Types of Neck Chains

by Jo Burns

There are a wide variety of neck chains available. They come in many lengths, metals and styles. Some types of neck chains are simple and made to be worn with pendants or other chains, while others are beautiful all on their own. When choosing a neck chain it is important to consider whether it will be worn alone, with a pendant or paired with other chains.

Herringbone

The herringbone chain is a classic, popular design made by connecting two or more rows of slanted, flat short links. The direction of the slant is alternated by row to create a textural look that is often seen in clothing and architecture as well as in neck chains.

Curb Chain

A curb chain is often used in men's jewelry because of its bold, clean aesthetic. It is a series of connected oval links that have typically been diamond-cut on each side so they will lie flat.

The figaro chain is a version of the curb chain. The figaro is made by alternating long and short ovals links to add more interest.

Rope Chain

Like the utilitarian object it simulates, a rope chain is made by twisting a series of strands together to create a spiraling effect.

Cable Chain

A cable chain is one of the most common types of neck chain. It is simply a series of connected oval links. A more intricate cable chain can be created by stacking two or more ovals together before they are linked. The basic cable chain looks like a delicate version of the type of chain you would find in a hardware store.

The rolo chain is similar to the cable chain; however, the links of the rolo are round instead of oval and usually thicker.

Box Chain

A box chain is made up of square, wide links that interconnect to create a “boxy” look that is both sleek and sturdy. It is often used with pendants or combined with other types of chains to create more interest.

Snake Chain

A snake chain is a flexible, smooth tube-like chain that is made by connecting several round metal rings side by side.

The serpentine chain is similar to the snake chain except it lies flat. Both the snake chain and the serpentine are attractive for wearing alone and are strong enough to support even heavy pendants.

Foxtail

The foxtail is an intricate, elegant neck chain made by connecting two rows of oval links at a 45 degree angle to create a thick, textural chain.

Omega Chain

An omega is a flat chain that is made from smooth, rounded, rectangular plates that are placed side by side to create a continuous, smooth, regal chain. The omega is a neck chain with real presence perfect for wearing alone or with large, showy pendants.

The serpentine chain is similar to the omega chain except it is made from wavy plates. In addition, the serpentine is not usually made as wide as some omega chains are.

Byzantine Chain

A Byzantine chain is one of the most intricate types of chain. Two oval-shaped links appear to be nestled together with a larger, thicker link woven in and out of the center space. The over-all effect creates a highly dimensional chain that is thick and barrel-shaped.

Beaded Chain

The bead chain, or ball chain, features a series of beads that are either affixed to a long chain or connected by many short chains.

Photo Credits

  • silver and chains 4 image by Barbara Carlile from Fotolia.com