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Various Styles Chain Introduction

Product Details

A

ANCHOR CHAIN

Is one of the classic jewellery chain forms and the link chain most people would describe with ease if asked. It is characterised by uniformly sized repeating oval links which are arranged alternatively in a horizontal and then vertical orientation with a vertical bar in the middle of each link. Because of the simplicity of its links it is one of the strongest types of jewellery chain and it is therefore no surprise that it has the same traditional design as used to anchor large ships in port. This chain is also known as Marine Chain. Variations of this chain design include Flat Anchor Chain where the outer surfaces of the individual links are flattened off by Diamond Cutting, Round Anchor Chain where the outer surfaces are slightly rounded and Maritime Chain where only every other link is an anchor link.

ANODISED CHAIN

Is not a style of chain but instead a chain that has undergone a coating process to give a protective or decorative oxide finish using electrolysis. This anodising process produces a bonded finish that resists corrosion, exposure and abrasion. In the case of aluminium, which is the most common metal selected for jewellery chain, the process of anodising the metal creates a hard layer of aluminium oxide. This anodised finish can also be used to introduce colour to the chain using organic dyes or inorganic pigments which are absorbed and sealed into the pores of the oxide layer.

B

BALL CHAIN

Ball Chain is composed of tiny spheres of metal rather than open links. These spheres or balls can be solid or hollow to reduce weight. They can be fixed at regular intervals along the length of the chain, or alternatively immediately adjacent to each other. It typically has it own snap fastening, with the larger steel versions of this chain more often used to hold ID cards than for jewellery. This type of jewellery making chain is also known as Bead Chain and Pelline Chain.

BAR CHAIN

Is composed of small links or jump rings separated by metal bar links which can be curved, decorative, elongated, shaped, twisted, hollow, solid or a combination of these. This type of jewelry chain is also know as Link And Bar Chain.

BARLEYCORN CHAIN

Is formed of long thin teardrop shaped links that all point in the same direction. The join of each link is like a tiny hinge, meaning this style of chain is not particularly flexible.

BEAD CHAIN

Bead Chain is composed of tiny spheres of metal rather than open links. These spheres or balls can be solid or hollow to reduce weight. They can be fixed at regular intervals along the length of the chain, or alternatively immediately adjacent to each other. It typically has it own snap fastening with the larger steel versions of this chain more often used to hold ID cards than for jewellery. This type of jewellery making chain is also known as Ball Chain and Pelline Chain.

BEADING CHAIN

Can be either a fine tubular Link Chain which is thin enough to fit through standard bead holes, or alternatively a fine crimpable chain similar in style to Snake Chain which can be used with crimps to secure the beads along its length. This second type of chain is also known as Crimpable Chain.

BELCHER CHAIN

Originating in Britain in the 18th century, and named for the bare knuckle boxer Jem Belcher, this chain is similar in style to Trace Chain but rather than having uniform links they are wider than they are thick. In its finest form it is known as Baby Belcher Chain. This jewellery chain is also known as Rolo Chain.

BIRDCAGE CHAIN

Is an intricate, closely linked sequential chain design which has ancient origins dating back to the 5th Century. Made of either oval or round links the resulting chain is very soft and flexible with an elegant drape. The links are used in pairs, with a vertical pair joined by a horizontal pair to a vertical pair. The final pair in this sequence is then folded back past the middle section, with the middle section then opened upwards and downwards to both lock the folded back pair in place, as well as opening up an anchor point for the next sequence of three paired links. The result is a chain with a very detailed rope like appearance and texture. It is available in both as a flat and round styles, as well as a graduated form with the chain width becoming larger toward the centre of a necklace for example. Because of it’s early origins it is know by many other names including Byzantine Chain, Idiot’s Delight Chain and King’s Braid Chain.

BIKE LINK CHAIN

This chain closely resembles the link arrangement in a bicycle chain (minus the oil!) with square shaped metal links secured together with a bar. Because of its linear link pin construction it is not a very flexible chain but it is striking in its design.

