The Most Popular Types Of Chains & How To Buy Them Online

yellow gold bracelet chain

When shopping for your gold chain online, it can be a bit overwhelming. There are tons of options including style, length, weight, purity, whether or not it’ll work for your pendant, and more. With that in mind, we put together this post to show you the most popular and some unique types of chains. We also put together a professional buying guide where we explain everything you need to consider before buying your chain. 

Let’s get right to it...

Anchor/Gucci/Mariner Chain

A Mariner chain, also known as an Anchor chain, is a style that’s inspired by the chains connected to an actual anchor on a boat. It’s a great choice for people that love the ocean or those who want a sturdy and strong necklace. Generally, this type of chain is composed of interlocking ovals with a bar across the center of each oval, which gives a sturdy appearance. It’s considered to be a uni-sex chain, as both men and women can wear them on any occasion.

Ball/Bead Chain

A Ball chain, commonly known as a Bead chain, is a type of chain composed of a series of tiny beads that are linked together to create a chain. It’s commonly used for key chains, pull cords on light fixtures, ceiling fans, dog tags, and counter pens. Although bead chains may look sturdy and strong, this type of chain can break easily. 

Belcher/Rolo Chain

The Belcher Chain, also known as a Rolo Chain, looks just like Cable Chains with their simple oval links, these are also made with symmetrical round links for a heavier look.

Box Chain

Box chains are made of square links that are connected to make a continuous smooth chain.  This style is very popular among men and women and it's one of the strongest types of chains.

Byzantine/Idiot’s Delight/King’s Braid/Birdcage

The Byzantine chain has a unique woven texture created by the intricate oval links passing through each other, with the link connected and folded back together in pairs vertically and horizontally. This complex chain design has ancient origins that date back to the 5th century and is known as a variation of the box chain.

Cable Chain

If you're looking for a chain that works with any type of pendants and charms, then a cable chain might be the one for you. It consists of a series of identical oval links that are interconnected to form a functional and beautiful chain. 

Curb Chain

A Curb chain has the most common design among chains, which is made from a series of interconnected uniform flat links. It’s one of the top choices when it comes to necklaces;  heavy and sturdy curb chains are popular among men while the smaller and thinner curb chains with pendants are more popular among women. This type of chain is highly durable and is easy to maintain. 

Figaro Chain

This type of chain has a simple design and can be worn by both men and women. It’s a sturdy chain that’s made of thick wires and consists of an alternating pattern of flattened links in different sizes. Although Figaro chains are easy to fix, you cannot remove a broken link without replacing it due to the pattern of the chain. 

Paper Clip Chain

Just as its name suggests, the Paper Clip Chain has a pattern of paper-clip looking segments interlinked to form a chain. Smaller, more delicate chains are suitable for women, while bigger and stockier chains are worn by men. 

Rope Chain

Rope chains are considered as one of the most beautiful and elegant chains on the market. They are made of several metal segments that are connected to form the shape of a rope. Thinner rope chains are beautiful to pair with pendants, while the larger chains are ideal to wear on their own. Because of the twisting pattern that reflects light from various angles, a gold rope chain commands more attention. 

Singapore Chain

If you’re looking for a durable and strong chain, then the Singapore chain might be the one for you. It’s made of a series of interlinked segments that, when stretched out, gives a beautiful and twisting open appearance. This type of chain has a classic and sleek design that pairs well with a stylish pendant, which can be worn daily. 

Snake Chain

If you don’t know what a snake chain looks like, you’ll be able to tell when you see one for the first time —  it has a pattern similar to the body of a snake and has the same flexibility. A snake chain is made up of a series of small rings, which are either plated or bands that are connected tightly together to form a smooth and sleek appearance. This type of chain is somewhat simple but when paired with pendants, creates a unique look. Snake chains are easy to maintain and clean, making it a good choice for everyday wear. 

Wheat Chains

Wheat chains are generally made up of twisted oval links, which are braided together in one direction to create a delicate and symmetrical chain. This type of chain is one of the most durable accessory chains, making it strong enough to hold any type of pendant. 

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Chain Online

Chains are the foundation of every necklace — an ever timeless gift that fits any occasion. But finding the perfect chain to complement your style can be a tedious task. That’s why we've compiled everything you need to know before making the final decision to buy your chain online.

different gold chains

Karats & Purity 

Karat is a type of measurement to gauge the purity of gold, and is used to gauge the ratio of gold compared to other metals or alloys. Although 24k is the purest form of gold, 14kt gold is the most popular in the US. It consists of 14 parts of gold and 10 parts of alloy. The alloy provides durability so our gold jewelry will last longer. 

