Wheat Chain vs Box Chain: What Are the Differences? (Ask Cladright)

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Chain making for jewelry is a much more complicated business than it may seem. There are dozens of chain styles to choose from, each with their own unique aesthetics, strengths, and weaknesses.

So in today’s edition of Ask Cladright, we’ll be taking a look at two quite different, yet often confused, jewelry chain styles: The wheat chain and the box chain.

close up of chain on man
Original photo by Jonas Jaeken

Wheat Chain vs Box Chain: The Basics

Aside from being chains used for jewelry, the wheat chain and box chain have very little in common. 

Wheat chains are made of a series of long, thin, teardrop-shaped links that point in the same direction, giving it strength and rigidity.

Box chains, on the other hand, are made of a series of loosely connected rectangles, making them a more delicate chain style.

What Is A Wheat Chain? With An Example

The unidirectional links for a wheat chain make it one of the most inflexible jewelry chains. That rigidity also makes it exceptionally durable (more on that in a moment), and a great choice for hanging a pendant on.

Case in point:

Ocean Rebel’s Sterling Silver Rebel Pendant Necklace

The dynamic pendant suspends along with a 20.0-inch, 2.4mm Wheat Chain with lobster clasp.

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What Is A Box Chain? With An Example

The box chain is a fancier version of the simplest style of chain, the trace chain.

Also known as a Briolette chain, it is made of a series of squares or rectangles — thus the name. They can come in any range of link widths, making for either extremely delicate or thick and chunky chains.

For a finer example, check out Seol + Gold’s 22ct Gold Vermeil Box Chain.

Seol + Gold 22ct Gold Vermeil Box Chain

This adjustable box chain is available in Ecoated sterling silver or 22ct yellow gold vermeil plated over Sterling silver (.925) with a spring ring fitting and sold as a single chain.

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For a thicker, chunkier style, check out Loel & Co’s Silver Box Chain Necklace.

Loel And Co Silver Box Chain Necklace

This chunky silver chain necklace features a large classic box link chain.

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Are Wheat Chains Durable?

Because their links form a series of hinges arranged in a single direction, wheat chains are some of the most durable jewelry chains available.

If you’re looking for a chain for everyday wear, a wheat chain is an excellent choice.

Are Box Link Chains Strong?

The further apart a box chain’s links are, the less strength it will have. Additionally, thinner links will make a box chain much weaker as well.

But if a box chain is made from thick, tightly woven links, it can be as strong as any other jewelry chain.

Final Verdict: Wheat Chain vs Box Chain

So which sort of chain is the right one for your wardrobe?

That all comes down to your style preferences. Wheat chains are rugged and durable, and great at holding pendants.

Box chains have an eye-catching appeal, even though they’re not quite as tough as wheat chains.

Have any other questions about chains, necklaces, or jewelry in general? Drop us a line on Instagram and we’ll get back to you soon!

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