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Article: What Is A Rope Chain? Everything You Need To Know

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What Is A Rope Chain? Everything You Need To Know

A rope chain is a chain characterised by its unique twisted pattern and appearance that resembles a real rope. The chain consists of hundreds of small links that form the pattern of a rope. The chain itself reflects light super well and shines at any angle, making it one of the more lavish and bright types of chains. This makes rope chain necklaces one of the most popular styles of chains to have. The rope chain is also super durable and sturdy due to its link structure. 

silver rope chain

Silver Rope Chain by Sky Austria

The rope chain necklace was made popular by golden age rap groups in the Hip Hop community including RUN D.M.C and Eric B. & Rakim.

Thicker rope chains that range from 3mm+ are great as statement pieces and worn on their own. Thinner variations are great for pendants as they offer durability and strength to hold the weight of a pendant, or even for layering with other chains. 


How Is A Rope Chain Made?

A common misconception is that the rope chain necklace is made from individual strands that are just woven together, this is not the case. 

Rope necklace consist of hundreds of individual links that are joined together to create a rope-like chain effect. Here's a basic overview of how to rope chain necklaces are made. 

  1. Starts with the melting of the desired metal for the rope chain. This can be precious metals such as silver or gold or non-precious metals such as stainless steel. This is up to personal preference. 
  2. The chunk of metal is then thinned gradually using a machine and specialist equipment, creating a super long and thin strand of metal. 
  3. The strand of metal is then wrapped around a thicker rod over and over to form a spiral. 
  4. The spiral metal is then cut down on one side to form individual c shaped links. 
  5. Each individual c shaped metal link was put on pliers and pushed down to open up the links. Most commonly round nose pliers are used for this. 
  6. Each c-shaped link is joined together side to side parallel and level to each other and heated with a blow torch to stay together. 
  7. For the third c-shaped link, the link is put together with the first link not the second. 
  8. The fourth link then goes through the first two links that were put together, processes are repeated and c links are added continuously. 
  9. Once the links are together and the chain is at the desired length, they are soldered together. 
  10. The jeweler will usually add a clasp to the rope chain, the most common being the lobster clasp.
  11. The whole chains is then warmed up and put into acid.
  12. Then the chain is sent for polishing. 

 

How much are rope chains? 

The price of rope chains depends on a variety of factors including material, thickness, length, weight, market conditions and even brand and craftsmanship. In general rope chains that are made from a higher purity of gold, are thicker in size, longer in length and weigh more will be more expensive. Whilst rope chains that made from non-precious metals, lower purity of gold, thinner size and shorter length will be more affordable.

Just for reference, here are some average values for rope chains.

  • Basic silver rope chains can start from £20 all the way up to £100+ depending on the thickness, length and purity of silver.
  • Gold-plated or gold-filled rope chains range from £50 to £100+
  • 14k solid gold rope chains can start from £100+ and go up in price depending on weight, length and design
  • 18k or 24k gold rope chains are more expensive than 14k

Are Rope Chains Durable?

Rope chains are one of the more long-lasting and durable styles of chains and can last years without needing repair or fixing. However, the durability of your rope chain will depend on a number of factors. 

A hollow link rope chain in general tends to be less durable and heavy than a solid link chain. Another consideration is the metal material the rope chain necklace is made of, stainless steel rope chains are much more durable in comparison to sterling silver and solid gold for example. The final factor that determines a rope chain's durability is its thickness, a 2mm rope chain is more likely to get caught on something and break than a 3mm or 5mm rope chain. 

 

Can you sleep with a rope chain on?

Whether you sleep with your rope chain is entirely up to personal preference. However, some people may find it uncomfortable to wear whilst sleeping, and the risk of breaking is higher as you are likely to roll around in your sleep. There is also an increased risk of the chain tangling or getting caught on bedding or clothes.

 

Are Rope Chains Good For Pendants?

The rope chain necklace as it is is a super classic and loved chain. Rope chains don't kink or break as easily as other types and are durable enough to withstand the weight of a super heavy pendant. Additionally, this chain comes in various sizes, lengths and colours (silver, gold, rose gold)  that match any pendant or outfit. That’s why we believe the rope chain is one of the best types of chains for a pendant. we even decided to use a rope chain for our new Icarus pendant because they are that good!

To learn more about the chains for pendants, check out our blog post about the best chain type for pendants


Are Rope Chains In Style In 2022?

The rope chain is a style of chain that will never be out of style. Even in 2022 this chain is still loved and worn by many. 

Because of the rope chain's versatility and ability to match all outfits, this chain is a must-have even in 2022. Year after year this chain still remains the most popular type of chain necklace you can have. 

