What Is A Chain Necklace? The Ultimate Guide
Necklace chains are a must have accessory for everyone's wardrobe, they come in a variety of link types, sizes, lengths and widths, can be layered with other chains to create a unique look and can turn a plain outfit into an eye-catching one.
Understanding everything there is to know about chains should be the first step for anyone looking to buy one or make a chain themselves, that's why we created the ultimate guide to chain necklaces.
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What Is A Chain Necklace?
4mm Cubic Zirconia Gold Tennis Chain By Sky Austria
Chains are pieces of jewellery that encircle a body part, this can include the waist, wrist, ankle and neck. This type of jewellery dates back to the 4th and 5th centuries when the first types of chains developed were body chains. Often chains consist of metal links that are interconnected together to form a long chain link.
Chain necklaces on the other chain refer to jewellery that consists of interconnected metal links that encircle only the neck. They come in a variety of styles which makes them a great accessory for anyone’s wardrobe to spice up a plain outfit.
What Are The Different Types Of Chain Necklaces?
With so many different types of chain necklaces to choose from, deciding which one to purchase can be a difficult decision and trying to remember all the different names of chains can be equally overwhelming. One advantage of this is being there are so many types of chains to choose from, the possibilities are endless for outfit styling.
The type of chain you choose should be an important factor when deciding what chain to get as different chains can suit different styles and choosing the right or wrong one can either make or break your outfit.
Some popular chains include the Cuban chain, rope chain, herringbone chain, Figaro chain, wheat chain, box chain and tennis chain. Each one of these chains offers a unique style and characteristic. Some of them offer super durability, whilst others provide style or uniqueness. If you want to learn more about each of these chains, check out our blog post that goes through the different types of chain necklaces.
Below is a brief overview of each of the types of chains:
- Cuban chains - Cuban chains are similar to a standard cable chain and are characterised by interlocking links that can be either round or oval. These chains lay perfectly flat on the neck and have a high level of durability.
- Rope chains - as the name suggests these chains have a twisted rope-like appearance. These chains reflect light like crazy making it one of the most lavish types of chains.
- Figaro chains - this chain is characterised by its irregular link shapes and consists of two to three circular links followed by an oval link. These chains are often referred to as mutant chains.
- Herringbone chains - as the name suggests this chain’s link structure resembles that of the slanted bones of a herring fish, and consists of flat metal segments joined together. This chain is known for its flat and mirror-like appearance making it one of the more shiny types of chains.
- Tennis Chains - these types of chains consist of a row or strand of diamonds or gemstones that form the design of the chain. This is one of the more shiny and expensive types of chain types.
- Box chains - as the name suggests these types of chains are made using box-shaped wires that are joined together. Characterised by its flat, four-sided and shiny look.
- Pearl chains - as the name suggests these types of chain necklaces are made from pearls strung together. Due to the pearls rarity, pearl necklaces are one of the more expensive types of necklaces.
What Are The Different Materials Used To Make Chain Necklaces?
Silver Half Pearl Chalf Chain Necklace By Sky Austria
The material made of your chain necklaces is another important aspect to consider when buying chains or handmaking them yourself. With so many materials to choose from the possibilities are truly endless in terms of the materials you can use.
The majority of chain necklaces will be made from metal whether precious or non-precious. The most common metals used to make them are gold, silver, stainless steel, sterling silver, brass, copper and nickel.
The material of your chain necklaces will determine many characteristics of your chain necklaces including quality, durability, malleability, longevity, allergies and potential for skin discolouration.
At Sky Austria, we believe that all jewellery should be high quality, long-lasting and affordable. That’s why all of our jewellery is made from stainless steel and our gold pieces are made using high-quality PVD 18k gold plating which is much more resilient than electroplating.
We love to use stainless steel for our jewellery pieces as it is generally a great material for jewellery making. It offers a high shine, and insane durability and doesn’t tarnish or fade over time with daily use.
We also incorporate precious metals into our pieces such as gold. Instead of solid gold pieces, we gold plate each of our stainless steel pieces using high-quality PVD gold plating, allowing pieces to have the look of gold without the costs.
What Is A Good Chain Length For A Necklace?
The ideal chain length for you will differ from other people around you. It can be difficult to decide which one will look best on you as a different individual will have different neck measurements and dimensions.
The majority of chains come in industry standard lengths ranging from 18 inches to 24 inches and increasing in 2-inch increments (18,20,22,24 e.t.c)
For a male, we recommend chain lengths ranging from 18 - 24 inches and for females we recommend measurements ranging from 12-22 inches.
However these are just recommendations, and various factors will affect how a certain chain length will look and fit your body dimensions, neck size, body type, face shape and style.
How Do You Layer Chain Necklaces Without Tangling?
