The variety and versatility of jewelry nowadays is amazing. It’s hard to count, let alone remember the names of the existing types of chains. We gathered several styles that are quite popular and recognizable.
Cable is the most basic type of chains. It’s perfect in its simplicity, displaying pattern of identical oval or circular links connected with each other. This style without any doubt may be called classic as it is the first thing coming to mind when you hear the word “chain”. It works great as the base for a delicate pendant, but not the best option for heavy items. Even if it breaks, it’s easy to replace the link and, thus fix it.
Curb is a name for quite a large group of different types of chains: Cuban or, as it also often called, Miami Cuban, Franco, Figaro, foxtail… The curb itself consists of twisted oval links, while in the most popular its variation, the Cuban, the accent of the links is made on their flatness. It became famous in the 1970s in Miami. Chosen by rappers of that time thanks to its strength and massive chunky looks Cuban curb made its way into mainstream fashion. The thick gold Cuban curb is a status jewelry, especially laid with diamonds, and can be worn both, on its own and with a pretty heavy gold or diamond pendant.
Figaro is an Italian vision of a curb style. Named after the main character of the play “The Barber of Seville”, Figaro chain usually consists of one long oval link which follows three or rarely two smaller round ones. It represents distinctive for Italian artworks passion and intricacy. Thick Figaro necklaces is the frequent choice of men, while thinner jewelry pieces are popular among ladies. The exquisite pattern draws attention on its own, but they are also quite sturdy to handle some pendant or medallion.
Franco chain is an Italian brother of a Figaro. Though its looks differ from Cuban or Figaro, it still remains the type of curb style. Franco necklace is constructed of flat V-shaped links, that are also commonly called chevron, put tightly together. It allows the necklace to display two different patterns from two different sides. One side shows the V pattern; another looks more as a Cuban. It was named after the jeweler who invented the design. They say, his aim was to create a chain that won’t get tangled but with a pattern as vivid as the Cuban. Thanks to its structure Franco necklace is very strong and durable. It won’t break easily and can handle quite a weight.
Rope chain looks exactly as it sounds. It represents two twisted in a spiral way threads constructed of small links, just like a rope. The distinguished design adds specific luster to the necklace, making it a popular bling jewelry. It came to us from the 1980s when it gained its fame thanks to the rappers of that time. Thick gold rope chain became the reason for battles among rappers, which concluded in several Guinness World Records in categories of the largest chains and pendants. Paying homage to hip hop culture it may be worn with massive statement pendants laid in diamonds, as a part of a layered look or, if massive enough, as a solo jewelry item. But if you change a perspective a bit, you may notice how elegant and intricate it becomes when chosen in delicate width.
Mariner chain is considered to be one of the strongest, as it was designed after heavy-duty chains used to hold anchors. It gained its second name, the Anchor, thanks to this fact. It is made of oval links with the vertical bar inside. Mariner is great for everyday wear as it is durable and strong, and is able to handle heavy pendants. Due to the peculiarity of the links’ connections it’s unlikely to get tangled. Large Mariner necklace for men possesses bold and masculine look, while only elegant, confident and sophisticated women select to wear this necklace.
Bead dog-tags were brought into high-end jewelry by rappers of the 90s’, and they, in their turn, took the idea from military. The style was designed for a simple purpose: to wear identification tags during the Civil War. The pattern is simple and consists of solid or hollow ball links. The chain is practical and fulfills its duty of carrying pendants or tag-like medallions perfectly.
Box is a type of sleek chain. They can also be called Venetian, as they originated in Italy. Box’s design is pretty simple and consists of 4 sided square shaped flat links with straight edges. There are classic box chains and their rounded variants. This necklace is very shiny and eye-catching. The construction makes it durable and sturdy. The geometric shape goes well with laconic structural pendants.
Herringbone is another sleek chain type. It gained its name after the herring fish that possesses an interesting skeletal structure. The necklace is flat and shiny. It consists of two connected lines of very closely set flat V-shaped links that looks in opposite directions. The jewelry is designed to lie flat on the chest. It is a very sophisticated and exquisite item on its own, that’s why, and also because it is very delicate and can easily be damaged or deformed, it doesn’t go well with any pendants. The perfect length for it is choker or princess.
All those chains are unique in their own way and are able to complete or even create a perfect look. Chains of gold were made classic long ago not in vain. The metal is perfect for jewelry, as it has everything required. Gold is luxurious looking, hypoallergenic, easy to work with, and it doesn’t corrode. But is gold a strong metal? The strength of the gold is in its malleability. That’s why the best necklaces, which fascinate with their mesmerizing flexibility, are made of gold.
The diversity of chains strikes the imagination, but how to wear them right? There are some tips which can help to create a perfect image with the help of a right necklace. Read and remember.
To match your outfit with your chain you need to consider the neckline. V-shaped necklines go well with short Cuban chokers completed by a massive vivid pendant or the long chains, like cable or Figaro, with pendants descending lower the neckline. Square prefers minimalistic pendants on delicate chains, for example Figaro or rope. Oval and deep oval look great with jewelry that repeats the shape of the neckline, Herringbone or box for instance, or chokers. Turtleneck combines well with chains of considerable length and simple curb style tied in a knot or with pendants. Classic wide flat necklaces, as Herringbone, will also fit perfectly. Collar of a shirt creates a harmonious image with a chain of middle or extended length and rope or Franco designs. Stand collar may be combined with a charming choker.
You also need to take into consideration the style of the outfit. Office looks should be completed by the simple, almost invisible jewelry, like thin cable or box necklaces. Bright and massive jewelry, like large Cuban or Mariner, is welcome at a party. Evening gown likes flat styles of necklaces and Herringbone will fit perfectly. For a date you may opt for thin chains but with intricate textural patterns, like Franco or rope. Contrast is always a win-win option. When you wear plain clothes, complete the look with intricate jewelry. But if the outfit is already exquisite enough, consider simple jewelry items.
And there are also some advices considering the combinations of jewelry. So if you already chose some kind of chain, don’t put on a brooch, as it makes the area look heavy, plus your necklace can be caught on the brooch. Remember the rule of 3 jewelry items and combine your chain necklace with no more than 2 other pieces, like earrings and bracelet. Try to wear at least 1 of them not by the face. Keep in mind that all the selected jewelry should match by style, color and materials. It’s a bad idea to mix different metals or colors of gold, unless it’s a single item with a specific design. If your necklace is laid with diamonds or have a diamond pendant on it, don’t pick jewelry with other gems, diamonds can be combined only with diamonds.
Another feature that can affect the choice of the jewelry is the shape of the face. Round face type can be visually stretched and made thinner with the help of long chains and V-shaped necklines. The face that is, on contrary, too long, looks better with circular shaped necklace and items that are shorter and wider. Short bulky Cuban or wide Herringbone can become the right choice. The same types can be worn with the square shape of the face, but the length may be extended a bit. People with oval face type can wear any style, width or length of necklaces. Short items, thick or flat necklaces won’t look good on people with thick neck or double chin. They should try a turtleneck with long chain and structural pendants. People with long neck should pick short or mid-length round chains and avoid long ones that can visually stretch it even more. As to colors and complexions, dark skin prefers yellow gold chains; white gold goes well with fair skin; items of rose gold do not suit people that have pale skin with a blush.
Now you possess a powerful weapon that consists of useful knowledge and are ready to use it and conquer the world of beauty.