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Types of chains for necklaces

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Types of chains for necklaces vary greatly in length, design and style

Types of chains for necklaces vary greatly in length, design and style

You have a treasured locket you want to put on a chain and create a necklace. What kind of chain should you get? Types of chains for necklaces vary tremendously in look, weight and complexity.


When choosing a jewelry chain, the first consideration is the shape of the links and the design or pattern of the metal. Some are simple and defer to the style of the pendant in setting the casual or formal feeling of the piece.

Other necklace chains are elaborate and can easily stand on their own, without a pendant.

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Here are some of the most common patterns.

A foxtail consists of elliptical links, facing each other. A flat row of rings extends from the center, connecting oval inks creating an involved and stylish design.


Another type is the rope. It looks like a spiral. Two chains are twisted together, creating the corkscrew appearance, bulkier and chunkier than other designs.

A serpentine chain features S-shaped links laid side by side. Another set of links is situated below the first S, and the two sets are connected this way.

Consider a cable, simple and customary. Oval links connect to one another, creating the chain.

A herringbone appears slanted. There are two or more rows in this chain. The slants interchange in direction from one another. A flat necklace, the herringbone has diminutive links closely set together.

The Figaro is either silver or gold link. Two or three patterns of minute, spherical links are in this necklace, incorporated by one extended oval link.

A box chain consists of connecting square links, resulting in a smooth design.


A choker is 16 inches long and fits snugly around the neck.

Eighteen inches is considered ‘princess’ length. This is a common length, hanging just at or below the collarbone. Typically, the princess length features a lean link design, to there’s room for a pendant.

The 24-inch length =’s opera length. Striking and usually consisting of a large ornament or won as one of several chains, the link styles used include cable, Figaro, serpentine, herringbone or box.

A 30-inch necklace reaches just below the bust line. Some women prefer wearing multiple, long necklaces, creating a layered and visually interesting look. These lengthy necklaces are available in various width and link types.

The longest necklace is 36 inches. This length works well when worn with a plunging neckline. It is reminiscent of the dangling strands of beads the Flappers wore in the 1920s.


The most popular style in necklaces in this decade was long and dangling, featuring a nature-inspired pendant. Gold and pewter were often used together.


In the seventies, women wore multiple necklaces made from natural materials, including bone, shell, stone and wood. Ethic-inspired jewelry was in vogue. Men and women embraced hippie fashions. when disco became the rage in the late 1970s, people donned sparkly and flashy jewelry.


Madonna had a tremendous influence on jewelry and fashion trends in this decade, what with her pointed bra tops, the crosses danging from her neck and her penchant for more, more, more! Jewelry was intense and commanding. Beaded necklaces and chokers were in fashion. Princess Diana frequently worse chokers and the masses followed suit. Gemstones were incorporated into jewelry pieces.


In this decade, necklaces were constructed of hemp and shells, featuring mushrooms, fairies and frogs. Leather and hemp were intertwined, creating a bracelet or necklace. Ribbon and lace were used to make necklaces.

Fast Forward

Necklaces are getting chunkier and over sized in contrast to the inconspicuous neck jewelry of the previous year. Long, thin chains are worn with bold pendants. Varying hues of pinks and reds, considered romance colors, are popular. Victorian era-inspired jewelry is much south after. This style is hefty and possesses rich colors, old world charm and erudition. This year’s jewelry is bold and patterned.

Examine various chains. Hold them up to your chest. See which one works best with your locket or which one looks well, worn alone, or combined with others. You may find you have a definite preference that you hadn’t realized, for one type over another.


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