Types of Jewelry Chains

By | April 4, 2017

Chain is an universal decoration, which has been popular for dozens of years. Let’s try to classify various chains by parameters.



Chain types for men and women

Weight, weaving and length are the main chain characteristics.

Chains for men are usually bigger and heavier.

Men chain’s restraint and elegance are emphasized in weaving with geometric patterns and angular forms.

Chains for women are more delicate, lighter and with rounded links.

There are some unisex models, which parameters and style is appropriate both for men and women.

Metals for chains

Gold and silver are the most popular metals for chains. You can choose one or another just according to your preferences and the item’s price. Traditionally, gold is considered as the noble metal, it is non-allergic and resistant to the external impact. Yellow, red and white gold, which are used to create chains, leaves a great room to the designers’ fantasy.



Silver chains are less resistant to the environment – they can oxidize and darken, but they are cheaper. To raise their resistance use gold plating, oxidation, rhodium plating or blacking. Such chains become persistent to the environment (sweat, perfume etc.) and acquire their final look. For example, they become glistering or change the shade to more lighter or darker. Please note that chains with thin outer layer require thorough care according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Otherwise, the outer layer can be obliterated.

The most reliable chains are blacked ones, but genuine blacking chains are very rare.

Stainless jewelry steel chains for men are much cheaper than silver, but have respectable look and moderate shine.

Chain’s Length: Types

The most popular type of chain has length from 40 to 50 cm (“princess type”). Chains of 40-45 cm for women and 50-55 cm for men are loose-fitting on the neck. For pendants length 50-55 cm is appropriate.


50-60 cm chain is perfect to the dress with high cut. 60 cm and longer chain (“opera”) would complement dress without cut.

What Is the Difference Between Neck Chain and Pendant Chain?

Neck chain can be worn as a separate decoration on may be used with pendant. As an independent accessory, it usually has decorative and bigger weaving and can has inserts of gems and pearls. Such chains may be designed with various technics, among them are hollow and multirowed models. Long decorative chains can be complemented with additional details – knot, for example.

Chain with pendant commonly has simple weaving to attract more attention to the main element. These chains are also varied in thickness and color of the outer layer. Thick chain have a spectacular “ancient” look.

Chain’s Thickness

Chains can be classified by thickness on several categories:

  • thin (2-3 mm);
  • medium (4-5 mm);
  • thick (6-20 mm).

However, volume doesn’t necessary mean weight. Hollow chains look volumetric and massive, but they are actually light. That’s why they are cheaper than solid chains.

Such chains are very fragile. This leads to breakages, which sometimes cannot be repaired.