The different types of necklace chains links in jewelry
Faced with all the existing chain maille weaves for making chains, used both for bracelets, necklaces and anklets, it's normal that you feel disoriented when you search for an internet purchase.
To find your way around, we offer you this guide which includes most of the chain maille weaves used for bracelets, chains and necklaces.
You can also discover our collection of chains here (fr).
Example of a chain with large links made to measure, the details of its manufacture is visible here (fr)
In the menu that follows, you can click on the model that interests you to go to the related chapter, or see our summary poster at the end of the article.
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You'll discover everything you need to know to shop online or in store.
1 English chain
This jewelry chain is directly inspired by the rendering of the English chain maille used in knitting.
2 Forçat chain
The forçat chain is a classic style of chains, the angles of its links can be round or square.
3 Anchor Chain
As the name suggests, this type of link is inspired by the design of boat anchor chains. It can vary in being round or flattened. This chain is also known as Marine chain.
4 Jaseron chain
This type of chain consists of an alternation of round links and smaller oval links.
Here is an example of a gold jaseron chain.
Example of a jaseron chain from our chain collection (fr)
5 Venetian chain
Venetian chain maille weave is generally used for fine chains. It's an alternation of cubic links, small and imbricate in other larger ones. They are in the form of straight chains. When in gold, the Venetian chains can be 0.5 mm in diameter, like the ones you can see here (fr).
Example of a Venetian chain bracelet manufactured by a machine :
Here is another example of Venetian chain with a hand-made bracelet and not a machine, the link is 10 x 6 millimeters with a lobster clasp.
Venetian chain bracelet from our collection
6 Snake chain
The snake chain strongly reminds the rings of a snake, which explains its name. A snake chain can be either flat or round. This chain is also known as Brazilian chain.
7 Palm chain
A palm chain is obtained by braiding in 3D of several gold or silver threads. This type of gold chain is very expensive since it requires a large amount of metal for its manufacture.
During its manufacture, each link passes through the penultimate link, giving it this particular design.
Below, we can observe the detail of a palm chain, seen from a bracelet of our collection visible here (fr).
8 Horse chain
Horse chains have simple, elongated and flat links. They have a design similar to Figaro chain.
They can also be alternating, presenting a long link alternated with a long link.
See the handcrafted manufacture of a 18-karat gold horse chain (fr)
9 Coffee bean chain
Each link represents a coffee bean. These links are usually quite large. Thus, from a certain size, they are hollow, in order to lighten the jewel and also the budget. This concerns both gold and silver.
Here is the example of a coffee bean chain bracelet which you can discover the manufacture steps via this article here (fr).
Coffee beans chain bracelet from our chain collection (fr)
10 Figaro chain
Figaro chain is very similar to horse chain with an alternation of 3 small links between each large link.
11 Spiral chain
A chain of twisted links can be both flat and round. Links are then of different manufacture. The flat link is made by interlocking very thin strips of metal; while the round chain is the result of the nesting of rings in each other, at an angle giving the effect of rotation of the chain. When the twisted link is round, it is called rope chain (see below).
12 American chain
13 Mirror chain
Also called flat chain.
Mirror chain necklaces are flat and wide chains with very fine and polished links to give a mirror rendering to the silver or the gold constituting the jewel.
Example of flat chain necklace from our collection (fr) :
14 Rope chain
The Rope chain gives a 3D effect similar to a twisted link chain but it's made differently. In this picture we can see the small rings constituting the chain.
15 Bean chain
The shape of the links is at the origin of his name. It's a fairly thick flat chain, relatively heavy, and therefore expensive when it's gold.
16 Gourmette chain
The gourmette chain is made of simple rings slightly flattened. It is also known as curb chain. This type of airy link allows the making of gold chains wide enough for a weight and therefore a reasonable price. That's why it's a common model.
A variant of this type of chain is the double or triple chain, as we see this bracelet consists of 3 rows of curb chain.
The manufacture details of this bracelet is visible here (fr)
17 Milanese mesh chain
Polish chain is the result of winding a thread around an axis. This thread is oriented right then left to give this regular alternation that we observe on the next picture. This winding around an axis is the reason why the chains with Polish link are rather thick and therefore heavy. Therefore, if they are made of gold, they are quite expensive.
Another variant of the Polish chain is the Milanese chain, with the winding threads all oriented in the same direction, photo of a Milanese chain bracelet from our collection visible here.
This type of bracelet is much more common than Polish chain bracelets.
You can discover the realization of a Milanese gold chain watch bracelet in our workshop via this article (fr).
18 Rice grain chain
Small grains of gold are connected to each other by an invisible axis. There are many variants of this chain varying the size of the grains and their number in a row.
Here is an example of realization of a rice grain chain bracelet in our jewelry workshop:
Discover our chains collection here (fr).
19 Royal or Peruvian or Byzantine chain
This type of chain consists of two-by-two nested rings. The complexity of the final pattern contrasts with the simplicity of the rings used to make it. We invite you to watch this video (fr) showing how these types of chains are made manually.
Here is an example of a necklace that we had the opportunity to realize (see the article here (fr)) :
20 Manufacture of chains by machines
Finally, we invite you to discover this video that shows how are manufactured industrially gold chains trade. If all the machines are satisfied to reproduce what the silversmiths have done manually for centuries, they allow however to reduce the costs of the gold chains of the trade. The video (fr) shows how are the Venetian chains, Figaro, etc ...
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