BISMARCK CHAIN

This chain resembles a chain link fence but with a much tighter mesh arrangement. It starts as run of two Cable Chains or Curb Chains whose sides are then neatly soldered together to form a parallel length of links.

BOSTON LINK CHAIN

This chain is named after the American city. It is a soldered cable chain that has then been processed using a hammer die, a process also known as Swedging. This elongates each link and squares them off creating a box like profile on all four sides of the chain.

BOX CHAIN

Is much loved for its geometric simplicity. It is made from round wire rolled flat before being formed into square links that form open boxes or cubes, giving it a sturdy yet classically smooth, sleek and uniform appearance. This jewelry making chain is also known as a Briolette Chain, Square Link Chain and Venetian Chain.

BRAZILIAN CHAIN

Is made up of smooth round metal plates or bands with a slight curve at their mid point. They are tightly joined together to form a continuous flexible tube reminiscent of a snakeskin due to a slight zigzag effect. It has a virtually closed surface profile which makes for a very elegant and flexible chain perfect for displaying a pendant from. Unlike Omega Chain there is no underlying wire or mesh to support these plates. This jewelry making chain is also known as Hexagon Chain, Round Maille Chain, Star Weave Chain but most commonly Snake Chain.

BRIOLETTE CHAIN

Is much loved for its geometric simplicity. It is made from round wire rolled flat before being formed into square links that form open boxes or cubes, giving it a sturdy yet classically smooth, sleek and uniform appearance. This jewelry making chain is more commonly known as Box Chain, Square Link Chain or Venetian Chain.

BYZANTINE CHAIN

Is an intricate, closely linked sequential chain design which has ancient origins dating back to the 5th century. Made of either oval or round links the resulting chain is very soft and flexible with an elegant drape. Either round or oval links are used in pairs, with a vertical pair joined by a horizontal pair to another vertical pair. The final pair in this sequence is then folded back past the middle section, with the middle section then opened upwards and downwards to both lock the folded back pair in place. This also provides an anchor point for the next sequence of three paired links. The result is a chain with a very detailed rope like appearance and texture. It is available in both as a flat and round styles, as well as a graduated form with the chain width becoming larger toward the centre of a necklace for example. Because of it’s early origins it is know by many other names including Birdcage Chain, Idiot’s Delight Chain and King’s Braid Chain.

C

‘C’ LINK CHAIN

Also know as C Chain this chain style is made up of solid ‘c’ shaped sections that fit into one another in a repeating pattern. It is designed to lie flat and is noted for its flexibility when compared against other flat profile chains such as Herringbone Chain. This chain can be further enhanced with bevelled edges as well as engraving on the individual links, including classical vertical lines of varying depths and thicknesses.

CABLE CHAIN

This is the most common type of jewellery chain and is a much reduced version of the large chains used on board ships. It is formed of individual oval or round links interlocked in a uniform pattern, with each link lying at ninety degrees to the next. Each section of a Cable Chain is exactly the same shape and size throughout giving it a simple but classic look. Variations on this design include Double Link Chain or Parallel Link Chain as well as the use of rectangular links, square links and links that alternate in size. This chain is also known as Link Chain.

CHARM CHAIN

Is used to make Charm Bracelets. In practice any chain can be used for this purpose. However, this specific chain makes use of round, thin wire links joined together in the same way that cable and anchor chains are. But in this case each link is made of three layers of wire, joined to the next three links but not to each other. This provides lots of anchor points for charms to be attached whilst having a strong but open structure to allow these decorative objects to hang freely.

COBRA CHAIN

Is a basic Cable Chain that has been hammered or Swaged into a chain with flat triangular links.

CRIMPABLE CHAIN

Can be either a fine tubular Link Chain which is thin enough to fit through standard bead holes, or alternatively a fine crimpable chain similar in style to Snake Chain which can be used with crimps to secure the beads along its length. This second type of chain is also known as Beading Chain.

CRINKLE CHAIN

Is an example of a Fancy Chain with an attractive wavy design. This particular design of chain is also known as Peanut Chain.

