Designs of Chains & Necklaces
The most common designs of lady's necklaces are Belcher, Prince of Wales,Trace, Figaro, Curb, Diamond Cut Curb, Diamond Cut Trace, Box and Mirror Box, and to help you sort out exactly what style of necklace you are looking for each one is discussed briefly below to help you choose what suits you.
Belcher necklaces are made from circular links of silver or gold, each one looping into the next at a perpendicular angle. This style gives the necklace a slightly more 3 dimensional look than in some chains. Belcher necklaces of a higher weight tend to have larger links, and so this slightly 3 dimensional look is exaggerated. The design is very simple and elegant in its simplicity, it tends to suit a younger female and works particularly well with circular or oval shaped pendants or lockets.
Prince of Wales Chains
Prince of Wales necklaces are intricate chains with a large number of oval links which are to some extent interwoven. The overall impression that this pattern makes is of a denser necklace with a gentle spiral to it. The complexity of the Prince of Wales necklace design makes it a stunningly beautiful necklace to be worn just on its own. The necklace has a sophistication and elegance which suits a formal or work outfit. It can be worn by all age groups but is perhaps particularly well suited to a maturer look. If you were looking to hang a pendant or charm from a Prince of Wales necklace then it would suit something simple so as not to detract from the design of the chain itself.
Trace Necklace Chains
Trace necklaces are very popular chains on which to hang a locket or charm. They are similar in design to a Belcher necklace, but have slightly squared off oval links rather than the completely circular links of the Belcher. This is a simple but pretty necklace design which suits everyday wear and will complement almost any outfit.
Figaro Necklace Chains
Figaro necklaces can themselves vary in design. The basic style of the Figaro necklace is to vary small links with larger links alternately. These links are twisted more in the style of the links of a Curb necklace and most of the time Figaro necklace links are squared off slightly where they meet in the style of most diamond cut necklaces. There is some variation amongst Figaro chain styles, however, as some designs, known as Figaro 1+1, have the smaller and longer links alternating one short, one long, and Figaro 3+1 alternate with 3 smaller links followed by the one longer link. Particularly beautiful in yellow gold Figaro necklaces are more intricate in design and style than a lot of chain designs and are beautiful worn without any form of pendant.
Curb Necklace Chains
Curb necklaces are a classic and very popular chain style. Curb necklaces are made from small closed oval links which have been twisted through a 90 degree angle ensuring that as each new link is added to the last it sits flat against its neighbouring links. The design helps chains to sit beautifully against the neck as the smaller links and kinked design help the necklace to mould to the contours of the skin better than many other chain designs. Curb necklaces are one of the most popular designs of necklaces for hanging lockets, pendants and charms from. The extra weight of the pendant accentuates the flowing feel of the necklace and looks great. This is a timeless design of necklace and is readily worn by women of all ages and for all occasions.
Diamond Cut Curb Chains
A very popular design of chain the diamond cut curb necklace features the twisted links of the curb necklace, but the finish is that of a sharpened flat cut. Each link, rather than having rounded sides as with the curb necklace, has edges which look like they have been cut, this gives the necklace a flatter impression. It is this slightly flattened design which helps the necklace to hug the contours of the neckline making the diamond cut curb a very popular necklace.
Diamond Cut Trace Chains
Featuring the same diamond cut style as the diamond cut curb necklace this trendy style of necklace features the same squared oval links as the trace necklace but the links themselves feature a sharper diamond cut rather than a rounded cut. This style of necklace particularly suits younger wearers and is very popular when used with name pendants, or as a name necklace.
Made from a series of cube-shaped links the box necklace design gives an overall impression of a squared necklace which is quite reflective. It is a beautiful feeling necklace, but the because the links are less maneuverable than most curb, round or oval links the box necklace is not as suitable for hanging small charms or pendants from. It is, however, a great necklace for threading beads on, if this is a style which you like. The light-catching shimmer of the box necklace makes it a very attractive necklace worn just on its own.
Mirror Box Chains
With much tighter links than the box necklace a mirror box has an even greater reflective surface, and a very smooth finish. Ideal for party wear this is a very shimmery necklace which will catch light fabulously. Its silky smooth finish makes the mirror box necklace an absolute pleasure to wear also.
Paper chains are so called because they bare a very close resemblance to paper chains which you probably made out of actual paper when you were younger. The rectangular links alternate to build up the chain. Paper chains are excellent when worn on their own, but look great with a pendant, especially a squared or triangular pendant where the geometric pattern created by the links really complements the pendant to form a beautiful necklace.
Just like paper chains, it is fairly easy to work out the etymological root of rope chains: they look very much like a rope. In style they are in fact not disimillar to Prince of Wales chains, but whereas Prince of Wales chains are formed by each link interlinking three links, rope chains are built up by interlinking four links. The result is a spectacular spiralling effect lending a very 3D look to the chain. Rope chains look very good on younger wearers contrasting with the similar Prince of Wales chain which tends to be more suited to maturer wearers.
Rada Curb Chains
Close in design to classic curb chains, Rada links tend to be more open oval links, and are classically longer than in traditional curb chains. This extra length allows the curb, the part of the link which is curved so as to neatly fit into the link alongside it, to occur nearer the ends of the links. The result is a much more open looking chain which lies flat agaist the neckline. Rada curb chains are one of the best chains on which to hang a pendant. Their subtle beauty makes them ideal for every day wear, and the openess of the links saves on weight making most Rada chains relatively inexpensive.
With indiscernible links the Lantern chain gives the impression of a succession of tiny studs forming a continuous rope-like chain. The effect is that of a large chunky necklace not dissimilar to a snake chain. Fantastic chains for those who like big and bold necklaces, lantern necklaces look great when layered with a number of different lengths of chains.
Formed by very tightly joined links snake chains have a smooth continuous look which is both extremely tactile and absolutely beautiful. These chains look great especially in shorter lengths worn high up the neckline. Snake chains suit simple pendants or look fabulous with no extra adornment.