, which is why it is also known as the “Y necklace” 

This type of chain has an unusual necklace closure, with the chain being secured through looping, tying or wrapping around the neck. If the Lariat chain does a closure, this will usually be in the form of a T-bar clasp.  The lariat necklace tends to be longer and thinner than other types of chains. 

This style of chain is much more feminine and less common for guys to wear. The lariat chain is often made from precious metals like gold or silver but can also be found in stainless steel as well.

This is one of the most versatile styles of chains you can get. Wear the chain with a basic loop, a simple front knot, double loop it or even wear it backwards! The ends can be looped once around the neck and left to dangle or wrapped multiple times around the neck to create a layered look. This type of jewellery is best suited for formal events like weddings. 

Mesh Chain

female wearing gold mesh chain on neckThe mesh chain is a chain that has a woven type of look to it. It is a variation of a flat chain, with its woven structure creating a fluid and continuous-looking chain. 

One of the standout features of the mesh chain is its unique texture. The texture mesh chain has a texture that looks similar to a snakeskin or chainmail armour. Usually, the mesh chain will be made from materials including silver, gold, platinum and stainless steel. 

On its own, the mesh chain is the ideal statement piece. This is because of its complex-looking chain pattern. But, the chain can even be worn layered with other types of chains

Bismark Chain

gold Bismarck chain

The bismarck chain is a chain that consists of two link chains. These two link chains are soldered together with a parallel link to form its unique-looking chain pattern. 

Because the chain consists of two link chains joined together, this type of chain is highly durable. The chain comes in only a small selection of widths ranging from 2mm to 4mm. Usually, the bismark chain is made from gold, silver, stainless steel, brass or nickel. 

Despite its thinner width, the chain is still a great piece to have as a standalone piece because of its complex chain structure. However, this chain also works well layered with pendants or other chain necklaces. 

Byzantine Chain

 silver byzantine chain

The Byzantine chain consists of many small, rounded and bent links. These are woven together to create a unique textured look. Each link in this chain is connected to the other, as well as adjacent pairs. This gives the chain its looping and twisted design. 

The chain was named after the Byzantine Empire, which makes sense as the chain has an artistic and ornate look. The chain is also known as the “4 in 1” link as each link passes through four other ones. 

The Byzantine chain can come with more round-shaped links or more squarish links. What remains consistent in a Byzantine chain is its ornate chain pattern. Because each chain links it connected to four others, the chain is extremely durable and will last you a lifetime. Usually, this chain is made from metals such as silver, gold and platinum. The chain can also be made from stainless steel and brass too. 

The look and twist design of the Byzantine chain gives this chain a complex look and makes it ideal as a standalone chain. At thinner widths, the Byzantine is also suitable for layering with other pendants or chains. 

Franco Chain

male wearing gold Franco chain

The Franco chain is a chain that consists of links called Chevrons. Chevrons are links that have a unique V shape appearance. The franco chain actually consists of two to four curb chains against each other and has a boxy appearance. The chain is thought to have originated in Italy and was named after the designer who created it.

The Franco chain has a similar appearance to the Foxtail chain, however, there are some key differences. The V shape links can only be seen from two sides of the Franco chain, whilst the Foxtail chain has four sides with a V-shaped pattern. Because of how this chain is structured it is highly durable and resistant to tangling. The most common widths for a Franco chain include the 3mm, 4mm and 5mm variations. Each end of the Franco chain is attached via a lobster clasp. 

Because of the chain's complex chain pattern, it is ideal as a statement piece. But, a more delicate Franco chain with a thinner width is great for layering with pendant necklaces or chains. 

Marina Chain

female wearing gold mariner chain on neck

The Marina chain as the name suggests is inspired by Maritime. The necklace consists of oval-shaped links that look similar to an Anchor chain. The main difference is that the links have a single vertical bar in between each one. The chain is usually flatter in appearance, similar to a Figaro chain or a Curb chain. 

