What is a Diamond-Cut Rope Chain? 

Rope chains are one of the most durable and popular gold chain necklaces you can purchase. But when shopping for gold rope chains, what is the difference between a regular rope chain and a diamond-cut rope chain necklace?

You may be surprised to hear that diamond-cut rope chains, not regular rope chains, are the more common and popular of the two. Even though one bears the name “regular”, it is actually less popular and less common.

What is a Diamond-Cut Rope Chain?

No, diamonds have nothing to do with a diamond-cut rope chain. That’s just the term that has been used to describe the finish or final process the gold necklace receives. Diamond cuts are nothing more than notches or grooves cut into the necklace, usually by a jeweler’s chisel. This is just a method used to get the outer surface of the precious metal to glisten and shine more than it normally would, giving it a “diamond” appearance, as though it is reflecting light the way little diamonds would. By contrast, regular rope chains are just standard chain necklaces that are consistently polished or smooth all around and have not had the diamond-cutting process applied. Both are desirable and it is really a matter of taste, although more people tend to opt for diamond-cut rope chain necklaces in general.

Measurements of Diamond-Cut Rope Chains

Gold chains in general are usually measured using the metric system in millimeters (mm) and measurements can vary slightly due to the diamond-cutting process, whether you are purchasing small or big rope chains. For example, a 2.5mm diamond-cut rope chain may actually end up being closed to 2.25mm in many portions once the diamond-cutting finish is applied, as you are actually chiseling away parts of the silver or gold necklace. Depending on where your jeweler’s gauge is measuring, you may get a slight variation, whereas with regular rope chain necklaces that do not have the special finish, the measurement will be 2.5mm all around. So keep this in mind when choosing the millimeter size or trying to determine whether a rope chain will fit your pendant.

Fitting Your Rope Chain for a Pendant

The other factor to consider when purchasing a necklace for a pendant, whether yellow gold or white gold rope chains, is that while link chains are flat, rope chains round and have the same diameter all the way around. Since most hoops or bails on pendants are oval, you need to consider whether the opening passage of your pendant will fit both a round chain like a rope. So, for example, if you purchase a 3mm gold rope chain necklace, you will need your bail to be at least 4mm tall and 4mm wide to allow some slack for the necklace to freely move around once worn. But since most bails are oval and not round, you will need the lowest measurement (usually the width) to be able to accommodate the width of your round chain. In this case, a standard bail may be something more like 6mm x 4mm, giving plenty of room on the height and allowing 1mm of space on the width for your chain to freely slide around when worn. Otherwise, the pendant will stick and roll around your neck with the chain.

2.5mm 14k tri-color gold rope chain necklace
2.5mm 14K Tri-Color Gold Rope Chain Necklace

The same is true for square chains, such as gold box chain necklaces or even chains that have larger clasp ends, often for example like franco chains. You may need a few extra millimeters of space to accommodate larger, speciality clasps or have a jeweler remove the clasp, slide the chain through the pendant’s hoop or bail and then have them re-attach it, for a permanent fit, if desired.

Whether you are shopping for a regular or diamond-cut rope chain or even something more unique like tri-color gold rope chains, Apples of Gold Jewelry has both available in many sizes and lengths, including longer lengths such as 24″ or 30″. Apples of Gold Jewelry can also make to order virtually any size rope chain, even if not listed on our website. Simply contact us and let us know what you would like. We can most likely have it made for you and often for less than most jewelers charge.

Category: Gold Chains, Gold Jewelry, Gold Necklaces, Jewelry Education

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