What Is A Curb Chain Necklace? (Ask Cladright)

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There are many types of chains you can have in your jewelry collection. Though with its flat but still dimensional look, curb chains are pretty unique.

What is a curb chain necklace exactly? And how do you wear it? We’re here to answer these questions and more.

And to really round out your exploration of chains, you can also check out our article comparing wheat chains vs box chains, and our guide comparing Singapore chains to rope chains!

A Quick Overview Before the Details: What is a Curb Chain?

Also known as gourmette or grumetta, a curb chain necklace is one in which the links are twisted, creating a tight interlocking connection.

It gets its name from the fact that this style of chain was originally used to strap under a horse’s jaw to rein, or curb, the horse in.

This piece of jewelry has been around for decades and is popular among men and women. They do come in several styles, which is what we’ll dig deep into now!

What Are the Different Types & Styles of Curb Chain Links?

We’re going to cover the different link shapes, link structures, and the finishings curb chains come in!

curb chain vs cuban chain close up
An example of a curb chain (left) vs. a cuban chain link (right). They look similar but are actually quite different.

Curb Chain Link Shapes

  • The rounded curb: Most curb chains come in this shape. It’s the unprocessed curb with, as the name implies, rounded links that are twisted but not flattened.
  • The flat curb: Basically a rounded curb that’s been flattened, this chain has less depth but the same width as the former. A lot of people like this style because it creates the illusion of a wide thick chain but is light in weight.
  • The closed curb: The closed curb chain has short closed links that are square and concave. They fit together in groups of three or more and the concaves create an inward groove that runs from one end of the chain’s surface to another, while the square curbs have a boxy appearance.
  • The open curb: The chain has elongated links that alternate with a set of closed links. This creates open curb links that are uniform style but with a length that’s stretched to open them up a bit. The Figaro chain is one of the most well-known examples of the open curb style chain. 

Curb Chain Link Structure

  • The hollow curb: Hollow curb chains have empty space inside each link, so they’re not as durable as the other options on the list. It requires less metal to produce but still provides the appearance of a thick chain.
  • The solid curb: The exact opposite of the hollow curb, solid curb chain links have no empty space. These chains are usually more expensive when compared to others because they use more gold metal.

Curb Chain Link Formation

  • The single curb: This type of curb chain is joined from one link to another. The pattern is repeated for a consistent and practical composition.
  • The double curb: This one is made of two single curb links, where one is on top of the other and joined by a link. This adds durability and an ornate complexity. The example below is a double curb link chain from Jared Jewelers.

Curb Chain Link Finishing

  • Diamond-cut curb: These are curb chains with diamond cutting which means they have a diamond-like appearance that has an extra sparkly shine. I know—it’s confusing that this style isn’t a “cut” in the way that we understand it when it comes to necklaces! That’s why we go in-depth on the diamond-cut here!
  • Pave curb: The curb chain is embellished with either real or synthetic gems on the surface or edge of the chain.
  • Milled curb: This one is similar to the pave curb, but instead of gems there are imprints put on the surface of the chain by a metal grove rolled over it. 

The Pros and Cons of a Curb Chain Necklace 

Just like anything, the curb chain necklace may not be everyone’s cup of tea. To help you make an informed decision, here are some possible advantages and disadvantages of curb chain necklaces.

Of course, some of this is subjective, but a great starting point to help you make an informed decision about adding a curb chain necklace to your line-up and how to style it. 

Pros

  • The twisting of the chain makes it much stronger than non-twisted links, resulting in a comparably stronger piece of jewelry.
  • The twisted link style casts a wide net of personal styles depending on the thickness. Thin chains are as subtle and understated as a thin box or rope chain, while thicker ones make the twist more obvious and add pizazz.
  • Related to the above point, thinner curb chain necklaces pair very well with pendants.
  • Overall, it’s a stylish chain that looks great with many different outfits.

Cons

  • Some of the thicker curb chains may not be suitable for pendants.
  • Hollow curb chains may not be as durable and are more susceptible to breaking if you’re not careful.
  • Solid curb chains can feel too heavy, depending on size and length

FAQs About Curb Chains

Can You Put a Pendant on a Flat Curb Chain?

Yes, thinner curb chain necklaces definitely work with pendants, or even a ring if that’s your style. The larger the chain, the bigger your pendant has to be, for proportion’s sake.

If you go this direction, it would definitely be a major statement piece (think hip hop artist vibes).

How Thick Should a Curb Chain Necklace Be?

The most common range for chains is 1mm to 8mm. If you want something more subtle, go for a thinner chain in the range.

If you want to show off the aesthetic heaviness of the curb, 6mm is a good choice, while still maintaining non-statement status.

For more information on chain thickness, we go in-depth on the topic in our chain thickness guide!

Are curb chains trendy?

Curb chains are a classic necklace that will always be in style for men and women of all ages, because of their versatility.

As elements of street style have seeped into everyday smart casual in recent decades, curb chains have indeed become trendy, but they can always be worn in more subtle, timeless ways as well.

Are curb chains durable?

Yes, the point of twisting the chain is to fortify the links of the necklace. That being the case, curb chains are more durable than their untwisted counterparts.

Of course, this also depends whether it’s solid or hollow, and more importantly, what it’s made of.

Check out our article comparing necklace materials by strength here!

We Hope That Was Helpful!

Overall, curb chains are truly adaptable and distinct. Now that you know all about curb chains, are you going to consider adding one to your repertoire?

Let us know! Feel free to DM us on Instagram if you have questions about necklaces and chains!

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