FAQs on Buying Types of Chain Necklaces for Women

Lester Fangonilo - November 22, 2021


St. Christopher Pendant Necklace in 18k gold

When it comes to buying women’s jewelry, rocking up to your nearest jewelry store or atelier without knowing exactly what you want or need is going to cause you a fair share of headaches. 

That said, we hope that you will find this guide handy; here, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions with regard to choosing and buying necklace chains for women.

FAQs on Buying Types of Necklace Chains for Women

What should I consider when it comes to buying necklace chains for women?

There are a number of factors you need to look at before you head to the store to take your pick for a necklace chain. These include:

  • The recipient’s / wearer’s personal style - are they conventional or do their tastes lean more towards the avant-garde?
  • The occasion in which the piece will be worn - is it for everyday wear or for a special event?
  • The potential wearer’s physical build - is she fine-boned and petite or large-boned and curvaceous? (Believe it or not, even one’s physical form will dictate whether one would look good with a fine and delicate chain or a bigger and bolder set of links.)
  • One’s budget, of course
  • What material do you want the chain to be made of - gold necklace chain (yellow, white, or rose), silver, or platinum?


Link Chain Set in 18k Gold by Oliver Cabell

What is the most common type of necklace chain for women?

That would have to be the rope chain, also known as a cable chain.

So-called because each one is made up of tightly connected segments that are linked tightly together in bands of two or three, these segments are carefully twisted together to create a metallic cable that looks strikingly like a length or coil of rope. 

Thicker versions with bigger links can be worn on their own as statement pieces, while the thinner and more delicate ones are usually threaded through with pendants.

Aesthetically, these are quite stunning to look at, as they catch light from all angles and have a vivid shine.

I get a rash whenever I wear a necklace. Is there a way by which I can wear a chain necklace and not end up itching and scratching?

In cases like this, you would do well to check with your jeweler for 18 to 24k gold chains or those made with 925 or 999 silver. Precious metals of that caliber are practically pure and, as such, are hypoallergenic. 

You may ask, of course, why this isn’t the case with necklace chains made with 12k or 14k gold. The answer is simple: these are not as pure. In order to make them more durable (and to considerably lower the price,) these only have 50 to 60% actual gold content. The remainder is made up of a mix of lesser metals that will make the chain sturdier, and these may include zinc or copper - both of which can irritate highly sensitive skin.

You mentioned that lesser metals are used to make chains stronger. I thought it was the other way around. Why is this so?

Bear in mind that gold and silver are both soft metals. While this makes them both malleable enough to form into any number of aesthetically-pleasing items, it doesn’t do so well in terms of stability and durability. Pure gold chains, in particular, may snap if tugged - not a good way to lose your investment.

I am biologically female, but I identify as gender-fluid. Is there a type of necklace chain I can wear that won’t make me look too masculine or feminine?

That’s where Figaro chains come in. Long considered one of the earliest forms of gender-neutral jewelry, this type of necklace chain has a streamlined and elegant appearance that looks good on both men and women.


Figaro chain bracelet by Oliver Cabell

The construction of a Figaro chain is what sets it apart from other types of necklace chains for women. The pattern the chain follows involves two or three short circular links, followed by a larger oval loop link. These links are attached together to create a streamlined look that easily lies flat on the wearer's body. Its elegant look makes it a great staple for more formal occasions.

It’s also a chain with quite a history as it dates back to the glory days of Italian opera in the 19th century. Florentine or Milanese goldsmiths named the chain after the main characters in two of Gioachino Rossini’s operas: the eponymous The Marriage of Figaro and The Barber of Seville.

I’m currently looking for a statement piece to wear for a formal occasion. Is there a type of necklace chain that I can wear on its own?

The Byzantine chain is your best bet if you want a chain that looks amazing even without embellishments.

The striking look of the Byzantine chain sets it apart - and it’s actually among the oldest designs available. According to fashion historians and archeologists specializing in the Roman Empire,  the design is said to date back to the time of the Etruscans - hence its other name: the Etruscan link.

Herringbone chain in hypoallergenic 18k gold

This incredibly intricate necklace chain is made up of a set of interlocking square links which are arranged facing opposite directions in a regular pattern. You may find that, on that score, it’s actually very similar to the more common box chain. But while the link-blocks in a box chain point in a single direction, the ones in the Byzantine alternately face in opposite directions. The Byzantine is also referred to as a four-in-one chain as individual links pass through four others.

Another type of necklace chain you may want to consider for dressy evenings out is the herringbone chain. Its sleek, modern, and streamlined appearance is perfect for a good first impression.

The end result is visually striking yet surprisingly delicate, but it also has the reputation of being one of the most durable and very resistant to breakage from tugging or pulling.  

Looking for Casual Women’s Jewelry? Consider Oliver Cabell

While Oliver Cabell is a brand best known for its exquisitely crafted Italian leather sneakers, it has since expanded its product line to include gorgeous pieces of jewelry for adding just the right amount of je ne sais quoi to even the most casual outfits. Check out its selection of well-crafted women’s pieces today.