While there may be many varieties when it comes to chains, there are certain timeless styles, whose names have been around for decades now. Among these classics is the curb chain. Even today, this chain is still a favorite to many.
Also known as gourmette or grumetta, the curb chain has been used as the standard for much of the jewelry in places like France and Italy.
But if you are new to the world of chains, we understand that the curb chain may not be familiar to you. You must be wondering, what is this curb chain, how does it look like, is it worth buying, and so on.
Well, you need not worry anymore, in this article we will cover all of these critical points and help familiarize you with one of the classics when it comes to neckpieces.
What Is A Curb Chain Necklace?
The curb chain, also known as gourmette or grumetta, is the most popular of all the chains across the world. Its design is said to be suitable for both adults and children, men and women alike.
The name comes from the fact that the chain was used as the strap under the horse’s jaw. The design of the chain is much like the cable chain, typically uniform oval links, only that they have been flattened and twisted so they lie flush against the skin. Some curb links can at times be round instead of oval.
The chain comes in different thicknesses. The thinner ones are perfect for kids and women, and also pair well with pendants. The thicker ones are mostly worked by men, although some women may wear them to make a bold statement.
The chain also comes in a variety of lengths and finishes. The most common finish is the diamond cut, which enhances the shine and appeal of the chain.
What Does A Curb Chain Necklace Look Like?
As we’ve mentioned, the curb chain is a series of twisted flat oval and round chains, that may vary in thickness and length. But to best understand the appearance, you should understand the different varieties of curb chains.
These varieties are categorized by the link shape, structure, formation, and finishing. Below are brief descriptions of the different varieties based on these categories:
By link shape.
Rounded curb – This style is the foundation on which most of the curb styles are based. It is the result before any special processes are applied to it. Based on the name, the links used here are rounded curves, that have been twisted but not flattened. This style also doesn’t feature the diamond-cut finish, which enhances the reflectiveness of the chain.
Flat curb – This is a type of curb chain whose links have lesser depth compared to a normal curb chain, despite being the same width. The beauty of this type of curb is that it creates the illusion of a wide thick chain, but lighter weight and a cheaper cost.
Closed curb – This style consists of short closed links. The best way to understand the appearance of a closed curb is by looking at the Figaro chain, which contains a series of closed curbs, the ones fit close together in groups of three or more. There are two varieties of closed curb, those are, the square curb and the concaved curb.
The square curbs have a boxy appearance and are the opposite of the round links, while the concaved curb whose center links have been concaved. This creates an inward groove that runs from end to end of the chain’s surface.
Open curb – Again this style is best explained by looking at the Figaro chain, which also compromises the elongated links that alternate with the set of closed links. The open curbs are therefore made of uniform links, but whose individual lengths have been slightly stretched to open them up.
By link structure.
Solid curb – This is a type of curb chain that is made entirely of solid wire. That means that there are no voids inside. The thinner curbs are most likely solid curbs since it is impossible and needless to make them with such narrow empty spaces. These types may, cost and weigh more, especially for the thicker sizes owing to the amount of metal used.
Hollow curb – This style involves curbs made with empty spaces inside. This is done to reduce the amount of metal used while maintaining the illusion of a thick appearance. The result is a lighter and cheaper curb chain. Thicker curb chains adopt this style. The only drawback is that hollow curbs aren’t as durable as solid ones, and any damage will be more difficult to restore.
By link formation.
Single curb – This style entails one curb link joined to the following link and so on, in a repeated pattern. The design is simple and minimalist.
Double curb – This style consists of two single curb links, one on top of the other, joined by another link. It is a more complex and sturdier design.
By link finishing.
Diamond-cut curb – This refers to a curb chain with diamond cutting, which is the process of precisely slicing the surface of the chain to create a highly polished effect. The result is a diamond-like sparkle thanks to the enhanced reflective ability of the surface. This finish is common for curb chains.
Pave curb – This refers to an embellished curb chain, using gems, whether real or synthetic. Pave simply refers to the setting style of tiny gems on the surface or edge of the chain. It is another great way to enhance the shine of the curb chain.
Milled curb – this style is similar to the paved curb, only no gems are added to the surface of this type of curb chain. The milling process refers to leaving a pattern of imprints on the surface of the chain, by rolling a metal groove over it. It gives the sparkling appearance of paved gems without the worry of maintaining the precious stones.
Pros And Cons Of Curb Chain Necklace
- It is strong and durable.
- It comes in a variety of thicknesses.
- It is gender-neutral.
- It pairs well with pendants.
- It is easy to style.
- Thicker chains may not be suitable for pendants.
- Hollow curbs are not as durable.
- The solid chain may be too heavy for some individuals.
Are Curb Chains In Style?
Yes, curb chains are still very much in style. Even today, it remains one of the most popular classic styles both men and women adore. You can say that the curb chain is the basic style to go for especially for a beginner.
That is because the chain is versatile and there is a lot you can do with it, so you can never go wrong with such a timeless piece.
It fits into any setting, whether it is in the office paired with your formal wear or at a party or night out. You can choose a subtle look by opting for the thinner variations, which also pair perfectly with pendants.
You can also choose to make a bold statement with a thicker, even paved or milled, curb chain. And because the chain is flat, it lies flush against your skin, so you don’t have to worry about it showing when worn underneath your clothes. When there is so much you can do with the chain, it can’t go out of style any time soon.
Are Curb Chains Good For Pendants?
Pendants serve to add to the appeal of a chain, and like the chain, they come in a variety of sizes and designs. To find a chain that is suitable for a pendant, the most important factor is the strength of the chain. Pendants carry their weight, which may stretch the chain and break it if it is a fragile one.
Curb chains, however, are strong and sturdy enough to handle the weight of the pendant. Thanks to the structure it will not break or bend easily as compared to flat chains like the omega and herringbone chains.
Keep in mind, however, that you need to scale the thickness of the chain with the weight of the pendant. That means the heavier the pendant the thicker the curb chain should be.
Meg thick curb chains, however, look best when worn alone. That’s because they are already making a statement on their own, without needing any additional help.
Are Curb Chains Durable? How Long Does It Last?
Now for the concern, most people have when it comes to purchasing chains, how durable are they? Well, if you are looking for a chain that will stand the test of time, your best choice is the curb chain.
The structure of the chain features soldiered links that are commonly thick and heavy, so the chain will rarely break. The thicker the chain the more durable it is.
When thinking about how long the chain can last, you also need to consider the materials used to make the chain and whether it is hollow or solid.
For starters, solid curb chains are more durable and stronger because you cannot dent them easily. Hollow curb chains, on the other hand, are extremely fragile because they don’t have the support underneath, just space. What’s more, a curb chain made of solid gold will last longer than one made of iron and plated with a thin layer of gold.
Tips For Wearing Your Curb Chain Necklace
Cuban chains are versatile and easy to style. Like we mentioned they fit into any setting, be it formal or informal. You can choose to wear them under the clothes or flaunt them on top of your clothes.
You can also use the chains for a subtle complement to your look or to make a bold statement of your appearance. If you want to spice things up you can throw in a charm or two or a pendant.
Just keep in mind that for a simple look, thinner curb chains are better, and for a bolder look, then opt for the thicker ones. The same applies to formal and informal settings. Thinner curbs fit best in office environments, while at parties you can catch everyone’s attention with a thicker curb.
Being timeless pieces, you can never go wrong with a curb chain. Now that you know all there is to know about this classic piece you should have no worries buying one.
Also remember that while the chain has a durable structure, how you maintain it, also goes a long way in how long you get to keep it.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.