From Simple to Flashy: 25 Types of Chain Links

types of chain links

Necklaces are some of the most popular types of jewelry, and when you think of their versatility and beauty, it is easy to see why. However, not many people know that there are actually many types of chain links out there, meaning that each necklace is unique in its own right.

From elegant and tiny to flashy and huge, here are the 25 types of chain links you should be aware of before purchasing a necklace of your own.

Types Of Chain Links: A Complete List

1. The Cable Chain Link


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When most people think of necklaces, they think of this exact type of chain. It is the most common one in stores, and it is often the least expensive option out of all types of chain links available.

This type consists of many oval rings that are interconnected to form a chain. The rings can be of varying size and weight, and they can be made of any material out there, from stainless steel to gold.

What makes this chain type unique is the fact that the rings interlock both vertically and horizontally. That gives the chain an interesting look and makes attaching pendants to the necklace much easier.

2. The Curb/Round/Cuban Chain Link


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This chain type is similar to the cable link chain. It also features many interlocking rings. However, in this case, the rings are flat and twisted, and they are only connected horizontally.

Round chains are most popular for elegant and sophisticated necklaces. However, even larger ones can serve as a statement of your style if you pair them with a powerful pendant.

Either way, these chains are a perfect choice if you want what the pendant says to be all people notice. The chain will do its job nicely and complete the look, but it won’t overpower everything and be too noticeable.

3. A Figaro Chain Link


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In essence, a Figaro chain is a round chain with links that are not uniform in size and shape. Most of the time, this chain type features two to three smaller and shorter links connected with one larger and longer one.

Such an order of links makes this chain quite popular for men’s necklaces and bracelets. However, it is just as commonly used to create jewelry for women as well, albeit in smaller link sizes.

These chains are so interesting to look at and aesthetically pleasing that the necklace does not need to have a pendant at all. If you do want one, it is best that you choose something big and flashy. That way, both the pendant and the chain will get to shine.

4. The Ball Chain Link


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This chain type is pretty easy to recognize. It consists of balls interlocked together. The balls can be connected closely together or spread further apart and connected by an ordinary wire chain.

Likewise, the balls can be of varying sizes and materials, all based on your preference and style. Necklaces with this type of chain usually do not require pendants, as they are flashy and modern enough on their own.

If you purchase a necklace with little white balls, you can even pass it off as a pearl one if it has this chain. Thus, it has a rather sophisticated look to it, perfect for evening outings to fancy places.

5. The Trace Chain Link


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Perhaps the most delicate and sophisticated chain type out there, the trace chain consists of small oval shapes connected together. In most cases, these shapes are rather small in diameter, making the necklace really subtle.

These types of chain links go best with small and elegant pendants. You can go for something as simple as a little pearl, or something a bit more complex, like a tiny butterfly.

Trace chains are usually not available in larger options, simply because the oval chains are too delicate to be bigger. If you need something flashier and sturdier, going for one of the other types on this list is a better option.

6. The Belcher Chain Link


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This chain type is, in its essence, a subtype of the trace chain type. The only difference between them is that the links in this one are D-shaped, instead of oval. The links are also somewhat thicker and sturdier, but they are all still of uniform size.

The Belcher chain type is one of the most versatile options on the market, mostly due to the fact that it is available in virtually any material. Another great thing about it is that it has a great value to price ratio. You usually won’t have to pay a fortune to buy a necklace with this chain type, but it will still be sturdy enough to last you for years with proper care.

7. The Rope Chain Link


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If you take a look at this chain, you will immediately see how it got its name. Necklaces with this chain type actually resemble a rope because the chains are woven together tightly, so that they twist around each other.

You can find these types of necklaces in pretty much any material. However, they are most beautiful in regular and rose gold, as that gives the unique shape of the chain the opportunity to shine the most.

Rope chain necklaces are mostly reserved for casual outfits that need a flashy detail or two to be complete. You can wear them to formal events as well, but be careful to fit them with what you are wearing well.

