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What type of gold chain is best?

Nov. 28, 2023
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Buying a new gold chain can be exciting for so many reasons. Maybe it’s a gift for someone special or even a gift to yourself as a reward! Either way, it can be fun. But with the numerous types of gold chains available, how do you know which one is the best for you?

There are many styles, weights, lengths making it hard to choose. Some people choose strictly for style and fashion, others choose based on needs or wants. But most people buy gold chains for showing off that swag.

Width & Length of a Gold Chain

To add on to what style or type of gold chain, there is the additional task of figuring out the length and width you are looking for. The common sizing for the width of a chain is usually between 1mm and 21 mm but can be bigger as a custom piece of jewelry. For length, you’ll commonly find chains anywhere between 18” and 30 inches.

Popular Types of Chains in Rochester, NY


Cuban Link Chain

Type – Cuban Link/ Miami Cuban Link

Characteristics – oval-shaped links with a thicker look

Strength/Durability – strong and durable

Pendants/Standalone – Depends on the size

Fun Facts – Evolved from hip-hop in the ’70s, was a hot trend in Miami and everywhere today, commonly encrusted with bling

Rope Chain

Type – Rope Chain

Characteristics – twisted rope design, can be thin and delicate or super chunky

Strength/Durability – among the strongest most durable, said to last a lifetime

Pendants/Standalone – can be worn with or without a pendant

Fun Facts – The “dookie” chain is a chunky rope chain and became popular in the ’80s by Slick Rick and Rakim. Shinier due to twisting can stretch over time

Franco Chain

Type – Franco Chain

Characteristics – v-shaped link tight together making it look thicker

Strength/Durability – strong and durable

Pendants/Standalone – Looks great with pendants

Fun Facts – among the most popular types of chain styles

Figaro Chain

Type – Figaro Chain (three-one link or Italian chain)

Characteristics – 3 circle links, then 1 long oval link

Strength/Durability – very sturdy for everyday wear

Pendants/Standalone – can be worn alone or with a pendant

Fun Facts – Always popular, originated in Italy, gets its name from the popular Italian opera, The Marriage of Figaro, when it needs to be fixed, an entire set of links must be added to avoid messing up the pattern.

Curb-Link Chain

Type – Curb Link

Characteristics – squared or beveled links, has a flatter surface, thick and heavy

Strength/Durability – Sturdy, extremely durable, easy to care for

Pendants/Standalone – great as a standalone chain

Fun Facts – commonly confused with a Cuban link, perfect for adding bling, larger links and can be heavy

Ball Chain

Type – Bead/Ball/Dog Tag Chain

Characteristics – sphere or bead-shaped links with equally sized spacers

Strength/Durability – Not as sturdy and can break easily

Pendants/Standalone – Good for pendants

Fun Facts – most used for dog tags, has a simple popular style, beads are usually 1mm – 2mm in size, but can be bigger

Herringbone Chain

Type – Herringbone Chain

Characteristics – flat, v-shaped links fit tightly, giving it a fluid design

Strength/Durability – Can get kinks and bend, will eventually break.

Pendants/Standalone – commonly worn without a pendant, great standalone piece

Fun Facts – Great for etching or engraving, a famous style of King Tut, if it needs fixing, becomes more prone to breaking again

Mariner-Link Chain

Type – Mariner/Anchor/Rambo Link

Characteristics – Oval links with a middle bar or in larger links only has holes for using smaller connecting links on each side

Strength/Durability – among the strongest most durable

Pendants/Standalone – Can be worn with pendants or alone

Fun Facts – meant to resemble anchor chains, can also be puffy like and studded which is a modernized style

Rolo Chain

Type – Belcher/Rolo Chain

Characteristics – oval interlocking links alternating

Strength/Durability – durable and sturdy

Pendants/Standalone – one of the most popular chains to wear with a pendant

Fun Facts – smaller sizes are popular with women, and chunkier with men looks like an actual iron chain

Box Chain

Type – Box Chain

Characteristics – interlocking square links, looks like a box

Strength/Durability – sturdy for everyday wear, does not break easily

Pendants/Standalone – often worn with pendants

Fun Facts – thin are popular with woman, a common size for women vary from .5mm to 1.5mm

Singapore Chain

Type – Singapore Chain

Characteristics – curb style links that have been twisted

Strength/Durability – strong and durable regardless of size

Pendants/Standalone – Popularly worn with pendants

Fun Facts – Classic and intricate braided design

Snake Chain

Type – Snake Chain

Characteristics – rings instead of links fit closely together creating a narrow tube-like design

Strength/Durability – Delicate, don’t tangle or get caught in hair easy

Pendants/Standalone – great for adding pendants

Fun Facts – has a fluid-like design making it like snakeskin

Wheat Chain

Type – Wheat/Spiga Chain

Characteristics – 4 strands of twisted oval links that are woven together into one

Strength/Durability – durable and sturdy, semi-rigid

Pendants/Standalone – good for pendants or standalone

Fun Facts – looks like the tip of wheat, strands change directions and do not go in one single direction

Gucci Link Chain

Type – Gucci Chain

Characteristics – rounded or oval like links with the thicker middle bar

Strength/Durability – strong and durable

Pendants/Standalone – smaller links are great with pendants

Fun Facts – commonly mistaken for mariner types of chains

Moon-Cut Ball Chain

Type – “Moon Cut” Link

Characteristics – sphere or bead-shaped links with a diamond-cut, with equally sized spacers

Strength/Durability – Not as sturdy and can break easily

Pendants/Standalone – can be worn with a pendant or alone

Fun Facts – diamond-cut allows for maximum shine

Byzantine Chain

Type – Byzantine Chain

Characteristics – can be oval or round links that are used in pairs, with a vertical pair joined by a horizontal pair to a vertical pair.