Can a rope chain be worn with formal clothes?

Yes, a rope chain can be worn with formal clothes. When styling a rope chain with formal clothes, it is better to go for thinner and more delicate rope chains to avoid overpowering the outfit. You’ll also want to choose shorter lengths of rope chains as these also better suit formal outfits, and can elevate an outfit.


Can You Sleep With A Rope Chain On?

Flat chains including the herringbone chain or omega chain will tangle, kink and snap if slept with. The slightest movement and pressure caused during sleeping will cause irreversible damage to the chains. 

One benefit of the rope chain necklace is that as it is, it almost never kinks. Even when the rope chain is bent into compromised positions, the chain still never kinks. This makes the chain perfect to wear whilst you sleep. 


How Do You Clean A Rope Chain?

  1. Add mild dishwashing soap into a bowl of hot water, mix it up and get the solution foamy 
  2. Then using a soft toothbrush dip it into the solution and gently brush over the rope chain to get rid of grime and dirt. 
  3. Once finished brushing over the rope chain, rinse the chain in lukewarm water. 
  4. Then leave the rope chain to air dry or dry it with paper towels.

To learn about additional ways you can clean your rope chain, check out our blog which covers how to clean a rope chain


Can You Fix A Broken Rope Chain?

silver rope chain

A broken rope chain can be taken to a jeweller for repair, this is briefly how they would go about fixing it if you sent it in. 

  • They would snip the broken ends of the chain with an end cutter until they had two clean ends. 
  • Then they would cut those ends with snips and create half-millimetre gaps on the links at the two ends.
  • Then most jewellers would try to weave the two ends together and solder them. 

Can a rope chain be shortened?

 

Yes, a rope chain can be shortened. You can either shorten it yourself at home or go to a jeweller to ask them to shorten it. We would always recommend going to a professional to get shortening done to any chain.

 

Are Rope Chains Hollow? 

Not all rope chains are hollow. Rope chains come in both hollow and solid-linked variations.

Solid rope chains, better known as solid gold rope chains, come in variations including solid gold, gold-filled and gold-plated. Despite the variation in the amount of gold, the solid rope chain necklace is known to be solid as each individual is filled. 

Hollow rope chains are different in that each individual link of this type of rope chain is hollow like a tube. This reduces the amount of gold or metal actually used in the chain, reducing costs for both the jeweller and the customer. This also allows manufacturers to mass produce these rope chains using gold or metal at much more affordable prices, whilst maintaining quality.

Differentiating a solid and hollow gold rope chain is quite simple, below are some characteristics you want to look out for. 

  • Feel the weight - solid gold rope chains are much heavier than hollow
  • Price - solid gold rope chains cost more as they have more gold in comparison to hollow rope chains
  • Check strength - solid gold rope chains feel much sturdier than hollow ones
  • Check hallmark - a real gold rope chain will have a hallmark on the clasp, however, a plated one doesn’t necessarily need to have one.

 

What's The Difference Between A Diamond-Cut And Regular Rope Chain? 

gold diamond cut rope chain

The diamond-cut rope chain has flatter links that reflect light much more so than a regular rope chain. The diamond cut rope chain tends to have a more luxurious feel to it and requires additional craftsmanship to create. Whilst the regular rope chain is more of a subtle everyday chain. 

Learn more about the differences between the diamond cut and regular rope chain by reading our blog which compares the diamond cut rope chain vs regular rope chain

 

What's the difference between a hollow rope chain and solid rope chain?

hollow rope chain

The main differences between the hollow rope chain and solid rope chain is the amount of gold it uses, weights, durability, resale value and price. 

To learn more about how these two types of rope chain's differ, read our blog which covers the hollow rope chain vs solid rope chain.

 

Which Width Rope Chain Should I Get? 

3mm and 5mm gold rope chains

Which chain is better for you will depend on your preferences, budget and styling needs. 

The 3mm rope chain offers great styling versatility, is lightweight and affordable. 

Whilst both the 4mm and 5mm rope chain boasts amazing durability, a bolder appearance and has greater resistance to tangling. 

To delve deeper into the pros and cons of these rope chain sizes and find the perfect match for your style and preferences, read our blog posts below:

Looking to find out which rope chains are the best for everyday wear? Check out our blog which covers the best rope chains for everyday wear

 

Rope Chain vs Cuban Chain: Which One Is Better? 

Deciding on the rope chain vs cuban chain depends on a variety of factors. Rope chains are better for those looking for a shiny chain that offers durability and timelessness and is relatively inexpensive. The Cuban chain would be better for those looking for a bold chain that is lightweight but still offers durability, is timeless and easy to repair. 

