8 Types of Gold Chain Links and How to Choose Which Is Right for You

Are you thinking about buying a gold chain but feeling overwhelmed by the variety of link types? Unsure what would look best on you? We get it! Whether you are shopping for men’s gold plated chains or solid gold ones, familiarizing yourself with different link types enables you to make an informed decision and invest in a piece of jewelry you’ll love wearing and showing off. 

Here at Frost NYC, we stock a huge selection of some of the dopest gold chains on the market, and we are here to help you figure out which one is right for you. With our help, you’ll show off some serious swag every time you hit the streets! Keep reading to learn more about a few types of gold chain links and how to choose which is right for you. 

Understanding Your Options

There are a few reasons we recommend understanding your options before shopping. Chains come in dozens of styles and are made using a variety of link types. From the classic rope chain to elaborate diamond-encrusted Cuban link chains, there is something for everyone. Learning a bit about some of the most common styles makes it easier to nail down what you prefer and search for it by name.

Choosing the right type of gold chain link is crucial, but you should also be mindful of the metal. Though you’ve already settled on gold as opposed to sterling silver or platinum, you still need to decide whether you want a solid gold chain or a gold-plated one. Solid gold is always a top choice, but when you want to ball on a budget, gold plated chains are great, too. Our gold-plated chains are made to withstand the test of time with proper care, and they have just as much shine as solid gold at a fraction of the cost. Hollow gold is a solid option, too, since it is less costly due to its lower weight. 

portrait of man wearing gold chain necklaces

If you decide to invest in a solid or hollow gold piece, you’ll also need to choose between 10k and 14k. 10k jewelry is more affordable and slightly more durable than 14k. However, if you’re looking for a piece with the perfect blend of beauty and durability, a 14k gold chain is your best bet

Check Out Our Collection of Men’s Gold Plated Chains

Once you have an idea of what type of gold and link you prefer, think about the chain’s thickness and length. There are plenty of resources to help you choose the right necklace length and width to suit your body and your aesthetic. If you already have a chain you love, though, we recommend using it as a tool to help you choose your next piece. 

With all of these options and your preferred choices in mind, you are better prepared to make an informed decision while shopping. The options you choose also impact price, so the more you know, the less likely you are to experience sticker shock while trying to find a perfect jewelry piece to add to your collection. 

Types of Gold Chain Links

There are several gold chain link designs. From basic box chains to iced-out byzantine chains, there are options that are appropriate for work, wild nights on the town and everything in between. There are far too many styles to include every link type in this post, so we’re sharing some of the most common and in-demand options. 

box chain links excellent choice

1. Box

As the name suggests, box chains have a boxy appearance. Instead of the round links found in most chains, box links are square. When linked together, they create a chain that looks like it is made up of several small boxes. 

Box chains come in many different thicknesses. Thin, delicate ones are popular among women and work well for showcasing small pendants. Unfortunately, the finer the chain, the more prone it is to breakage. Thicker box chains are great for guys and work well as statement pieces. Generally speaking, this type of chain is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a simple, timeless option that is versatile enough to go with everything. 

2. Rope

The rope chain is one of the most popular and aesthetically pleasing chain types. Consisting of multiple gold segments connected in a twisting pattern, this type of chain resembles an actual rope. Rope chains reflect light from all angles, making them one of the shiniest, sparkliest options. We even have iced-out rope chains for extra bling. 

In addition to being one of the most popular chain types, rope chains are one of the most durable. Their design makes them less susceptible to breakage than other styles. If you are looking for a chain that will last a lifetime (or longer), ropes are the way to go. 

frost gold hollow rope chain

Rope chains, like box chains, come in many thicknesses. Thinner ones are perfect for pendants. And since they are durable, they are a more secure way of showing off your favorite ones without the worry of losing them. Thick and iced-out ropes are solid statement pieces bound to turn heads for all of the right reasons. 

3. Mariner

Also known as anchor chains, mariner chains are inspired by the nautical realm and feature links similar to those used on ship anchors. Whether you love being on the open water or you’re just looking for a stylish and durable chain, you can’t go wrong with a mariner. 

Featuring interlocking oval links with bars in their centers, this type of chain has a unique, eye-catching look that’s popular among guys. Until recently, the links have always been flat. However, a new trend called “puff mariner” has emerged and puts a fresh spin on a much-loved classic. Gucci link chains are also inspired by the mariner. 

Mariner chains come in several thicknesses, so they work well with pendants and when worn on their own. At Frost NYC, we even have attention-grabbing diamond cut mariner chains that shine in the light. 

figaro chain links diamond cut

4. Figaro 

Figaro chains originated in Italy and are one of the most popular types of gold chain links among both men and women. The design is relatively simple, yet offers more visual appeal than a simpler style, like a box chain. It consists of flattened links in two different sizes arranged in a pattern. Typically, there is one long flattened link followed by two to three short flattened links.

