What Chain Styles and Lengths Are Most Popular for Pendants?

by Krisha.

question-mark-green-on-lavendarI’ve been making jewelry about a year in my little business.

One problem I have with design is choosing a chain style and length.

I make wire wrapped bead jewelry and hand stamped items.

I have been using stainless ball chain with my stainless steel hand stamped items. I’ve received no complaints about those.

However I bought a batch of silver plated very fine curb chains that have rusted on me and had to replace some for customers. How embarrassing!

What should I be looking for in a chain?
What styles and lengths are most requested?

Thank you.


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  • Glaudius says:

    I have the same issue but right now, I am using leather cords, so I can cut it to the desired length and then add the clasps. IMO, the ideal solution is to offer all the standard sizes (12, 16, 18, 20, 24 and 30″) and let the shopper chose. It can be quite an investment though.

  • Random says:

    For my pendant line I offer 16, 18, 22 and 24 in chains, but from past experience I’ve found that 14 is a good size for children, very thin women tend to wear 16, most women prefer size 18, but having 22 and 24 gives many women options, I also put a 3 in extender on my chains just because I like versatility and someone who buys an 18 will be able to extend to 21 if the outfit calls for a longer chain.

  • Cindy C says:

    I know I struggle with this and have for years. Always trying different lengths, styles and product. If you can afford it while silver is down, buy silver chains in bulk. They should be a gauge equal to but not overpowering of your pendant. For instance, your stamped jewelry is probably smaller than a wire wrapped pendant and the chain should be appropriate weight and gauge. Silver plate is always so iffy. Depends on where you buy it and from whom. Silver plate usually doesn’t last very long but should never rust in a short period of time! Buy the best you can afford. Try leather, satin or ribbon and see how it looks with your jewelry. I have several options for my customers. Most pendants come with a low end faux leather cord with base metal clasp or silver plated chain. For an upgraded price, they can trade for real leather and sterling clasp or sterling silver chain. I keep the sterling packaged to keep from tarnishing and only display one or two so they can see, feel and try it on.

    One more suggestion, look for a distributor of silver filled chains. It is a little less expensive than sterling silver and lasts with proper care.
    Cindy C

  • Hi:) pendants I make are usually dainty so I like fine cable chain to go with them. I think popular conventional length are 16″ and 18″ so I make my chain in the middle length, 17″. then offer custom length upon request.

  • Christa says:

    I sell all my pendants separately and have chains in sterling silver and 14K gold-fiiled for my customers to choose from. My chains come in lengths from 16″, 18″ , 20″, 24″ and 36″ and I offer various thicknesses from fine to chunky. This way the customer has the choice of chain to go with the pendant.

  • Rose says:

    @Christa, I like the advice you gave, broken down as you have it. This is very helpful for me. Thanks!

    Rose B

  • Louise says:

    I am just starting out in making cabochon pendants. I plan to sell very small quantities locally, at low cost, so cannot afford to use silver chains. I need to decide between silver-plated or metal chains (nickel-free). The same thing goes for the pendant trays: silver-plated or metal? I then need to find a good supplier – there are hundreds on the net of course. I am a bit overwhelmed but very keen to get started! Would anyone be kind enough to give me some advice on this? Thanks!

  • Hi Louise,

    You may find that your pendants sell well even without chains or cords.

    See this post here at JMJ: Pendants – Sell With a Chain or Separately? before you make your chain decisions.

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