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  • 5 min read

Usually, wearing chains is all about how they look. Choosing the color of gold or the chain link variation that goes best with your favorite outfit is usually the most significant aspect. However, the look of your jewelry is only one component of the bigger picture.

Another important aspect of your pieces is the strength and durability of your pieces as a whole. When choosing your pieces, it’s critical to know which ones are strongest, weakest, and everything in between.

Below is some insight into the weakest links, strongest links, and tips for how to extend the life of even your least durable chains.

What Makes a Chain Strong?

When you look at a chain holding onto a ship’s anchor, you’d probably be a little bit concerned if that chain looked like a tennis bracelet. That’s because all chains have a different level of strength depending on how the individual links are interlocked.

With a tennis chain, none of the links are necessarily locked around each other; they’re attached with a small clasp. This makes them easily breakable, as we’ve seen in the famous event that gave these bracelets their name in the first place.

The strongest chains, both in jewelry as well as on padlocks and other functional tools, are those with interlocking links that do not have a bending point. This means they can’t get twisted or folded, which vastly reduces their risk of breaking. Not to mention, thicker chains are more durable since it’s harder for those thick links to break open.

There’s also something to be said about the material used to create the chain. Metals like stainless steel and platinum are among some of the most durable metals, making them extremely resistant to breaking over time. 

What Are the Strongest Chains?

Again, the strongest chains are those with interlocking links that don’t have as much of a chance of bending or tearing. Here are some of the most durable:

Cuban Link Chains

Cuban link chains, or Miami chains, are among the most popular chains on the market simply because of their appearance. These chains are also highly durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear thanks to their interlocking design.

Curb chains are very similar, and they are also considered durable. Curb links are usually slightly smaller and flatter than Cuban links, making them a tad more delicate all around. While this makes them swing around less while you’re walking, they aren’t as sturdy overall.

Figaro Chains

Figaro chains are a variation on the classic Cuban link that features one long oval link after every three normal, rounded links. This oval link actually gives the piece even better sturdiness and durability. Plus, if those long pieces break, they can be easily fixed to let your favorite piece see another day.

Cable Chains

Cable chains are a classic chain style that you’ve probably seen on padlocks and other pieces of machinery. These chains are interwoven ovals, giving them a classic appearance that also can’t really bend or tangle. This makes these pieces durable and resistant to breakage.

With that said, many cable chains are thin, so they can’t withstand as much force as a larger, thicker chain might be able to.

Anchor Chains

Anchor chains get their name because these are the same variations that you see on the side of ships holding onto their anchor. It’s not unheard of for naval anchors to weigh up to 30,000 pounds. And while your pendant shouldn’t weigh nearly that much, it should make sense that anchor chains are pretty sturdy.

Anchor chains have a nautical appearance where oval links are interlocked with a line down the middle. That line in the center acts as an extra piece of lateral support, giving this chain some of the highest durability of any jewelry chain out there.

What Are the Weakest Chains?

Most people are mostly only concerned with the appearance of their chain, and in most cases, as long as you’re taking care of your pieces, you generally don’t need to worry about them breaking apart from normal wear. However, if you’re someone who likes to wear their chain out and about, here are some things to know about the weakest links.

Tennis Chains

Tennis chains are only held together by tiny clasps that bend in order to make the shape of the chain. These bracelets and necklaces can break pretty easily, so you’ll want to be careful when wearing them.

Rope Chain

Rpe chains are complex chains that are made with several links interlocking together. While this might look like a very sturdy chain, the issue is that since these links are stacked on top of one another, it doesn’t give them much room to freely move around. This means that the links can easily get caught or stuck, leading to cracks and breaks.

Ball Chains

Ball chains are commonly used for cheap, inexpensive, and mass-produced chain variations. As you might expect, this makes them some of the least durable pieces on the market. These are connected by thin pieces of wire that can be broken with just a slight tug. These are less common in jewelry and more common for keychains and other accessories.

How To Extend the Life of Your Chains

Even if you have a chain variation that’s considered “weak,” you can still extend its life to wear it for even longer. Here are a few tips and tricks for maintaining the health of your jewelry.

For one, be careful about wearing pendants on certain chains. Cuban links and Figaro chains are great for holding onto pendants because they are nice and sturdy. If you want to show off fun colors and styles with something like this Wave Pendant, use a sturdy chain like Francos or Cuban links. When you love a heavier pendant, you need a heavy-duty chain to carry it.

Additionally, be sure that you do not expose your chains to chemicals like cleaners, pool chlorine, or aerosols, as this can tarnish the metal and even cause the piece to wear down over time. This not only ruins the appearance of your piece but also makes it easier for them to snap apart.

If your chain does break, most jewelers are able to repair your necklaces as long as you have the pieces with you. But if you have a durable piece to begin with, you don’t need to worry as much. 6 Ice has a lifetime guarantee, so you can feel confident in the quality of your piece before you buy. If your necklace or bracelet breaks from normal wear and tear, we’ll work with you to make it right.

In Conclusion

Having a great-looking chain is only half of the battle; the other half is making sure your piece can withstand normal wear and tear. Stronger chains like Cuban links and Figaro chains tend to last a bit longer than weaker links like ball chains or rope chains.

Either way, no matter which style you get, you can have confidence in your quality when you buy through 6 Ice. We’re the finest purveyors of high-quality hip-hop jewelry, delivering top-of-the-line gold, diamonds, and everything in between right to your door.


The Fascinating History Of A Diamond Tennis Bracelet | Capetown Diamond Museum

Platinum, Gold, and Silver Jewelry | Federal Trade Commission

What is Corrosion? | The Electrochemical Society

Anchor Chain Room | Intrepid Museum