Collana a catena indossata
Collana a catena indossata by Zancan

Chains and gourmettes

Can you distinguish between different types of chains? Not all jewelry chains are created equal. Here’s how to choose a chain.

The most used chain for bracelets is the gourmette. But do you know what a gourmette is? Here’s what you need to know about one of the most used jewelry chains.

There is chain and chain: in love it is a feared and desired bond, in jewelry one of the most used forms for bracelets and necklaces. But beware: they are not all the same. One of the most used forms is the gourmette: for example, Pomellato, Roberto Coin and many others brands dedicated collections to this type of chain, but all jewelers have chains of this type in their catalog. The curb chain has an ancient origin. The most ancient example ever discovered of gourmette dates back to 2500 BC and was made with a technique called fox tail, which is still very current.

Gourmette e1565356458849
Gourmette or grumetta braided oval links often diamond-cut so as to lay them flat along the surface

But what is the characteristic of a gourmette? Compared to a normal chain, changes a little the shape. For gourmette, in fact, we mean a jewelery chain that has flattened rings with smooth sides. In some cases the surfaces can also be different: for example, on one side of the chain the metal can be shiny and smooth, on the other side more rough and opaque. But there is no precise rule.

Bracciale e anello in oro bianco e diamanti
Roberto Coin, bracelet and ring in white gold and diamonds

Often the chains have a small tag engraved with a name, usually that of the person wearing the jewel. In other cases, instead, a date is engraved, for example, that of birth. But the tag is not necessary for a wide chain bracelet or necklace. The gourmettes are often in silver or white gold. The most conspicuous yellow gold is less used (but much appreciated by rappers, for example). The curb chain is mainly used to make bracelets. But for some time there have been those who have decided that it can be worn very well as a necklace: this was also chosen in this case by many artists of the musical world.

Madonna con grande catena al collo
Madonna with large chain around her neck

How to choose a chain

Chains are not all the same. And not just because of their size or the style with which the different rings are made. Before buying a chain, pay attention to the quality of the jewel. The shirt must be soft, pleasant to wear. It must be as flexible as possible, without joints that get stuck if they need to be bent. Above all, a chain must not have protruding points that can attach to your dress (or perhaps to that of others). Some chains are designed to be combined with pendants: an idea that must also be comfortable once the bracelet or necklace is worn.

Gioielli a forma di catena della linea Fraleoni Rainbow
Chain-shaped jewelery from the Fraleoni Rainbow line

How to clean a chain?

Simple: like all the other jewels, that is with water, a couple of drops of liquid soap and a soft bristle toothbrush. Leave to soak in a bowl for about ten minutes and then rub with the toothbrush, then rinse. Be careful, however, that the chain is not plated or gilded with a galvanic bath. In this case there is a risk of damaging the surface: better to rinse the jewel without the risk of scratching it.

Gourmette di Cartier in or giallo
Gourmette by Cartier in yellow gold
Kim Kardashian con maxi catena
Kim Kardashian with maxi gourmette chain
Gourmette di Pomellato
Gourmette by Pomellato
Lily Collins contagiata dalla maxi catena mania
Lily Collins with the maxi chain mania

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