18 Inch Silver Figaro chain & Rope Chain By Sky Austria
One of the most difficult aspects of wearing chain necklaces is dealing with constant tangling throughout the day. This can be a frustrating and time-consuming process and can put a lot of people off from wearing jewellery and accessorising.
To avoid getting tangled in your necklaces whilst layers here are some quick tips you can implement to prevent or minimise tangling when layering:
- Choose different necklace lengths when layering
- Play around with necklace weights
- Experiment with necklace thicknesses
- Ensure you order your necklaces correctly
- Change the types of chains you are wearing
- Adding on pendants
- Use necklace extenders
- Use necklace spacers/detanglers.
- Store them properly.
- Join the necklaces together.
For more information about how each of these tips can help reduce tangling when layering, check out our ultimate guide to layering necklaces without them tangling.
If you are just looking for some tips of styling necklaces together, have a read at our blog post on how to layer necklaces.
How Do You Untangle A Tangled Chain Necklace?
3mm Gold Rope Chain & Box Chain By Sky Austria
This has happened to all of us, you’ve gone to put multiple chains in a jewellery storage box only to come back to a massive ball of messy tangled metal. You then try and untangle the chain necklaces with your hands only to realise that the knot is so tight that they are practically stuck together. You’ve probably had moments where you spend hours trying to separate two chains which seem to be superglued to each other and this can be an extremely frustrating process.
If you ever find yourself in this situation where your chain necklaces are tangled together and manual separation with your fingers doesn’t work, then try to loosen the knots with these solutions/materials.
- Baby powder
- Olive oil
- Safety pins
To learn more about how you can utilise these lubricants to help untangle a chain necklace, read our guide on untangling a chain necklace.
What Is The Difference Between A Pendant And A Chain Necklace?
To the average consumer the terms “pendant” and “chain necklace” may seem like the same thing, and often those two words are used interchangeably which is not surprising as they are both accessories worn in the neck region.
A pendant simply refers to any piece of jewellery that is attached to a chain, whether it's a chain necklace, bracelet or anklet. Pendants can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and designs and allows a person to customise their chains and necklaces.
A necklace is a piece of jewellery that is wrapped around the neck and can come in a variety of link structures. This is a broad term that encompasses many different styles of necklaces including wire, chain and beaded variations.
For more information on pendants and necklaces, check out our blog post which goes into depth about what are the differences between a necklace and pendant.
What Is The Best Chain Necklace For Pendants?
Silver Katana Necklace By Sky Austria
There are so many factors that go into determining the best chain for pendants, and this will depend on a number of factors including
- Size of pendant bail - certain bail sizes won’t fit the certain thickness of the chain
- Weight of the pendant - heavier pendants will need thicker chains for support
- Length of the chain - heavier pendants will need longer chains
- Colour of the chain - matching chain colours to pendant colours
- Chain link structure - some chains are more delicate than others and less suited for pendants.
- Chain durability and strength - some chains are stronger than others and can withstand the weight of a pendant better than others.
How Do You Style A Chain Necklace?
When deciding on how to style a chain necklace you should first take into consideration your own characteristics, these include:
- Body build - for a taller individual a long chain can accentuate their tallness, whilst the same effect may not be achieved for a shorter individual.
- Face shape - rounder faces are better suited with longer chain lengths whilst those with longer faces suit shorter chains.
- Neck structure - length and thickness of your neck can also determine which length chain you should get, as not all chain lengths look the same on everyone.
Once you've taken these aspects into considerations and planned accordingly, you can now start thinking about how to actually style them. Some considerations on styling include:
- Type of outfit - is your outfit more casual or is it more formal? This will effect how many chains, the types of chains, thickness and size of chain most appropriate for the occassion.
- Colour of your chain - gold compared to silver jewellery will give a different impression for different outfits and occasions. Should also consider if you are going to keep all of your chains the same colour or mix them.
- Thickness of your chain - thinner chains best suited for a more subtle look whilst thicker chains are best for those who want to make a statement.
- Layering chains - think about layering different types of chains of varying lengths and colours to produce a look that is unique to you.
- Adding pendants - great way to add personality to a standard chain necklace and stand out.
- Adding accessories - experimenting with adding on bracelets, earrings and rings to complete the look.
To learn more in depth about how to properly style you chain necklaces, check out our blog post create for men that goes through how to style a chain necklace.
How Do You Shorten A Chain Necklace Without Cutting It?
You've probably experience a time where you've bought a chain online, it finally arrives and when you put it on it's way too long. To help avoid this here are some ways of shortening a chain necklace.
- Wrap it around your neck more than once - works well for longer chains
- Clasp onto a link instead of the clasp ring - suitable for chains with large gaps
- Use an earring - great method for on the go
- Buy a chain necklace shortener - easiest and tidiest way out of all.
To learn more about how each of these methods can shorten a chain, check out our blog post on how to shorten a chain necklace without cutting it.