Strength/Durability – Sturdy and durable

Pendants/Standalone – can be worn as a standalone chain

Fun Facts – has ancient origin dating back to 5th century, intricate and flexible

Cable Link Chain

Type – Cable Chain

Characteristics – oval or round links in an interlocking pattern, join at 90-degree angles

Strength/Durability – Can be sturdy and reliable, but if not made correctly will come apart at joint

Pendants/Standalone – commonly worn with pendants

Fun Facts – looks like board ship chains (a ships anchor chain that is connected to the ship)

Which Types of Chains Are Best for You?

Now that you know about the different types of chains, and how to tell them apart…now is the time to decide which is best for you! If you’re looking for an everyday chain to wear, you’ll want a smaller link chain that is sturdy and durable.

Some people can be tough on their jewelry, so make sure it is strong enough for your activity level. If you are looking for that perfect gold chain to go with a new pendant, be sure to pick a chain that will either complement the pendant or let the pendant be the showcase piece.

Wearing a V-neck tee? Make sure your chain is longer or shorter than the V or it will get lost in the neckline. Wearing a turtleneck shirt or scarf in the Winter? Go for a longer chunkier chain to make sure it stands out! Gifting can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what the person likes.

Standard go-to would be a mid-length chain that is simple. Think Figaro or rope chains! You may have never put this much thought into buying a gold chain in Rochester, NY, but there are so many options to think about. Whichever types of chains you choose, you will surely show off your style!

Over the past week or so, we’ve been receiving many questions about which chain shines the most. Why so many questions lately? Blame it on the weather. It’s summer time, everyone.

With summer time shine comes the urge to shine. And which chain will help you shine out the most? We’ve taken a look at our favorite four chains to break down the shine that each one can provide you. We’ve chosen these chains due to their popularity and their timeless feel.

#4 Miami Cuban Chain

Out of the four that we’re about to dive into, the Miami Cuban is the one with the least shine. This chain has more of a high polish finish. A closer look shows that these chains are made without the diamond cut finish, which are just notches and grooves cut into the gold to make a chain shine more. For those who want to find out more about what “diamond cut” means, please check our blog post on the topic.

Now hang on. That doesn’t mean the Miami Cuban won't bring the shine. Real 10k/14k gold will catch the light. The way this chain is designed, it gives off more of a smooth, polished feel with its links.

#3 Flat Curb Cuban Link Chain

This chain does shine, but doesn’t make it into our top two. The way the Flat Curb is made, there are some visible cuts to it. But the reason it catches less light is because the Flat Curb is…well…flat. Once again, this is just the style of the chain. It will lay flat cross your chest, and may have a kind of “2-D” look to it. Other chains, such as hand-woven Gold Ropes, will pop out more simply due to their design.

Despite its flat nature, this chain still has several cuts in the links to help it bring the shine (at least the ones we carry). In our opinion, this gives it the edge over the Miami Cuban.

#2 Diamond Cut Franco Chain

Diamond cut chains usually catch the shine better. The small notches cut by a jeweler (the “diamond cuts”) are designed to reflect the light. This puts the Diamond Cut Franco above the Miami and Flat Curb Cuban, but it does not get our top spot. WHERE the diamond cuts are made in the links also matter in terms of overall shine.

The diamond cuts are made only to the front and the back of the Franco Chain. There aren’t really any diamond cuts to the sides of the chain. As a result, the chain gives off just enough shine without really “doing too much,” if you know what I mean. It won’t be completely eye-blinding, but it will sparkle enough to make you blink twice.

#1 Diamond Cut Gold Rope Chain

Ah yes, the classic. This is our top-selling chain. This is also, out of the four we’ve reviewed, the chain that shines the most. The Gold Rope has, what we like to call, a “3-D” look to it. What we mean by 3-D is that the chain has depth, has pop to it. This is due to the hand-woven links that cover all surface areas of shine.

No matter which angles you look from, the Gold Rope gives off 360-degree light. Unlike the D/C Franco, the diamond cuts run all over the chain. It’s like wearing summer around your neck.

Summary and Final Thoughts

For those who just want a quick ranking, here is our personal list from most to least shine:

  1. Diamond Cut Gold Rope Chain
  2. Diamond Cut Franco Chain
  3. Flat Curb Cuban Link
  4. Miami Cuban

Although diamond cuts to a chain do help it sparkle more, keep in mind that this also affects durability. The jeweler is cutting into the gold, making it thinner in some areas. That doesn’t mean diamond cut chains, or chains with additional notches/grooves cut into it, will break or snap easily. Remember not to tug too hard on chains and to handle them with care.

Shine out, show out, and bring the HEAT this summer. And remember, you can always DM us on Instagram with any questions.

What type of gold chain is best?

Which Gold Chain Shines the Most?



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