The higher the karat number, the more gold there is compared to the other metal content. Other metals and alloys could include copper, nickel (not common anymore), silver, or palladium.

The following chart shows the difference in karat quality and purity. 

Number of Karats

Parts of Gold

% of Gold Purity













The price of each piece of jewelry depends on the quality and purity of the gold as rated above. The higher the quality and the purer it is, the more a piece will cost. 

Hollow, Solid, Plated 

It’s important to know if your chain is hollow, solid, or plated, which is a big factor when it comes to weight and durability. 

  • Hollow: Hollow chains are more affordable but feel much lighter and can be more brittle. Jewelry is often made hollow when it’s very large. This cuts down on the weight of the piece and makes it easier to wear.   
  • Solid: Solid chains are much heavier and they can last longer than hollow chains.
  • Plated: This is the most affordable type. Plated jewelry, however, may not last as long or maintain its sparkle for as long as jewelry with a higher gold content. 

Handmade Vs Machine Made 

Although machine-made accessories are commonly sold in stores, they lack charm and can easily wear down. Plus repairing machine-made jewelry is difficult and has a higher chance of getting scars, which can lower its value. On the other hand, handmade jewelry is skillfully made by artisans spending hours of labor to create intricate and sophisticated designs. 

Types Of Metal Used In Chains

two-toned necklace

There are many different types of metals used for the construction of chains. Here are the most common: 

  • Sterling Silver
  • Stainless Steel
  • Yellow Gold
  • White Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Two-toned (Mixture of gold and silver)

Chain Length Options & How It Affects Price

Just like the quality and purity of the gold in your chain, the length of your chain will also affect its cost. The longer the chain, the more gold and alloys it will use, and will therefore cost more. Here are some of the most common lengths: 

  • Collar length (14"): These necklaces are worn tightly around the neck, and can be worn with open-neck clothing such as scoop necks, V-necks, off-shoulder clothing and boat necks. 
  • Choker (16"): This chain is worn tightly against the base of the throat and is suitable for just about any clothing for any occasion. 
  • Princess (18"): Princess style chains are placed on the collarbone, and are the most common and popular length. It also has the ability to work with almost everything in your wardrobe. 
  • Matinee (20”-24”): Matinee length chains are commonly worn between the collarbone and the bust, and are great for both business and casual wear. 
  • Opera (28”-36”): This is usually worn on the bust or an inch or two below it. The Opera length fits high necklines and evening wear. 
  • Rope (36”-42”): This length is commonly wrapped to sit on or just below the center of the bust. It is mostly paired with elegant business attire and evening wear. 
spiral gold necklace chain

Will It Be For a Pendant Or Charm?

When picking your chain, look for one that can handle the weight of the pendant or charm you have, but not over-power it. The perfect type of pendant chains to wear with charms are box or wheat chains. 

Will It Tangle Or Kink?

Common kinkers:

  • Herringbone Chain: These chains have the reputation of being the worst chains to buy due to how bad they kink. After they kink, they never return to the original look. 
  • Omega Chain: This one hurts. They’re typically expensive and built to last. However, if they kink, it’s the end of them. Needless to say, you’ll have to take extra care of this one.
  • Snake Chain: This is another chain that kinks — while it may look solid at first, its round segments can kink easily. 

Types Of Clasps

There are two types of clasps that you see on chains: one is the lobster clasp that is easy to use, heavy-duty, and is the safest type of clasp; while the other clasp is called a spring-ring. It’s usually thin, hollow, round, and is normally not soldered on to your chain. 

Can You Wear Your Chain To Sleep?

When choosing your chain, either make sure that it’s durable enough to be squished, rolled, and flattened, or make sure you take it off before bed. 

chains that hold up well are:

  • Box chains
  • Curb or Cuban link
  • Figaro chains
  • Mariner chains
  • Rope chains
  • Wheat chains

The Shop With All The Chains

If you’re looking for a high-end, custom online store that provides elegant, beautiful, and sophisticated chains, you have come to the right place. You can shop the collections on our site anytime and please call us if you have any special requisitions. We make custom jewelry and are happy to accommodate your special requests.