Marina chains come in two types of variants, this includes flat and puffed variations. Most of the time the Marina chain is diamond cut which creates small facets along the length of the chain. This gives the Marina chain a more sparkly and shiny look. Because these chains have a similar link characteristic as the Anchor chain, they are also just as strong. 

Often the Marina chain is made from metals such as gold, silver or stainless steel. The most common width for a mariner chain includes 3mm, 4mm and 7mm variations. Most of the time this chain is joined together via a lobster clasp. 

The Marina chain is a super versatile chain to have in your jewellery collection. It can be used to hold pendants or can be layered with other pendants or necklaces. Because of its simplistic design, this chain is suitable for both casual and formal outfits. 


Popcorn Chain

silver popcorn chain

The Popcorn chain is also known as the “Coreana chain” consists of concave shape links that are clustered together. The popcorn chain originates from Italy and the links on this chain resemble popcorn pieces. The overall shape of the popcorn chain is cylindrical and has a contemporary and sleek look. 

Usually, the links on a popcorn chain are hollow making this chain lighter than the average chain. The surface of the link can be rounded or come with diamond cuts. Diamond cuts create a less curved structure and allow the chain to be much more sparkly. 

The popcorn is a delicate style of chain that is great for those looking for a chain that is lightweight and subtle. The chain is extremely delicate as the links on this chain are not interlocked. The surface of the popcorn chain is smooth to the touch but still textured because of its polished dom-shaped surfaces. Often these types of chains are made using silver, gold or stainless steel. They often come in thinner widths ranging from 1mm to 2mm. Most of the time this type of chain is joined together using a lobster clasp. 

There are many ways you can style a popcorn chain which makes this a must-have for anyone's jewellery collection. The popcorn chain was designed to be a subtle jewellery piece as the chain is often thinner than usual chains. They are also great for layering with other chain necklaces or pendants. 


Singapore Chain

gold singapore chain

The Singapore chain has a twisted link pattern that is similar to that of a rope chain. The chain blends the best of both the curb chain and rope chain into one unique decorative chain! With curved links similar to that of a curb chain and the alternating loops of a rope chain. The Singapore chain is also known as the “twisted curb chain”

When wearing the Singapore chain, the chain will twist and rotate creating a flow-like effect around your neck. This means the chain is also highly reflective and sparkles when worn. 

Usually, the Singapore chain comes in thinner widths ranging from 1mm to 2mm and is usually made from metals such as gold, silver and stainless steel. The ends of a Singapore chain are usually attached via a lobster clasp. 

The Singapore chain is best worn on its own without any pendants attached to it. In addition to this, because of much, these chains move whilst you wear them, it is better to wear them on their own without layering pendant necklaces or other chain necklaces. 


Snake Chain

female wearing silver snake chain on neck

The snake chain is a type of flat chain that consists of tubular-shaped links. These curved links are interlocked together to form a continuous tube. The outside appearance of this pattern resembles that of snakeskin scales. 

The Snake chain has a smooth and sleek look. Designed to be flexible and free-flowing when worn on the neck, allowing it to reflect light as it twists and turns.

The snake chain comes in a wide range of widths with the most common being 2mm and the least common being 10mm. 

This chain is usually made from metals like gold or silver, but can also be found made with stainless steel. The clasp that connects the two ends of the snake chain will usually be a lobster clasp, but can also come with a slider clasp that is fully adjustable. 

Because the snake chain has a simple and sleek look, it is a subtle piece of jewellery. The chain is also structured in a way that makes it durable enough to be a base for a pendant. One of the great aspects of the snake chain is that it can be styled with both smart and casual outfits. 


What Style Of Chain Is The Strongest?

Some of the strongest styles of chains include the box chain, snake chain, cable chain, curb chain and Figaro chain. The strongest out of all of these by far is the cable chain, which is often used to hold heavier pendants or charms.

What Is The Most Popular Chain Necklace?

The most popular chain necklace by far is the Cuban chain. 

What Chain Is Best For A Pendant?

The best type of chain for a pendant is one that has a simple design and is resistant to kinking. Some great chains for pendants include the cable chain, Figaro chain, rope chain and wheat chain. 

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