There are so many different types of jewelry chains available on the market. We are proud to offer dozens of options here at Continental Bead, so you can offer the styles that your customers love!
Here is a glossary of the different types of jewelry chains we offer:
The ball chain is one of the most popular types of jewelry chains, made up of small balls that are linked together. The ball chain is often used for necklaces, bracelets, and anklets because it's easy to clasp and remove. Often, the last ball is used to clasp the ends together. This type of jewelry chain is available in different lengths and thicknesses, too. It can be made from gold, silver, or other metals. It can also be plated with different materials such as rhodium or nickel.
Bar chains are made from thick metal wire that has been trimmed into uniform pieces and linked together with small rings. This type of chain is often used for bracelets or necklaces, but it can also be used for earrings. Bar chains are available in different widths and lengths, so you can find one that suits your needs.
Bike Link Chain
These chains are made up of links that resemble those found on a bicycle. They're typically silver or gold but can come in other colors, like rose gold or yellow gold. Bicycle chains aren’t very flexible, due to their linear link pin construction, but they have a striking appearance. These are usually used for more casual pieces or bold statement pieces.
Book chains are typically made of solid gold or sterling silver. They were very popular during the Victorian era and used to make cameos, lockets, and other necklaces. This style of chain has solid, rectangular links that resemble a mini book. Each rectangular link is joined by a round jump ring. This chain offers a dramatic look for over-the-top elegance.
Box chains are made from round wire that is flattened and shaped into square links that resemble cubes. When the cubes are linked together, the chain has a sleek and uniform appearance. Many love this chain because it has an interesting geometric shape yet a delicate simplicity.
Byzantine chains have a very intricate design. Many oval and round links are connected in a way that makes the chain look like a rope. You can find both flat and round Byzantine chains, both of which are offered in a variety of thicknesses. This type of chain is very flexible and has quite an elegant drape. It’s a wonder chain to use for necklaces.
The cable chain is the most common type of jewelry chain. It’s a very simple chain made from interlocked oval or round links, but it can also be found with square links. The rings on a cable chain are made from round wire that has been trimmed and shaped. You may also find cable chains made from wire that has been flattened.
Chevron chains feature small v-shaped links that are joined together with small, round links. It has a smooth feel and excellent flexibility, which makes it the ideal chain for necklace chokers, ornamental earrings, and delicate bracelets. Chevron chains from in a variety of colors including gold, rose gold, and silver.
Cup chains are also called rhinestone chains. They are made with a series of metal boxes that contain glass crystals. Typically, each box is linked with a flat, horizontal bar. These chains don’t have much vertical movement, but they can easily shape to a wrist, ankle, or neck. You may find cup chains made with genuine gemstones rather than glass.
Both Cuban chains and Monaco chains are a variation of curb chain. These are made of round or oval-shaped links that have been twisted and notched, so the links lie flat. The resulting pattern looks somewhat like a rope. Curb chains come in a variety of materials and widths. They can be worn by themselves, layered, or adorned with pendants. Plain curb chains are a popular accessory choice for men.
The Figaro chain is similar to a curb chain in that it has flattened, twisted links. The main difference is that Figaro chains have links of varying sizes. Typically, you will find 1-5 shorter links alternative between a larger, elongated link. This creates a dynamic pattern that many people enjoy in a piece of jewelry.
Mariner Chain (Gucci Chain, Pignose Chain)
The mariner chain is also referred to as a Gucci chain or pignose chain. It is characterized by a chain of identical oval links that each have a vertical bar in the center. It is called a mariner chain because it’s the same design as the chain used to anchor large boats and ships.
The paperclip chain is sometimes called a link chain. It features a pattern of elongated and round links connected together. This type of chain adds an interesting texture to any piece of jewelry.
Rolo (Belcher) Chain
Rolo chains are similar to cable chains and are sometimes called belcher chains. This type of chain is made up of alternating oval or round links that are smaller but thicker than the links used in cable chains.
As you might guess, rope chains resemble rope. It is made of two or more twisted strands of chains that have been spiraled together to create a single chain. You may find rope chains made with two different colored chains for a more dynamic look.
The satellite chain is also called the Saturn chain. It’s made up of a few small, round links with a bead punctuation. Each bead-filled link resembles a planet with rings or orbiting moons.
A snake chain gets its name from the pattern you’ll find on a snake’s skin. There are several smooth, round metal plates or bands that come to a slight curve in the middle. Each plate or band is tightly joined to the net to create a continuous, flexible tube chain.
Wheat chains are a type of rope chain made from figure-eight links. The resulting chain spears to be either a round or cube-shaped tube. This is a very durable chain, making it perfect for attaching large pendants.