A guide to various chain styles for necklaces & bracelets


Box Chains

Box chains have squared links rather than round links for a boxy appearance. Thin versions of box chains are popular for women's jewelry paired with pendants. Box chains are not only very popular but also usually relatively simple for an experienced jeweler to repair.

Cable Link Chains

One of the most popular open link chains, the cable link is made from connected round or oval links. A great foundation for charm bracelets, this chain is also great for simple metal necklaces and bracelets. Cable link chains can be difficult to repair.

Curb Chain

A curb chain is a chain in which circular links interlock and lie flat close together, often having a masculine look. Curb chains can come in a variety of widths, and their links are uniform in size. Compared to other styles, these links are wider. Curb chains are some of the most durable chains and, fortunately, are also relatively simple to repair by an experienced jeweler.

Flat Link Chains

Flat link chains, like serpentine and cobra links, are usually very durable, and when they do break they are generally easy to repair. Twisting and turning is the primary cause of failure for flat link chains, so not best for hanging a heavy charm or pendant.

Herringbone Chains

One of the most popular chains, the herringbone chain mimics the herringbone pattern individual links overlaping each other in an intricate manner, and they are usually very thin. This thinness and overlapping structure contribute to a herringbone’s tendency to twist and kink and is challenging to repair.

Rope Chains

Rope chains are made from strands of gold that intertwine to resemble a genuine rope. These chains vary by thickness and tightness of braid (or weave) which effects the price. For example, the tighter the braid, the more metal is used resulting in higher price. When comparing different chains, look at whether the chain has a tighter or looser braid. Rope chains can be difficult to repair, especially hollow ones. 

Snake Chains

Snake chains get their name from the snakeskin-like texture that results from the chain rings tightly fit together to form a flexible tube. Snake chains are usually thin and delicate and ideal for pendants.

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