How Jewelry Chains Are Made

Chains play a very important part in creating articles jewelry. Commercially offered chains are usually easily recognizable template designs. If you are using gold or silver, they can also currently be very expensive. Commercial pre-made chains can have plated protective finishes such as rhodium, which can sometimes make them hard to shorten, lengthen or repair.

Therefore, if a chain is required in any of your jewelry designs, whether it be for a necklace or other design, it is worth it in the long run to learn how to produce your own. By doing so, you will ensure that you are enhancing your jewelry piece and not distracting from it. But to be able to make your own jewelry chain, you need to understand how a skilled craftsman produces them.

Various kinds of chain combinations are possible such as rounds, squares, ovals, hexagonals, and free forms of different sizes or mixed with solid sections, small rings connecting larger round or square sections of wire, square wire constructed in random length, rectangular links, and many other combinations depending on the imagination of the craftsman that makes them.

The most common chain one sees is that of the ones made from jump rings. This technique is used for any chain ranging from brass hammered chain to even silver thin necklace chain. Chains formed of any size links are constructed by soldering pairs of rings together. The way this is done is by first sawing the ring so it can be slightly opened by twisting sideways. Then filing the ends smooth and closing the links. A small amount of hard solder and flux is then applied to each link. In the same exact process, the links are then joined with a connecting third link. Each set of three connecting links is then joined with a single link to produce a seven link section. The length of the chain or necklace being made will then determine how many seven link sections are needed.

Links are often flattened by a craftsman after soldering by placing them on a flat steel surface and covering them with a small steel block that is then hammered with a heavy hammer. The links can also be flattened for a sculptured effect by eliminating the steel block and using what is called a domed-face forging hammer directly.

With chains being such an important part of many jewelry designs, understanding how they are produced is very important. Through this understanding you will be able to make more intricate designs and be limited only by your imagination.