8. The Box/Venetian Chain Link


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The box chain consists of a series of tightly pressed cube shapes that are uniform in size. People also know it as the Venetian chain, although that name is rarer. The chain is made using round wire which is then flattened and compressed into tiny boxes.

Necklaces with this chain type need large pendants that will go well with the whole cube aesthetic. However, you can just wear the necklace on its own as well. It’s intricate and badass-looking enough to not need anything else.

9. The Snake/Brazilian Chain Link


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As its name suggests, this chain type resembles the body of a snake. In jewelry circles, it is also called the Brazilian chain. Necklaces with this chain can work both as standalones and with pendants, depending on your taste and outfit.

These chains are incredibly sturdy and can last for years, regardless of the material they are made of. However, the sturdiness and appearance do not mean the necklaces are not flexible. In fact, they can mold to any neck and move naturally whenever the person wearing them does. The surface of necklaces with this chain type is also rather smooth, which makes wearing them a real delight.

10. The Mariner Chain Link


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This chain type consists of small oval links that have a bar in the middle. Once you link a few of them in succession, you get a chain that resembles certain naval knots, which is how the chain got its name. If the links are perfect circles instead of ovals, the chain is also called a puff chain or a Gucci chain.

Regardless of the shape of the links, this type of necklace is one of the most popular statement jewelry pieces you can wear. It goes great with bold outfits, especially with shirts that have important messages on them.

11. The Anchor Chain Link


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At first glance, this chain will remind you of the mariner type, which is completely justified. This type also consists of oval shapes intersected with a bar in the middle. However, what separates them is the thickness of the links.

While mariner necklaces are somewhat slighter and more elegant, anchor ones are rather chunky and flashier. Moreover, the links in this type are flattened, while in the one above they are not.

Thus, if you want to make an even bigger statement with your outfit, picking this one for your necklace might be the best choice. This chain is especially attractive in gold, and this variant is mostly favored by men.

12. The Wheat Chain Link


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Grains of wheat have served as inspiration for all things fashion for years now, from hairstyles to jewelry. Wheat chain necklaces are some of the most intricate and elegant options you can buy, and they go great with all formal wear.

This chain consists of four oval links bent and woven together to resemble wheat perfectly. If you also go for gold when it comes to the material, the wheat look will be truly complete.

However, these necklaces are available in other materials as well, and all of them are equally charming. You can wear the necklaces by themselves or add a pendant or ornament. Either way, you’ll get a sophisticated piece of jewelry that everyone will love.

13. Byzantine Chain Link


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The Byzantine chain is a variation of the box type discussed above. While the box chain features tiny cubes stacked together, this type consists of differently sized ovals and circles that interlock together. The shapes create a unique and interesting pattern that evokes chain mail from medieval armors.

As far as types of chain links go, this one might be one of the most intriguing to look at. In addition, it is rather light and flexible, meaning that it is easy to wear it, no matter which occasion you choose it for.

14. The Franco Chain Link


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Not many types of chain links can go with both formal clothes and more casual streetwear. If that’s what you are looking for, then you will definitely love this one.

The Franco chain resembles the Cuban chain in that they both consist of oval links. However, this type has four links interwoven into a V shape to create a 3D look. The greatest thing about this chain type is that it is quite bendy, but there is no way for it to tangle. So, even if you put the necklace in your bag and forget about it for a while, it will remain untangled and be ready for use anytime.

Depending on your outfit and the occasion, you can choose the thickness of the chain. A slimmer and lighter one will do for formal occasions, while a thicker and longer chain will go great with a more casual outfit.

15. The Rolo Chain Link


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This chain type is quite similar to cable chains. The biggest difference between the two is the shape of the links. In cable chains, the links are oval, and here they are round. Moreover, this chain type looks heavier and chunkier, mostly because there isn’t much space between the links.

You can get necklaces with this chain type that feature rounded shapes of uniform or varying sizes. The uniform links are more elegant and classy, while the varying ones are more unique and can complete any bold statement outfit.

As with all the types of chain links on the list, you can find this one in virtually any material. However, the most popular one for this particular type is gold.

