Gold Chain Styles

Written by daniel r. mueller
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Gold Chain Styles
Thin, delicate chains are a classic in women's jewellery. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Making a gold chain by hand is an involved process requiring a jeweller to individually shape and join each loop. Thanks to modern advances in manufacturing, machines are able to make finer gauges of gold chains than might otherwise be possible by hand. This is particularly important in women's jewellery, where tiny necklaces are often used to support and draw visual focus to pendants. On an interesting side note, gold is available in more than just the standard yellow due to advances in gold alloying procedures, with one of the more common variants being white gold, created by mixing gold with palladium.

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Gold Cable Chain

Cable chains are the simplest gold chain variant and are similar in design to a standard utility steel chain. Cable chains can be made of either elongated loops or circular o's, a uniting feature between all gold cable chains that makes it the least labour-intensive and simplest of all gold chain designs. The gold cable chain design is considered passé by many modern jewellers and is rarely found outside of antique jewellery or learning studios. The style of chain may still be found in some cases when aiming for a generalised "retro" or "chunky" look. This gold chain type is still relevant since it forms the basis for creating other styles.

Gold Chain Styles
Cable chains are ideal for conveying a rustic, yet affluent look. (Baerbel Schmidt/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Multi-Loop Gold Chain Styles

Multi-loop styles, insofar as the modern jeweller's art is concerned, are pretty much the norm. The basic structure for almost all gold chains are variations upon interlocking loops. Explained in the simplest sense, multi-loop chains are an interwoven chain comprised of two or more separate chains. The general effect is to give a three-dimensional appearance as well as lasting strength. Wheat and Franco Gold chains are fairly common examples of the multi-loop chain; rope chains are also fairly common and are composed of a high number of shaped segments rather than interwoven sets of singular chains. Rope chains are therefore more vulnerable to wear and tear, since they are made of many small pieces and contain only one linkage point. Franco style chains are generally considered masculine, while other styles are more or less unisex, with larger gauges preferred by men and smaller gauges preferred by female wearers.

Snake Gold Chains

Snake chains are among the simplest forms of interlocking gold chain designs. Most snake chains are not actually chains at all but stacks of bowl-shaped semi-spheres joined to the centre with a heavy-duty and usually synthetic thread. The result is an easy to make but dazzling golden chain necklace. Snake chains are a fairly common gold chains style in the developing world due to the ease of construction, and are ideal for complementing a new age look. While many chains styles are reserved for either silver or gold, snake chains come in non-precious materials such as copper and brass. It is possible to make snake chain with a metallic inner wire, but the elasticity of a synthetic core complements the snakelike form by tightly holding each piece together.

Gold Box Chains

Box chains are ideal for getting the most visual appeal out of a relatively small amount of gold. The box chain achieves this effect by bluffing its size with internal dead space. Explained in the simplest terms, box chains are large hollow structures using a relatively small gold investment. Box chains are generally used for men's necklaces but can be used for unisex bracelet applications as well. Box chains also come in a flattened rectangular variant, achieving a similar effect. Box chains are an ideal choice for inexpensive and robust men's jewellery.

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