CUBAN LINK CHAIN

Is a Cable Chain with oval shaped links but with added decorative detail in the form of a twisting rope like pattern cut into each link.

CURB CHAIN

Is a variation of Cable Chain with uniformly sized round or oval links but these are twisted and often Diamond Cut so that they lie flat along a surface. This form of chain has the greatest variety of widths, ranging from a few millimetres up to a couple of centimetres.

D

DIAMOND CUTTING

Is not a chain in itself but a production process applied to lengths of chain to enhance their appeal. Diamond tipped cutting tools are used to create a pattern of fine sharp cuts on each chain link so that each element of the chain catches the light to a far greater extent than a standard flat surface. This process is also known as Diamond Milling.

DIAMOND MILLING

See Above.

DOUBLE CABLE CHAIN

Is similar to Cable Chain but instead of a repeating pattern of single links it consists of a repeating pattern with two links lying parallel to each other linking directly to a second set of links lying in parallel. A variation os this style is known as Parallel Chain.

E

ELONGATED CABLE CHAIN

Has the same basic structure as a standard Cable Chain but use stretched links rather than round links. It makes for a very attractive light chain with an open appearance.

ESPIGA CHAIN

Translated from Spanish the word espiga means wheat. This intricate symmetrical chain is made from small figure of eight links which give it an almost square, plaited profile. This chain is also known as Spiga Chain or Wheat Chain.

F

FANCY CHAIN

ls a catch all description for any decorative variation of a standard chain type. By way of an example, a Trace Chain formed of heart-shaped links would be described and sold as Fancy Chain. Other decorative features might include unusual link designs or the additional of dangles.

FIGARO CHAIN

Like Curb Chain, this chain has flattened twisted links but does not have one uniform link size or shape. Typically it will have between one and five shorter links alternating between a longer link, creating an attractive repeating pattern for the length of the chain. This type of chain originated in Italy and is named after the popular Italian opera “The Marriage of Figaro”.

FIGOGUCCI CHAIN

Is a variation of Marine Chain but with twisted Diamond Cut oval links and the dividing bar in the middle of each link. It lies flat on a surface like Curb Chain.

FIGURE OF 8 CHAIN

Is made up of flat lying oval links that are connected by a smaller, twisted link shaped like an ‘8’. This chain is also known as Infinity Chain.

FILIGREE CHAIN

Is a style of long Cable Chain links or long Curb Chain links with added decoration in the form of a Florentine Pattern giving this chain a lace like or filigree finish.

FLAT CABLE CHAIN

Is a style of Cable Chain that has flat sided vertical links rather then rounded metal links.

FOB CHAIN

Is a short length of finished chain which was traditionally used to secure a pocket watch to a gentleman’s waistcoat. At the other end of the chain to the pocket watch was a bar or decorative ornament which would be placed through a button hole to secure the watch in place. These are now much sought after for use as necklaces and charm bracelets.

FOXTAIL CHAIN

Uses a Loop Chain link made up of two rows of slanted oval links connected by a series of flat rings running down the chain’s centre. Each row of links faces the other at a 45 degree angle. This creates a braided or woven effect with a directional grain and fullness which gives the appearance of the hairs on a fox’s tail. This chain can be Hammered or Swaged into a square profile or Diamond Cut.

FRENCH ROPE CHAIN

Is made from machine flattened wire with each wire link woven into the next link without the benefit of solder.

H

HERRINGBONE CHAIN

Is made up multiple rows of ‘v’ shaped links that lie entirely flat giving it a fluid quality when worn. The direction of these links alternates with each new row creating the herringbone pattern. The rows themselves can also be laid out in different coloured links, for example to create a tricolour effect. Thin strands of Herringbone Chain can even be twisted or plaited together to provide a greater visual effect.

HEXAGON CHAIN

Is made up of smooth round metal plates or bands with a slight curve at their mid point. They are tightly joined together to form a continuous flexible tube reminiscent of a snakeskin due to a slight zigzag effect. It has a virtually closed surface profile which makes for a very elegant and flexible chain perfect for displaying a pendant from. Unlike Omega Chain there is no underlying wire or mesh to support these plates. This jewelry making chain is also known as Brazilian Chain, Round Maille Chain, Star Weave Chain and most commonly Snake Chain.

