Updated: Oct 24, 2020
When I use silver chain it is usually sterling silver.* The most fundamental reason is that sterling silver has increased strength than other metals like pure silver or gold. In addition, Sterling Silver looks exactly like white gold or platinum and hence, is a good choice for jewelry. It gives an ethereal look but is not as expensive as platinum.
When I looked through the resource center on the Rio Grande website (www.riogrande.com) I found a list of 34 different styles of chain, from Anchor to Wheat (there was no Z).
I generally use two types of chain:
Cable – is the most common chain style and is formed by connecting single links perpendicularly end to end. Links may be round, oval or other shapes and are usually soldered closed. I use these for simple pendants and offer them with pendants that I am selling without a chain or beaded rope already attached.
Snake - made from round, slightly curved metal plates or bands tightly joined together; the plates create a subtle zig-zag effect along the length of the chain. It is available unseamed or seamed. The seamed snake chain is created with soldered, machine-made curb-style chain that is compressed twice, producing the snake-like appearance. Both versions have a bulkier look that I find appealing.
When I use silver chain it is usually sterling silver.
Before you purchase chain you need to know a few details: Metal type, chain width and length and whether you want bulk chain to attach your own clasp or finished chain which comes with the clasp.
Chain is available in the following metals: 14-Karat and 18-Karat yellow gold, 14-Karat Rose and White Gold, Argentium Silver, Base Metal, Gold Filled, Silver Filled, Sterling Silver and Gold or Silver plated.
Plated metals are made with a metal core and the silver or gold is bonded to the outside. Filled metals are made with a metal core and the finish is electroplated onto it. These finishes wear off more easily than plated metals but can produce some interesting finishes.
*I have been known to use other types of metal chains that I think are fun and add to the design.