Understanding Siver Chain Sizes and Specifications

Sometimes all the figures involved in silver chain specifications can be a bit confusing so here’s a quick guide. Please remember that if you still need help you only need to ask me for help with choosing your silver chain!

Silver Chain Width

The first figure you will see associated with chain is width, usually given in mm. A 1mm chain or thinner is very delicate and suitable for small light pendants such as silver lockets. 3mm chains will suit most pendants and charms such as Pandora, Troll etc. 5mm chains are suitable to be worn on their own or with pendants with a very large bail.

Silver Chain Link Size

For some chains you will also see the link size is given, this is typically something like 2.5 x3mm which means the links are that size. Chains such as snake chain, ball chain don’t give links size as they don’t have obvious “links”.

Silver Chain length

Usually given in inches. A necklet size is 16 inches, 18 a normal length necklace for most women and 20″ for men. Most chains can be made to any length you like. Just e-mail me for a quote.

Silver Chain Design

The simplest of chains is cable chain, with a round section wire making identical oval links, this is also known as curb chain or trace chain. To this basic chain then can be added variations by flattening the links (flat curb chain) or twisting the links (round curb chain).

Another family of chains are those made with D section wire, commonly known as belcher chains, the links can be round, oval or rectangular, these make good strong general purpose chains.

Snake chains are smooth and flexible without obvious links, as are omega chains but they tend to be more wire like.
Figaro chains have a repeating pattern of one long link, three short links and one long link, these can be simple or flat or diamond cut.
Ball chain widths are measured by the diameter of the balls, this means that the actual links between the balls can be very delicate indeed, so the smallest ball chains are only suitable for very light pendants or wearing on their own.

Prince of Wales Chains are also called rope chain, they have a distinctive twist pattern to them and are quite strong for their width.
Spiga chains are another interlocked chain like Prince of Wales, they are strong for their width too.

There are numerous other chains available, the only limit really is the designers imagination!

Hallmarking on Silver Chains

A silver chain that weighs over 7.6g MUST legally have a full UK hallmark to be sold as silver in the UK. A 925 stamp is NOT a hallmark and gives you no guarantee of the quality of the silver, that is only given if the chain has been tested by the Assay office and proved to be 92.5% silver (that is Sterling silver). I only sell sterling silver chains on this site.

Finish On Silver Chains

Most silver chains are finished to a high polish but another finish that is very popular for extra sparkle is diamond cutting facets onto the chain links. This is quite often abbreviated to “DC”.

Cleaning of Silver

Silver does tarnish with time and not being worn, but is VERY easily cleaned with the right products. For chains and jewellery which have fiddly links in hard to reach areas the ideal product is Goddards Long Term Silver Pad Foaming Silver Polish, which with a water wash will clean and protect silver even with a very bad black tarnish.