HOOK CHAIN

In Britain this chain may put you in mind of a Victorian style toilet with a high wall mounted cistern with brass pull chain! This chain is very simple in design having a round link with two folded back ends forming the hook that links into the next link. It is available in a variety of finishes as well as colours.

I

IDIOT’S DELIGHT CHAIN

Is an intricate, closely linked sequential chain design which has ancient origins dating back to the 5th century. Made of either oval or round links the resulting chain is very soft and flexible with an elegant drape. Either round or oval links are used in pairs, with a vertical pair joined by a horizontal pair to another vertical pair. The final pair in this sequence is then folded back past the middle section, with the middle section then opened upwards and downwards to both lock the folded back pair in place. This also provides an anchor point for the next sequence of three paired links. The result is a chain with a very detailed rope like appearance and texture. It is available in both as a flat and round styles, as well as a graduated form with the chain width becoming larger toward the centre of a necklace for example. Because of it’s early origins it is know by many other names including Birdcage Chain, Byzantine Chain and King’s Braid Chain.

INFINITY LINK CHAIN

Is made up of flat lying oval links that are connected by a smaller, twisted link shaped like an ‘8’. This chain is also known as Figure Of Eight Chain.

K

KING’S BRAID CHAIN

Is an intricate, closely linked sequential chain design which has ancient origins dating back to the 5th century. Made of either oval or round links the resulting chain is very soft and flexible with an elegant drape. Either round or oval links are used in pairs, with a vertical pair joined by a horizontal pair to another vertical pair. The final pair in this sequence is then folded back past the middle section, with the middle section then opened upwards and downwards to both lock the folded back pair in place. This also provides an anchor point for the next sequence of three paired links. The result is a chain with a very detailed rope like appearance and texture. It is available in both as a flat and round styles, as well as a graduated form with the chain width becoming larger toward the centre of a necklace for example. Because of it’s early origins it is know by many other names including Birdcage Chain, Byzantine Chain, and Idiot’s Delight Chain.

L

LINK CHAIN

This is the most common type of jewellery chain. It is formed of individual oval or round links interlocked in a uniform pattern, with each link lying at ninety degrees to the next. Each section of a Link Chain is exactly the same shape and size throughout giving it a simple but classic look. This chain is also known as Cable Chain.

LINK AND BAR CHAIN

Is composed of small links or jump rings separated by metal bar links which can be curved, decorative, elongated, shaped, twisted, hollow, solid or a combination of these. This type of jewellery chain is also know as Bar Chain.

LONG AND SHORT CHAIN

Is a chain made up of one long link alternating with a series of shorter links. The shape of the links is consistent throughout the chain but the chain itself can formed from round, oval, square, rectangular or other shaped links. This style of chain also falls within the realms of the Figaro Chain as well as Fancy Chain.

M

MARINE CHAIN

Has oval links with a dividing bar soldered in the middle of each link. This chain is also known as Anchor Chain. A variation of this jewellery chain is Figogucci Chain which has twisted Diamond Cut links.

MARQUIS CHAIN

The name for this chain comes from a fancy cut of gemstone, typically a diamond, forming an elongated oval shape with pointed ends. This design is believed to have been named after the Marquise de Pompadour who was the mistress of Louis XIV. The chain design follows the same elongated oval shape as the gemstone cut with a simple join between links to maintain this chains clean lines.

MESH CHAIN

Has a fabric like quality with very fine wire used to weave the chain. There are a number of production methods including Milanese Mesh Chain and Stocking Mesh Chain. The first is produced by weaving wire into tubular or flat profiles whilst the second is produced using a knitting process with needles generating a continuous and seamless tube of mesh chain in the same way stockings used to be made. These chains tend to be wider than normal jewellery chains, often being four or more links wide.