16. The Singapore Chain Link


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The Singapore chain features hammered interlocking oval rings. It has a rather classy look, and it catches the light beautifully, resembling a shimmering snake whenever you move.

If you are looking for a chain that you can hang a pendant on, this type is one of the best options you can go for. It is subtle enough to let the pendant shine but flashy enough to also gather some attention of its own.

17. The Herringbone Chain Link


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Made of two rolls of parallel slanted chain links, this chain type is one of the boldest choices you can make. The links interlock and resemble the gills of the fish the chain gets its name from.

This chain is a great choice if you are looking for a necklace that will lay completely flat on your chest. It looks elegant and sophisticated, and it goes best with formal wear, especially evening gowns.

18. The Figure Eight/Infinity Chain Link


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This type of chain link combines two shapes: ovals and infinity sign links. The ovals are usually larger and locked together with smaller infinity signs. The combination ensures that the chain is one of the most delicate but intricate ones on the list.

Generally speaking, this chain does not require any pendants to work well. You can wear it with most outfits, regardless of which occasion you need a necklace for.

19. The Foxtail Chain Link


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The foxtail chain consists of two rows of oblique oval links looped together. Between the links, you have flat oval rings that hold everything together. As its name suggests, the chain looks exactly like a fox’s tail, or rather the hairs that adorn it.

Just like the chain type above, this one does not require a pendant at all. Wearing it on its own can be enough of a statement, especially if the rest of your outfit is subtle and casual.

20. The Saturn/Satellite Chain


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This chain is a great option if you want something unique but still sophisticated. It usually consists of small round beads connected by oval rings. When you see this combination, you will instantly think of planets and their satellites, which is how the chain type got its name in the first place.

You can usually find this chain in rosary necklaces and bracelets. As such, it fits rather snuggly against your skin and accentuates the beauty and elegance of your face or hands.

21. Cardano/Boston Chain Link


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This chain consists of uniform rectangular links that interlock and merge into each other beautifully. Though it might look rather simple, the Boston chain is one of the most beautiful types of chain links you can find.

The most popular variant of this chain is in silver, but gold has started taking over slowly in recent years. Whichever material you pick, it is important that you wear jewelry with this chain type with casual outfits only.

You can wear a necklace with this chain type on its own because it is already intricate enough to not need a pendant. However, a delicate and pretty pendant can work as well, especially if it is also related to planets.

22. The Bamboo Chain Link


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The bamboo chain is one of the rarest types of chain links you can get for both necklaces and bracelets. It features cylindrical links and round beads that alternate to create a unique pattern.

You can find this chain type in many choker necklaces. Thus, it isn’t meant to hang low on your chest, but be high up and snug. The necklace can be made of pretty much any metal and painted over with any color you like if you do not want a gold or silver one.

23. The Figarucci Chain Link


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As its name suggests, this chain is a combination of Figaro and Gucci variants. It features twisted flat oval rings that have a little bar in their middle. After three such rings comes a larger oval one, completing the look.

This option is one of the simplest types of chain links you can get. It is flexible and light, and you can complete it with a larger pendant. Such a necklace can help you complete a casual outfit perfectly.

24. The Parallel Chain Link


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This chain type consists of the same links as a classic round chain, but instead of one row of links, it has two parallel ones. That gives the chain a bulky look that many people love.

Necklaces with this chain are rather sturdy, but they are not as flexible as some other ones of similar size. Still, they make fantastic fashion statements, especially with bold outfits. If you want people to notice you wherever you go, this is one of the best types of chain links you can choose.

25. Freestyle Chain Links


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In the past, the chain links above were virtually all you could expect to find in most jewelry or accessory stores. However, today, you can find necklaces with pretty much any combination of chain links you can imagine.

From triangles and circles to stars and hearts, you can choose between countless link shapes and combine them with the classics to create something new and innovative.

Though classics are always the best choice for formal occasions, casual ones can be just as complete with a freestyle chain. It will let you express all your individuality freely, which is what many people appreciate the most about it.

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