This type of chain is durable and easier to repair than many other styles. While you can’t simply remove a damaged link without throwing off the pattern, the links are not difficult to replace. It’s a great link style to wear on its own — especially if you have a sparkly diamond cut chain — but thinner Figaro chains also work with pendants. 

5. Dog Tag 

Also known as ball chains, dog tag chains are perfect when you’re looking for an easy-to-wear style. If you’re like lots of folks, you may have even had a cheap version of a dog tag chain in your younger years. It might have held a dog chain, best friend charm or another type of pendant. 

The adult version of the dog tag chain features small gold beads with small spacers in between. Unlike the cheap chains of your youth, they come in several lengths and chain widths. It also features a more secure clasp. This versatile streetwear style is a solid option to wear on its own or pair with a dog tag or pendant. 

curb chain links extremely durable

6. Curb

Curb link chains feature flat, interlocking links that come together in two distinctive grooves. This classic, simple design has been around for centuries, yet it remains one of the most popular options. As fashion and technology have evolved, the classic curb link has several alterations, resulting in a variety of curb styles and finishes. There’s a rounded and square curb, open and closed curb and more. You can also find diamond cut and pavé curb link chains. 

Their durability is one of the many reasons curb chains have withstood the test of time. Thick, heavy curb chains are extremely durable. And if damage does occur, any competent jeweler can repair a curb chain and make it look new again. Thicker chains are, as usual, preferred by men. Thanks to advances in technology, companies are producing thinner curb chains that are becoming increasingly popular among women. These new, more delicate styles look fantastic with pendants, too. 

7. Herringbone

Herringbone chains rest flat against the skin, creating a unique and luxurious look. Their name is derived from their two (or more) rows of slanted chain links arranged in a V-shaped pattern, which resemble the small bones of the fish called a herring. The only downside to this style is that it isn’t as durable as some of the others. The flat links are prone to kink, so you need to take special care to avoid damaging them. 

Also known as step-cut chains, herringbone chains come in multiple lengths and widths. Thinner ones are ideal for women and work well with certain pendants. However, to prevent damage to the chain, only small, lightweight pendants are suitable. Thicker herringbone chains make a bold statement all on their own and are equally suitable for men and women. 

cuban chain links

8. Cuban

At first glance, a Cuban chain looks a lot like a curb chain. Look a bit closer, though, and you’ll see a few differences. While the oval links that make up a curb chain are slightly flattened, a Cuban chain’s links have a rounder, chunkier appearance. Cuban links are also usually packed more densely, creating a woven look. Because of this, a Cuban link chain and a curb link chain of the same length and thickness will have different weights. 

Cuban chains have a distinctly masculine feel due to their heavy, large links. They are available in different thicknesses, though, making it possible to find one with a more understated look. These stylish chains can be worn on their own or with a large pendant. Iced-out Cuban link chains are an option, too, and they’re ideal for showing off some serious swag. 

Which Gold Chain Link Is Right for You? 

To determine which gold chain link is right for you, consider the descriptions above. If you’re looking for a durable yet feminine chain on which to display a much-loved pendant, a rope or Figaro chain is a solid choice. But if you are searching for eye-catching gold bracelets for men, something like a Cuban link may be a better option. Consider your lifestyle, too. A herringbone necklace probably isn’t the right choice if you are looking for a sturdy, low-maintenance piece to wear daily. 

Find 14k Gold Chains and More at Frost NYC!

Generally speaking, women prefer thinner chains, while men prefer those with bold, heavy links. As society drifts away from gender roles, though, things are changing. Women are tossing the so-called “rules” of femininity and embracing the same bold, head-turning looks as their male counterparts. When you find a piece of jewelry that makes you look and feel amazing, wear it with pride (even if it’s not a look typically associated with your gender). 

fashionable man talking on phone

Keep in mind that a single style may not be appropriate for all occasions. While you may have a favorite type of chain link, you’ll likely end up with a few different styles in your jewelry wardrobe. Bold, iced-out necklaces and chains are great when you want a dope look for the club or a party. They aren’t necessarily the best choice for the office, though. We recommend creating a collection of both bold and understated pieces to make sure you have the right accessory for every occasion. 


Find the gold chains you’re looking for right here at Frost NYC. We have all the link types mentioned above, along with several other popular options. You’re sure to find something you love when you check out our complete collection of urban-inspired fine jewelry. From simple to stunning, we have it all! 


Image Credits

Vector light of Ukraine/Shutterstock.com

OoddySmile Studio/Shutterstock.com



AS photostudio/Shutterstock.com

June 16, 2022

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