N

NUGGET CHAIN

This chain starts life as a standard Serpentine Chain which is then soldered and hammered into an interlocking ‘s’ design, before being twisted to create the appearance of a nugget. This chain is also known as Tinsel Chain and Twisted Serpentine Chain.

O

OMEGA CHAIN

A wide chain that is distinguished from other chains by the structure of the links or plates that form the chain. Small individual metal plates are aligned next to one another and crimped to an underlying mesh substructure. This type of chain is popular for its overall strength and its reflective qualities, as the chains texture makes it extremely shiny. Omega Chains are traditionally flat in profile although rounded variations of the chain can be found. They can also be reversible.

P

PANTHER CHAIN

ls a flat chain with a surface design that resembles three rectangular paving bricks lying above each other with the centre brick offset one half brick to the side. The offset brick is then connected to the space left by the offset brick on the next link in the chain using a pin. These bricks can also be rhombus shaped like the diamond in a deck of laying cards.

PARALLEL CHAIN

Is similar to Cable Chain but instead of a repeating pattern of single links it consists of a repeating pattern with two links lying parallel to each other linking directly to a second set of links lying in parallel. This chain is also known as Double Cable Chain.

PEANUT CHAIN

Is an example of a Fancy Chain with an attractive wavy design. This particular design of chain is also known as Crinkle Chain.

PELLINE CHAIN

Pelline Chain is composed of tiny spheres of metal rather than open links. These spheres or balls can be solid or hollow to reduce weight. They can be fixed at regular intervals along the length of the chain, or alternatively immediately adjacent to each other. It typically has it own snap fastening, with the larger steel versions of this chain more often used to hold ID cards than for jewellery. This type of jewellery making chain is also known as Ball Chain or Bead Chain.

POPCORN CHAIN

Is made of identical machine stamped segments of flat metal in much the same manner as Snake Chain. The metal segments are hollow and can be flat, rounded or concave.

 

PRINCE OF WALES CHAIN

Is made of small circular links, where each link has no less than four other links connected to it, forming a twisted metal chain. The resulting chain resembles a rope and is extremely strong due to the additional connectivity between chain links.

R

RING AND CONNECTOR CHAIN

Is a chain made up of elongated links connected by round links or jump rings.

ROLO CHAIN

Is made up of alternating oval or round links. These links are typically smaller in length and thicker in girth than Cable Chain links, and are flat on the inside, giving the chain a heavy, sturdy appearance. This type of chain is popular for use as Charm Bracelets. This jewellery chain is also known as Belcher Chain.

ROPE CHAIN

Has the appearance of two, or more, twisted strands of chain spiralled together. It is created by weaving together rows of metal links to resemble a thick two stranded rope. A downside of this chain is that because the individual links are not fully joined together if one link fails there may be a domino effect! Some rope chains combine two different types and colours of metal.

ROUND LINK CHAIN

Is a simple uniform chain combining round open links or soldered links.

ROUND MAILLE CHAIN

Is made up of smooth round metal plates or bands with a slight curve at their mid point. They are tightly joined together to form a continuous flexible tube reminiscent of a snakeskin due to a slight zigzag effect. It has a virtually closed surface profile which makes for a very elegant and flexible chain perfect for displaying a pendant from. Unlike Omega Chain there is no underlying wire or mesh to support these plates. This jewelry making chain is also known as Brazilian Chain, Hexagon Chain, Star Weave Chain and most commonly Snake Chain.

S

SAN MARCO CHAIN

Is made up of long and rounded links which somewhat resemble a puffed grain of rice with a flat bottom. These individual links are arranged next to each other at a forty five degree angle and attached to each other at the bottom by sturdy flat pins set at an opposing angle.

SATURN CHAIN

Is composed of small round links punctuated with filled beads that look like orbiting planets or moons adding interest and texture to the chain.

SCROLL CHAIN

Is produced by a dedicated machine which uses two separate lengths of wire fed from opposite directions to create the initial scroll which is then soldered. The chain can then be Hammered or Diamond Cut.

