11 Types of Gold Chains and Necklaces (Strongest & Weakest)

Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Juli "Jewels" Church

Whether you like it or not, there are lots of things to consider first before buying a necklace.

One important factor is the type of necklace chain since there several types to choose from and not all of these designs may complement well on your overall look.

types of gold chains and necklaces

In this guide, you'll learn about:

  • What are the different styles of gold chains?
  • Which type of necklace chain is the strongest?
  • What is a flat chain necklace called?
  • What are necklace chains made of?

Bottom Line Up Front: Blue Nile is your best bet for shopping quality necklace chains online. They are one of the biggest online jewelry retailers and their gold chain selection does not disappoint. 

Click here to see the current chains for sale at Blue Nile.

What're The 11 Different Types of Gold Chains And Necklaces?

The most popular or common chain styles are the Cuban, Mariner, and Figaro. However, there are others more we need to know about to fully appreciate the complexity and brilliance of necklace jewelry. And these are the following:

Cuban Link Chain

The Cuban link chain is considered as the hottest and most in-demand chain styles of today.

Otherwise known as the Curb chain, the Cuban link style showcase an interlocking pattern which is effective in ensuring the overall durability of the entire set. 

Curb chains project a thicker appeal and a more versatile look.

Rope Chain

Obviously, the pattern of the links resemble that of the shape of a rope. It is a classic and common chain style which is widely popular in the Hip hop community.

A number of famous Rap groups made a significant contribution in the resurfacing of rope chains by flaunting such jewelry in their music videos and live public appearances.

Figaro Chain

The Figaro chains jazz up a unique and eye-catching design. It's exquisite pattern is made up of sets of two to three circular links joined by an oval link from one end to another.

Originally, this particular style is designed to be gender-neutral. However, men have been known to be the predominant user of the Figaro chain style. Popular pendants paired with Figaro chains are crosses and medallions. 

Mariner Chain

In terms of shape and pattern of the links, the Mariner chain is quite closely related to the Cuban or Curb chain style. The distinct characteristic of this chain is that the shape of its links resemble that of an actual ship's anchor.

Basically, there are two major variations of the Mariner chain - the rounded edge and the flat link design.

Snake Chain

The Snake chain is composed of links that are tightly interconnected to each other. With either round or square cross sections, each link is closely fastened to each other in a slightly diagonal direction so as to produce a seemingly zigzag projection.

The overall look of the chain closely resembles that of a snake's skin hence, the term.

Box Chain

Compared to other chain designs or styles, the Box chain is made up of interconnected square links.

The Box chain style is kind of thick and heavy compared to most styles in this list.

Byzantine Chain

Among the group, the Byzantine chain boasts the most intricate design. Its links intermingle with each other at a rather intricate pattern.

The texture of the chain is comparable to that of the rope style. Due to the pattern of intermingling links, the Byzantine chain is quite flexible and can drape well around the neck.

Belcher Chain

Another hot choice among jewellers, the Belcher chain can be made in various sizes and alloys.

Also known as the Rolo chain, the Belcher chain is composed of broad D-shaped links.

Wheat Chain

Unlike the rest of the entries in this list, the Wheat chain is made up of four strands of intertwined tear-shaped links twisted to point at a single direction. 

The Wheat chain is considered as the most durable of all chin styles no matter the gauge of its thickness and length. On a negative note, the wheat chain lacks flexibility.

Diamond Cut Chain

Don't be fooled by the term, diamond cut chain isn't something that is adorned by a diamond pendant. This chain style is also comparable to that of the Rope chain style.

This is an expensive-looking chain style because it projects a shiny glare due to its sharply cut edges.

Herringbone Chain

The Herringbone chain is the one chain style that doesn't sit well with a pendant of any size, shape, and design. It's basically best worn as it is.

Why? The Herringbone chain is composed of intertwined thin flat links that are slightly bent at the middle to project a herringbone look. This style is also among the most fragile ones. The thing is, they kink very easily. 

Which Type Of Necklace Chain Is The Strongest?

Strength and stability of the chain depends on two critical factors - shape and size of links and the interlocking patterns. Of all the chain styles listed above, the Wheat chain is considered as the strongest simply because it is made of four strands of intertwining oval links that are interlocked and twisted at a single direction.

The wheat chain resembles closely the pattern of a rope chain and has a smooth texture. It can be worn as a stand-alone chain or matched with a pendant. This chain style is light and doesn't kink. Other considerable options in terms of strength are the Rope, Byzantine, and Cuban link.

However, bear in mind that other factors also play a critical role in the overall strength of the gold chain. One is the type of material used in making the said jewelry item.

For example, platinum is considered as the rarest and extremely durable. Yet still, its strength doesn't compare to a less expensive material which is also considered as the lightest at the same time. This will be discussed comprehensively later on.

What Is A Flat Chain Necklace Called?

Basically, the flat chain necklace refers to the Herringbone chain. As discussed earlier, the Herringbone chain is composed of tightly connected thin and flat metal links.

However, it is also considered as one of the least durable chain style and may easily kink up. If you are not into the Herringbone chain, you may opt for the Mariner chain as your flat style alternative.

What Are Necklace Chains Made Of?

Necklace chains can be made of a wide spectrum of materials. A smart buyer considers this factor because the material used to produce the chain can have a significant effect on the item's overall durability, flexibility, look, and feel.

A lot of neck chains are made of sterling silver with a bit of copper in the mix. Although the combination shouts durability, silver necklace chains get easily tarnished.

A much more expensive alternative is gold. But pure gold is not a good option in making jewelry since such material has high malleability. How pure a jewelry item is made of gold is referred to karat.

A 24K gold chain is 100% pure gold whereas am 18K item is composed of 75% pure gold.

Basically, gold is mixed with other metals which directly affects its strength and color. The combination of gold and non-gold metals produce what is referred to as an alloy. These non-gold metals include silver, copper, nickel, zinc, and palladium.

White gold is a product of combining gold with metals like palladium, nickel, and silver. On the other hand, rose gold is a gold alloy with high copper content.

Read Also: What is white gold jewelry?

Here comes platinum, the rarest of them all. And since it's hardest to find, platinum is considered as the most expensive as well as the heaviest. On the brighter side, platinum is super durable and is resistant to scratch.

Although it has been mentioned that platinum is very durable, it still doesn't compare to titanium. Of all the materials mentioned, titanium is the strongest but less expensive than platinum. It is also the lightest not to mention its resistance to scratch and hypoallergenic property.

Where to Buy Your Necklace Chain

Having said all of the above in regards to gold chains, I strongly recommend Blue Nile as the best place for where to buy gold chains online.

They have got a wide variety of quality, plain gold chains and necklaces that you can choose from, whether you fancy the ones with pendants or even without.

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