Types of Chains – 19 Different Types of Necklace Chain Links We Love

We’ve all got necklace chains of various types but most of us don’t know what the style is called or what types of chains are more suitable for certain situations. 

Which style links are best for strength in say, for instance, wearing with a heavier pendant. 

Which chains look great worn alone? 

What style links do men prefer in a necklace chain? 

We are frequently asked these questions in the shop and our aim, in this definitive guide to the different necklace chain links, is to answer all those questions and show you the wonderful choice of chains available. 

You are sure to recognise a number of style of links, and maybe you’ll see some that you like that you didn’t know existed. 

The chains are laid out in alphabetical order. We will then talk about the most suitable chains for different customer requirements.

Anchor Chain

An anchor chain has the nautical look of those chains found around the dockyards, tethering boats safely to port.The links are oval and are sometimes cut with a straight edge. 

Similar chains are the trace chain, which is much finer, or a belcher chain which has round links. 

Anchor Chain

Ball or Bead Chain

Made up of little polished balls of metal (silver, gold or steel) which have a tiny hole in each side, through which a straight connecting pin is inserted. They balls are spaced evenly apart and close together.

The military traditionally wore their Identifying Tags (called a Dog Tag) from ball chains. Dog tags are still popular these days and these chains look good worn on their own with no tag or pendant attached. 

View our Ball chains here. Similar chains are the Intermittent Beaded chain.

Ball or Bead Chain

Belcher or Rolo Chain

Another very popular chain, the belcher is made of circular, interlocking rings. Also called the Rolo chain (‘rolo’ in Italian for “round”). These chains start as D-links until they are shaped into circles. Various thicknesses are available. 

Men like the heavier belcher chains, worn alone or with a pendant. Finer belcher chains are often worn with pendants as they look good without detracting from the pendant.

See our Belcher Chains here.

Type of Chain links necklaces
Belcher Chain

Box Chain – Also called the Cube, Briolette or Venetian Chain

A popular chain which looks good to wear with a pendant. Rectangular links are shaped into a square, box shape link which are interlocked to form a chain.

View our Box Chains here.

Box Chain

Byzantine Chain – Also called the birdcage chain

A beautiful-looking chain, the byzantine link chain looks fabulous worn on its own. It has a rope or tube look and is supple and bends well. It is a four-in-one link, which means each link passes through four others. 

Anchor Chain

Curb

A perfect everyday chain. It’s strong, looks great with or without a pendant and, if it is worn with a pendant, never detracts from its look. Curb chains come in a multitude of weights and thicknesses – from the finest chain through to heavy-weight men’s chains. Beautifully pliable, it won’t kink or break easily.

See our Curb Chains here.

Curb Chain
Close Link Curb Chain

Cuban Chain

Oval links intersect to form a chain, the cuban link chain is very similar to a curb chain, only the links are more oval shaped and are closer together than a curb.

Cuban Chain

Double Link Chain

A double link chain features two links intertwined with the next double link. They can use it with a range of link shapes, like a double-link curb chain, a double-link belcher. 

Figaro Chain

Made up of two or three shorter curb links and one long link, the figaro chain is favoured by men and ladies who want to wear a chain on its own. Available in many different thicknesses, this is a popular chain.

Foxtail Chain

The foxtail link chain features links connected at a 45-degree angle to each other and connected in the centre with a concealed flat link. The result is a round, smooth chain. Favoured in bracelets worn with charm beads, such as the Trollbeads bracelet, it looks good and is easy to wear. 

View our Foxtail chains here.

Heart Link Chain

A chain made out of open-heart links, this chain looks pretty and is a great bracelet option for those with smaller wrists as the catch can be connected at any point along the chain. 

View our Heart Link chains here.

Herringbone Link Chain

Resembling a flat snake chain, the herringbone necklace or bracelet will often be visually effective enough to wear on its own. Smooth and tactile, the herringbone chain is a lovely chain.

Panther Chain or Mesh Chain

The panther link chain has a brick-like design making a flat chain with patterns of three and four links offset against each other and connected by a pin. 

Popcorn

Forming a oval chain, hollow rounded links form a tube, giving the appearance of pieces of popcorn. Lightweight and pretty, these chains are decorative enough to be a centre-piece.

Rope

One of the most popular chains, worn alone or with a pendant, the rope chain is formed by two or three light-weight small links joined to form a twisted chain, like a rope. 

View our Rope Chains here.

Singapore Twist Chain

The Singapore twist is, in our opinion, one of the prettiest of chains. A series of double links, flattened and interlinked, with the chain twisted along its length. This creates the most beautiful, sparkly effect.

These chains are often worn with a pendant but these look equally good worn on their own. A gold or silver Singapore twist chain worn as a choker or just on the clavicle has a really beautiful look.

The Singapore chain makes a lovely anklet, as it sparkles as you move. 

View our Singapore Twist Chains here.

Snake

The lovely snake chain, that most of us are familiar with, is made up of links laid along side each other with a slight kink in the middle of the link. This form a smooth and silky, continuous tube. With a brightly polished look, these chains look great with a pendant.

They aren’t as supple and bendy as a curb chain, so will kink and even break if bent too far.

View our Snake chains here.

Spigia or Wheat Chain

“Espiga” is the Spanish name for ‘wheat’. Made of figure-of-eight links which are interlocked to form a tube, the chain looks great and is favoured by men (as well as women) as the chain looks so worn on its own.

Trace Chain

Thin, usually 2 – 2.5 mm wide or less, interlocking oval links make up this chain which looks simple and uncluttered with a pendant.

Wheat

See Spigia Chain (above)

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