SERPENTINE CHAIN

Is composed of hammered ‘s’ shaped links that are laid next to each other with another identical set of links laid in parallel below the first and connected together.

SINGAPORE CHAIN

Is constructed using a series of flat Diamond Cut chain links. Several of these links are interwoven to form a diamond shape, and then in turn these diamond shaped links are twisted and flattened to form a chain. This design results in a chain with links that reflect light from different angles, giving the chain a sparkling appearance as well as a pleasing natural curve.

SNAKE CHAIN

Is made up of smooth round metal plates or bands with a slight curve at their mid point. They are tightly joined together to form a continuous flexible tube reminiscent of a snakeskin due to a slight zigzag effect. Its virtually closed surface profile makes for a very elegant and flexible chain perfect for displaying a pendant from. Unlike Omega Chain there is no underlying wire or mesh to support these plates. This jewelry making chain is also known as Brazilian Chain, Round Maille Chain, Hexagon Chain and Star Weave Chain.

SPIGA CHAIN

This chain is made from small figure of eight links which give it an almost square, plaited profile. It is a strong, complex chain which are qualities that are usually reflected in its price. This jewellery making chain is also known as Espiga Chain and Wheat Chain.

SQUARE LINK CHAIN

Is much loved for its geometric simplicity. It is made from round wire rolled flat before being formed into square links that form open boxes or cubes, giving it a sturdy yet classically smooth, sleek and uniform appearance. This jewelry making chain is also known as a Box Chain, Briolette Chain and Venetian Chain.

STAR WEAVE CHAIN

Is made up of smooth round metal plates or bands with a slight curve at their mid point. They are tightly joined together to form a continuous flexible tube reminiscent of a snakeskin due to a slight zigzag effect. It has a virtually closed surface profile which makes for a very elegant and flexible chain perfect for displaying a pendant from. Unlike Omega Chain there is no underlying wire or mesh to support these plates. This jewelry making chain is also known as Brazilian Chain, Hexagon Chain, Round Maille Chain and most commonly Snake Chain.

SWAGED OR HAMMERED

Is a process used to manufacture or modify a variety of chain styles using a shaped tool or die. A shaping or hammering process is used to change or flatten the appearance of a cold metal into chain.

T

TINSEL CHAIN

This chain starts life as a standard Serpentine Chain which is then soldered and hammered into an interlocking ‘s’ design, before being twisted to create the appearance of a nugget. This chain is also known as Nugget Chain and Twisted Serpentine Chain.

TRACE CHAIN

Is generally fine and delicate chain which typically has a uniform breadth and thickness. It is usually formed from wire with slightly oval links. For the purposes of our web site we have described any jewellery chain with links smaller than 3mm as trace chain.

TWISTED CURB CHAIN

Is constructed using a series of flat Curb Chain links which are then twisted to add extra interest. This design results in a chain with links that reflect light from different angles, giving the chain a sparkling appearance.

TWISTED HELIX CHAIN

Is one of the simplest chains with uniform links. This chain can be produced in very fine widths creating a very delicate chain.

TWISTED ROPE CHAIN

Is created from lengths of rope chain which are twisted together to form a single chain length which gleams from every angle.

TWISTED SERPENTINE CHAIN

This chain starts life as a standard Serpentine Chain which is then soldered and hammered into an interlocking ‘s’ design, before being twisted to create the appearance of a nugget. This chain is also known as Nugget Chain and Tinsel Chain.

V

VENETIAN LINK CHAIN

Is much loved for its geometric simplicity. It is made from round wire rolled flat before being formed into square links that form open boxes or cubes, giving it a sturdy yet classically smooth, sleek and uniform appearance. This jewelry making chain is also known as a Box Chain, Briolette Chain and Square Link Chain.

W

WHEAT CHAIN

Not to be confused with Barleycorn Chain this intricate symmetrical Rope Chain is made from small figure of eight links which give it an almost square, plaited profile which puts you in mind of Harvest Festivals! It is typically made from four strands of oval and twisted oval links. This jewellery making chain is also known as Espiga Chain and Spiga Chain.

 

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