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types of necklace chains chain types

Just when you think you think you know all there is to know about jewelry, someone asks you what your favorite type of necklace chain is. OK, that probably didn’t happen, but you must be curious about it, because here we are. And there are, in fact, different names for different types of necklace chains. Here’s a quick rundown of seven of the main chains.

1. Bead Chain


necklace chain types - bead chains

Get it on Amazon for around $8

Just like it sounds, a bead necklace chain is made of small little beads. It’s a casual style, and dogtags famously hang on this type of chain. You might also craft with this type of necklace chain with kids by adding fun charms and pendants to necklaces. It’s not the formal necklace style you’d pair with a nice outfit.

2. Cable and Rolo Necklace Chains

necklace chain types - charm necklace

Get it on Tophatter for around $12

Picture small rings linked together. When they’re perfect circles, they make a rolo necklace. When they’re more oval, that’s called a cable necklace chain. Charm necklaces like this one and bracelets are often made from cable chains. You might prefer a larger, exaggerated choker cable necklace chain as more of a nod to the ’90s.

3. Byzantine Chain

necklace chain types - byzantine necklace

Get it on Amazon for around $199

A byzantine necklace chain is like a next-level cable necklace chain. There are extra rings in the mix to create more of a woven, boxy look. Some graduated styles will get progressively thicker farther away from the clasp. Others will incorporate beads and pearls for a more-feminine, delicate look. A Byzantine chain can easily dress up a simple work dress or classic, casual summer dress.

4. Singapore Chain

necklace chain types - singapore necklace chain

Get it on Tophatter for around $13

Want a necklace chain that looks timeless? Singapore necklace chains are made up of flat woven links. The chain will twist slightly as it goes along. It has a vintage feel to it, but can also add the perfect, classic touch to a date-night dress or a modern, sleek pantsuit. The thinner the chain, the more elegant it feels.

5. Rope Chain

necklace chain types - rope chain

Get it on Tophatter for around $16

You can probably picture this type of necklace chain just by reading the name. A rope necklace chain has two metal strands. They twist around one another to create a woven look like you might see when tying rope together. You’ll see thin, delicate styles as well as thicker styles that give off a gaudy-in-a-good way vibe.

6. Figaro Chain

necklace chain types - figaro necklace chain

Get it on Tophatter for around $12

Figaro necklace chains like to mix things up by throwing one long, rectangular link between a series of small round links. These chains tend to be thicker and less delicate than other styles. It’s a popular choice for a man’s necklace, but you might also come across thinner chains in this style that make a great match for pendants and charms.

7. Wheat Chain

necklace chain types - wheat necklace chain

Get it on Tophatter for around $8

As the name suggests, wheat necklace chains look a lot like wheat stalks. They can be thinner or thicker, like most chains, but in either case, it’s a sturdy chain with oval links woven together. From a distance, it looks similar to a rope necklace, but up close, you’ll notice a different texture. This is a great simple necklace on its own, and it’s another popular style for men.

Shop the necklaces:

  1. Bead chain
  2. Charm necklace
  3. Cable necklace chain
  4. Graduated Byzantine necklace
  5. Incorporate beads
  6. Singapore necklace chains
  7. Thin rope chain
  8. Rope chain
  9. Figaro necklace chains
  10. Wheat necklace chains

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.


Catherine Conelly is a former beauty and health editor turned freelance writer and digital marketer. She’s written for Shape, Thrillist, PopSugar and StyleCaster. Her work has also appeared on Forbes, Entrepreneur, the Glassdoor blog, and Adidas Game Plan A.

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