Find our more about the pros and cons of each of these chains by reading our blog post which compares the Cuban chain to the rope chain

Looking to compare the rope chains and micro Cuban Chain, check out our blog on the Micro Cuban Chain vs rope chain

 

Which Chain Should I Get, The Tennis Chain Or The Rope Chain?

Deciding between the Tennis Chain or rope chain will depend on your personal preferences as well as how you plan on styling it. 

For those looking for a highly durable chain that will last them a lifetime, won't cost them an arm and a leg and works well with both smart and causal outfits, the rope chain is the ideal chain for you. 

If you are looking to get a statement piece chain then the tennis chain is for you. This chain shines like no other chain can and is the perfect piece worn on it's own. 

To get a more in-depth comparison between the two chains, have a read at our tennis chain vs rope chain blog

 

Comparing The Box Chain vs Rope Chain, Which One Is Better? 

box chain and rope chain in silver

Both these these chains have their pros and cons. The box chain is durable, shiny, resistant to tangling, timeless, easy to clean and repair, lightweight, and versatile. However, it lacks flexibility, may catch on body hair, and has limited customization options. On the other hand, the rope chain is durable, sparkly, versatile, resistant to tangling, timeless, and more affordable. However, it is heavy, difficult to repair, lacks customisation options, and requires more maintenance.

To learn more about each of these chains check out our blog post which compares the box chain vs the rope chain.

 

Which One Would Suit Me Better? The Curb Chain Or Rope Chain?

gold curb chain and rope chain

Both of them chains are excellent choices to add to your jewellery collection, and which one suits you better will depend on your personal preferences as well as your styling needs. 

The rope chain is a must have for those looking for a chain that sparkles like crazy in sunlight, resistant to tangling and also offers great durability. 

The curb chain is a must have for those looking for a chain that is lightweight, flexible but still offers great durability. This is a more sleek looking chain and suits more formal outfits as well. 

Learn more in-depth about these two highly sought out chains by reading our blog which covers the Curb chain vs rope chain

 

What's The Difference Between A Wheat Chain And Rope Chain? 

silver rope chain and gold wheat chain

Both these chains look similar from afar, however there are some main differences you should know. The main difference between the two is appearance. The rope chain has a twisted and rope like chain pattern, whilst the wheat chain has a woven and interlocking look to it. 

There are many other differences between these two chains including levels of durability, resistance to tangling and versatility. To get a more in depth comparison of each of these chains, check out our blog which compares the rope chain vs wheat chain

 

What Is The Difference Between A Singapore Chain And Rope Chain?

Similar to the rope chain and wheat chain, the Singapore chain can look similar from afar. Both the Singapore chain and rope chain are similar in that they have a twisted link pattern. One of the main differences between these chains is the the links in the Singapore chain are more loosely put together than the rope chain. Overall this makes the Singapore chain a more flexible and fluid chain than the rope chain, which tends to be more rigid. 

To learn more about the pros, cons and differences between these two chains, check out our blog which compares the Singapore chain vs rope chain

 

What Is The Difference Between A Cable Chain And Rope Chain?

Singapore chain and rope chain

One of the main differences between the cable chain and rope chain is their appearances. The cable chain consists of identical round or oval shaped links interlinked with each other. Whilst the rope chain consists of many small links that form a twisted rope like pattern. 

Both these chains also have their own set of pros and cons. To find out more, read our guide which compares the cable chain vs rope chain

 

What's The Difference Between A Franco Chain And Rope Chain?

Franco chain and rope chain together

The main differences between the Franco chain and rope chain are their link structure. The Franco chain consists of V shaped links called "chevrons" which interlink with each other. Whilst the rope chain consists of small rounded links tightly packed together, forming a rope like chain pattern. 

To learn more about the pros, cons and differences of each, read out blog post which covers the Franco chain vs rope chain

 

What's The Difference Between A Snake Chain And Rope Chain? 

silver snake chain and rope chain

Although similar looking from afar, the snake chain and rope chain are two distinctly different chains. The snake chain consists of curved links woven together to form a tubular shape. Whilst the rope chain consists of smaller curved links put together to form a rope like structure. 

There are many more differences between the snake chain and rope chain you should know about. To learn more, read our blog which compares the snake chain vs rope chain

 

What's The Difference Between A Anchor Chain And Rope Chain?

anchor chain and rope chain

The anchor chain and rope chain have two distinctly different looks. The anchor chain consists of oval links that feature a horizontal bar. Whist the rope chain features small rounded links that are soldered together to form a rope like pattern. 

Each of these chains has their own set of pros, cons and differences. To learn more, read our blog which compares the anchor chain vs rope chain.  

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