Chains have been popular since Renaissance and Victorian eras. Back then, chains were made using bare hands. A handmade chain means each link has to be individually shaped, attached to the next link and soldered shut, making this a vigorous and costly process. With the advancement of technology, most modern chains are made using a machine that is much faster and cost-saving. Today, the designer still uses the hand fabrication method to create unique chains with intricate patterns and links in abstract shapes. Chains come in different styles, shapes and sizes for both men and women. The popular type of chain we see today is a set of linked loops of metal wire consisting of connected bead balls or disks.
Image courtesy: Interweave Image courtesy: JeweleryEssentials
A rope chain is a solid or hollow chain that has oval links and resembles a twisted rope. It is usually durable and bulky amongst the other type of chain thus they are suitable to wear with a pendant. The thicker Rope chain is usually worn without a pendant. It is also one of the most delicate types of chain that consists of several metal segments with pattern twisting around, thus giving an appearance of a real rope. Due to its twisting pattern, it reflects lights from different angles, which made it more lustrous.
Image courtesy: Bijoulimon Image courtesy: Jewelryshoppingguide
Screenshot of Rope chain necklace attached with a diamond pendant
Image courtesy: Christies
Figaro chain is originated in Italy. It is a type of curb link chain with a repeating pattern of long and short link. The chain design comprises two or three small circular links followed by one elongated oval links. The classic ones comprise three short links between each pair of long links. Both men and women usually wore the Figaro chain. The chain is also secure as it is made up of thick wires. Whenever one of the Figaro chains gets broken, it needs to be changed with a new one before removing it, as this will mess the pattern of the chain up. Similar to the Rope chain, the thicker Figaro chain is worn alone and the thinner ones are worn with pendants. Other Figaro styles have a similar repeating pattern, but the number of short links varies.
Image courtesy: shoplesensor Image courtesy: Jewelryshoppingguide
Image courtesy: Sothebys Image courtesy: pricerock
Curb Link Chain
The Curb link chain has flattened oval links. The interconnected uniform links are designed to lay flat. The Curb link chain is known as Box Briolette, which is similar to a belcher chain ( Belcher chain is a type of trace chain made with D-shaped links that are fairly broad and of uniform size and shape ) except links are tighter and it is in square shape. The chain comprises oval links that are twisted and then flattened so the chain lies flat. Curb link chains are strong yet flexible it is easy to repair. Curb link chain also has a masculine design thus it is mostly worn by men.
Image courtesy: Jared Image courtesy: Jewelryshoppingguide
Image courtesy: Sothebys
A ball or bead chain is formed by a series of tiny beads that are linked together to create a chain. The balls or beads are connected close together, or sometimes it has small spaces in between to have some movement. Ball chains are commonly worn with a pet's tag. Ball chains don’t perform well as a stand-alone accessory and look best paired with pendants. The chain might look beautiful, but it can relatively break easily.
Image courtesy: Jewelryshoppingguide Image courtesy: tisanjewellery
Image courtesy: nytimes
Modern Machine made chain
Omega chain is made up of flat metal segments and the chains are connected. Omega chain is usually bent, making them less durable than the other chain. Meanwhile, the Box chain is made up of angular links that are connected together by solid metal squares.
Omega chain Box chain
Image Courtesy: Jewelryshoppingguide
Substantial feel and rich yellow color make this chain especially desirable. This pattern of interlocking links is called herringbone.
Image Courtesy: Jewelryshoppingguide