February 29, 2024

The Complete Guide To Gold Chain Necklaces: Styles, Names And Types

Gold chains have remained a beloved jewelry staple for centuries. Their timeless elegance perfectly complements both casual daily wear and formal attire. Gold's warm glow flatters all skin tones, making these chains uniquely versatile and ideal for layering.

Beyond their intrinsic beauty, gold chains showcase excellent craftsmanship across eras and cultures. Whether a basic cable link or an intricate woven mesh, each chain design tells a story. Learning to identify the different gold chain names, styles and types helps wearers better appreciate their pieces.

This guide will explore popular gold chain designs. It covers everything from staple chains like Figaros to bold modern weaves. Readers will learn how to identify different gold chain types and better understand their histories. They’ll also discover styling tips, so their chains perfectly complement their personal flair.

Popular Gold Chain Names

Understanding industry lingo helps buyers better communicate with jewelers. It also aids in researching and comparing chains online. Here are some of the most common gold chain names jewelry lovers should know:


A classic style with small and large alternating oval links. Its elegant simplicity perfectly suits both men and women.


Also called a rope chain. A timeless style woven from links to resemble a rope. Gold cables are strong enough for daily wear.


An elegant chain with flat, uniform links. When opened and laid flat, it maintains its shape like a curb. A luxurious choice to elevate professional attire.


A chain made of small oval links that gently curve to lay perfectly on the neck. A staple delicate chain for women that sits comfortably against bare skin.


A delicate women’s chain where oval links connect to figure eight links. This wow-worthy woven style has Eastern flair.

Top 6 Most Popular Gold Chain Types

Gold chains popularity spans cultures, eras and gender. And different chain types each have their distinctive flair. Here are five ever-popular chain categories and examples of why they’ll always be in fashion:

Tennis Chains

Tennis chains feature a line of identical side-by-side links resembling a flexible straight bracelet. The symmetrical links give tennis chains a refined, polished aesthetic. In recent times, moissanite tennis chains in white gold have become popular and perfect foundation for accent pendants.

Figaro Chains

Alternating small and large oval links give Figaros their signature appeal. These classic yet understated chains work for both men and women. Mix multiple Figaro necklaces in different lengths and metals for chic layered style.

Cable Chains

A cable’s twisted shape resembles rope, giving it a nautical vibe. Strong cable links withstand decades of daily wear without losing their shape. Cables' durability and timeless elegance make them beloved heirloom pieces.

Curb Chains

The curb link's wide, flat and uniform shape lies gracefully on the neck. Hip hop artists and other influencers catapulted these chains to modern fame. Their sparkle embellishes formal looks, while their strength handles rugged lifestyles.

Rolo Chains

A rolo chain’s small connected ovals create a sleek line with understated versatility. Affordable pricing attracts first-time gold buyers looking for classic everyday pieces. Rolos also layer well with pendants and other delicate chains.

Snake Chains

Snake chains feature rounded oblong links that smoothly drape into fluid lines. Their swirling shape and sultry shimmer dazzle whether worn singly or layered. Snake chains transition effortlessly from desk to dinner date.

Gold Chain Styles Through the Ages

Like all elements of fashion, gold chain designs reflect the aesthetics of different eras. Learning this history helps modern buyers appreciate how age-old techniques influence contemporary works. Here’s an overview of major periods and their signature gold chain styles:

Ancient World and Antiquities

Some of civilization’s earliest gold chains date back over 5,000 years. These ornate necklaces featured beads, pendants and intricate links handcrafted using rudimentary tools. Egyptian pharaohs and ancient Greek aristocrats wore these lavish gold pieces to demonstrate their elite status. Treasure hunters still occasionally unearth antiquities era gold, like beautifully carved warp wire necklaces.

Middle Ages

Advances in metallurgy and jewelry-making techniques enabled artisans to craft delicate filigree chains. Royals donned these gold masterpieces featuring tiny beads and detailed line work. The old European cut for gemstones like rubies also emerged during the Middle Ages. Jewelers set these prized stones in handcrafted gold filigree necklaces still replicated today.

Georgian and Victorian Eras

Thick, engraved cable link chains grew popular through the late 1700s. Both men and women wore multiple long chains layered together for a bold statement. In the mid-1800s, gold chains featured ornate pendants the Victorians gifted at betrothals. Machine-made chains became more widely available near the era’s end. But nothing surpassed the beauty of authentic handcrafted gold.

Art Deco Period

Smooth curb and Figaro chains perfectly complemented the sleek lines of early 20th century fashions. Jewelers also introduced exciting new links shapes during this innovative era like the mariner link. Simple diamond accents added discreet bling to chains worn both day and night.

Retro and Mid-Century Modern

After WWII, jewelers embraced mass production of gold chains. Dainty trace link and wheat designs gained favor as everyday luxury pieces. The late 1960s ushered in chunky flat curb links chains and an eclectic mix of pendants. Medallions with astrology motifs, peace signs and Yin Yang symbols became staple pendant enhancements.


Modern jewelry artisans continue reviving antique techniques to handcraft one-of-a-kind chains. But improved mass production methods also enable more people to own high-quality gold today. Best-selling contemporary chains like Figaros and cables now come available in multiple lengths at various price points.

Mixing and Matching Gold Chains

One of the joys of collecting chains comes from mixing different metals, lengths and link types. But it helps to keep some styling basics in mind:

Mix metal colors purposefully not randomly for a fashion-forward (not fashion-victim) vibe. For example, pair silver with white gold and yellow gold with rose gold.

Balance fancy links with simpler ones so key pendants can take center stage. For instance, a basic Figaro chain highlights a cross, chai or initial pendant.

Choose similar metal types and colors when layering multiple chains together. Mixing metals is on-trend but multiple mixed metals can look busy.

Pro tip: Add an organizer catch to prevent delicate chains from tangling when layered together. Or invest in a chain holder that neatly stores these prized possessions.

5 Things to Look for in a Quality Gold Chain

With so many factors impacting durability, it helps to know what distinguishes high-quality chains from the rest:

Solid Construction

Quality chains connect securely so they don’t easily pull apart if snagged. They also feature sturdy clasps that open and close smoothly.

Comfortable Weight

Top gold contains a higher purity of the precious metal so it feels satisfyingly heavy in the hand. But a quality chain still feels comfortable enough for all-day wear.


Authentic gold jewelry features markings indicating metal purity (10K, 14K, etc.) and often a maker’s mark. These serve as proof of third-party inspections to verify quality.

Smooth Finish

Perfectly polished gold has an mirror-like shine free from pits, scratches or blemishes in the links.

Reasonable Pricing

Exceptional deals on gold chains often indicate lower quality. Compare prices in relation to total gold weight against current market rates.

Caring for Gold Chains

Gold chains warrant special care for lasting beauty. Here are some key maintenance tips:

  • Remove gold chains before showering, exercising or cleaning to prevent damage and loss.
  • Store chains properly in a jewelry box or hanging from a stand to prevent tangling knots.
  • Clean gold occasionally with mild soap, water and soft brush avoiding harsh chemicals that can erode gold.
  • Inspect clasps regularly and take chains to a jeweler for any repairs to prevent breakage.
  • Consider adding a safety catch to chains worn frequently for extra security and peace of mind.


Humanity’s enduring obsession with gold chains spans cultures and millennia. These diverse designs continue capturing our imagination while withstanding time and trends. We hope this overview has enriched reader’s appreciation for these special adornments. It just skims the surface of information available to help buyers select quality chains matching their personal preferences. Many more unique chain styles await discovery by those who treasure gold’s magical allure.


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