Entertainment Fashion & Style How to Recognize Popular Jewelry Chains Share PINTEREST Email Print Fashion & Style Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Outerwear Lingerie & Swimwear Do It Yourself Shoes Skincare Advice Makeup Hair Fragrance Tattoos and Body Piercings Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Carly Wickell East Carolina University The Evergreen State College University of Washington Carly Wickell is a writer and jewelry expert. She has a special interest in vintage jewelry. She contributed to The Spruce for over 11 years. our editorial process Carly Wickell Updated October 13, 2016 01 of 04 Box Chain Box Chain. (c) Blue Nile Recognize and Choose Jewelry Chains Chains are an essential jewelry component, but one we sometimes don't think too much about, especially if the chain is designed to stay in the background to make another component the center of attention. Fine metal chains are used in jewelry to encircle parts of the body, namely the neck, wrists and ankles, and they also serve as points to hang decorative charms and pendants. Jewelry chains are typically made from precious metals, mainly gold and silver but also sometimes platinum, palladium and steel These metals are used because they are not very reactive, keep both their intricate shape and their strength, and require only minimal maintenance to keep their shine. Online jewelry stores don't always show close-ups of the chains used in jewelry, but you'll shop with confidence once you become familiar with some of the most popular types of chains. A box chain is made up of square links that are connected to create a smooth chain, such as this 18k gold necklace. 02 of 04 Wheat Chain Wheat Chain. (c) Blue Nile To make a wheat chain, oval and twisted oval links are connected and intertwined together, all pointing in the same direction. The joint of each link is like a tiny hinge, meaning this style is not as flexible or liquid-like as some others The result is an intricate chain with a great deal of visual texture. This 18k white gold necklace is a good example of a wheat chain. 03 of 04 Rolo Chain Rolo Chain. (c) Blue Nile A rolo chain is made up of symmetrical links that are joined together, often round in shape. These links joined in a simple alternating sequence, making this type of chain look pleasantly simple (as opposed to more complex chains such as the rope chain which may sometimes appear overly complex). This sterling silver and gold heart pendant dangles from a smallish rolo chain. Each chain works perfectly with the pendant it holds. 04 of 04 More Popular Jewelry Chains Popular Types of Jewelry Chains. (c) Blue Nile Most chain jewelry is made from one kind of chain, but you'll see many pieces that are assembled with multiple chain types. Combining chains gives designers one more tool they can use to tap into their creativity. Nordstrom's Mini Charm Necklace gets some additional character from its combination of rolo and snake chains.