Lifestyle & Leisure

Jewelry Chains – Everything You Need to Know Before Making a Purchase

Choosing the perfect chain for your jewelry design takes thoughtful consideration. This essential guide will help you to be a more intentional shopper, avoid buyer’s remorse, and ensure your permanent jewelry creation comes to life!

There are multiple styles of chains to choose from, from fine and delicate designs to chunky statement pieces. There are also varying link sizes, including extensive links for wire-wrapped elements and beads.


Gold is a prevalent metal used for jewelry chains due to its durability and resistance to tarnishing. It is often alloyed with other metals to add strength and hardness. Silver is also widely used and is available in various finishes, including matte, antiqued, and polished.

Jewelry chains come in various styles, from delicate and dainty to chunkier. Chain styles such as satellite, curb, and rolo chains are perfect for layering or wearing with a pendant, while chains like box, herringbone, and paperclip chains offer a bolder aesthetic.

Cable chains are a much-reduced version of the large chain used on ship anchors. They have oval links at ninety degrees to each other, providing a simple but classic design. Herringbone and flat cable chains are variations on this theme, with the former having slightly rounded links and the latter featuring links hammered flat or drawn out to elongate them.


Traditionally, jewelry chains hang pendants from and can vary in length from a short choker style necklace to a longer necklace around 30″. You can also use chains to create bracelets or even anklets.

Some jewelry chain styles have twisted links to create different looks. For example, a figure-8 chain starts as a cable chain; then, the alternating links are turned or “curbed” to form this distinctive shape. Other twists include a double-link version and a parallel curb chain.

A more basic option is the c-link chain with solid ‘c’ shaped sections that fit into one another in a repeating pattern. This chain type is durable but still excellent and perfect for delicate charms and pendants.

C-link chains benefit from the additional production process where each link is soldered closed, reducing the likelihood of breakage and stretching over time. This is particularly important if the chain is made from a precious metal, like silver.


A clasp is an essential component that combines both ends of a jewelry chain to secure closure. Clasps are not merely functional, however, and they can also be used to enhance the design of a necklace or bracelet.

A hook clasp features a curved, S-shaped metal piece that latches into a ring on the opposite end of the chain. This fastener is easy to use but locks less securely than other clasp types and may wiggle or come loose over time.

A spring ring clasp uses a tiny trigger to open and close it, allowing the chain hook to retract into the ring. This type of clasp is versatile and offers a variety of design options, including engraving, two-tone decorations, and beading. It is also more affordable than other clasps and suitable for lightweight chains.


A jewelry chain serves a dual purpose; it can act as a point to hang decorative charms and pendants or can stand alone as a statement piece in its own right. Typically crafted from precious metals such as silver and gold, chains have interlinked links with small lever mechanisms called findings, which fasten together.

Many different types of jewelry chains are available, each with unique features. Box chains are popular, with flat links interlinking tightly, resembling a boxy appearance. In contrast, the herringbone chain has a more traditional, tactful, and visually compelling look.

If you want to add a wire-wrapped element or beads to your design, consider choosing a chain with large enough links for easy attachment. Alternatively, if you need to shorten your chain necklace without cutting it, you can use pliers to open a link without damaging the rest.