If you haven’t heard of the style of Chain Link known as a Box Chain, now is a good as time as any to get acquainted with one of the most evolving chain styles in modern times. As one of the most recognised Chain Link styles, alongside the Curb, Belcher, Rope and Figaro the Box Chain is a truly timeless classic. Just like the vast majority of enduring Chain Link styles it’s name originates from its appearance.
The Heart of a Box Chain
At the heart of this classic style of link is a simple shape resembling a Box. You may think that it is far too basic a shape to have any charisma. But this 4 sided square shape with flat shiny surfaces when paired closely with another identical link, begins to forms the basis of an attractive and sleek chain link style. Whether you choose to admire it from the side, the top or the bottom you’ll find perfect symmetry all around. Available to wear as either Silver Chains or Silver Bracelets the Box Chain is also known as a ‘Venetian’ Chain Link style owing to it’s origins from the historically artisan city Venice, Italy. With such heritage, it’s easy to appreciate the reason why this chain style possesses a stylish yet natural allure.
The evolution of the Box Chain and the different types
Many of the classic chain styles that evolve into more exciting variations posses at their core a definable shape combined with a pattern in which the links pair with one another. The original Box Chain from which all Box Chains have evolved are from what is known as a Classic or Standard Box Chain. This is characterised by the following prominent features: 4 sides, flat square-shaped surfaces, highly polished and with straight edges. Here it is pictured below:
Having acquainted ourselves with the foundational shape from which all other Box Chain styles have evolved, this should now help us to move forward in comparing this alongside the varying incarnations of the Box Chain. You’ll also be able to see why these variations are so subtle that they make classing them as being within the same family of link and not an altogether different style.
So let’s begin starting with the most visually similar to the least in relation to the Standard Box Chain.
- Standard Box Chain (also known as the Classic Box Chain)
- Mirror Box Chain
- Rounded Box Chain
- Double Box Chain
- Triple Box Chain
- Greek Box Chain
As described above.
Available items in our collection:
Almost identical to the standard Box Chain it may be difficult to identify the differences between them. But the main difference is that the Mirror Box Chain features these ‘Boxes’ much closer together with very little space between each link. Crafted in this way, the links allow for the flat polished surfaces to be closer to one another with hardly any visible gaps or spaces for light to pass through and disrupt the flow of shiny silver. With that the continuous flow of uninterrupted Silver thereby forms a Mirror effect. This type of chain is highly sparkly and great in narrower thicknesses to fashion with a pendant on a special occasion.
The crucial variation Rounded Box Links possess are their slightly domed shaped surfaces instead of a flat surface. Blending the curved surfaces and straight edges cleverly this is a sturdy chain that always fairs well with large statement pendants or lockets.
Available items in our collection:
Interestingly, whilst the characteristic flat square surfaces are no longer visible with this variation, each of the links in this style are still identical to each other and they also possess a square shape, albeit not looking ‘boxy’ alone. When the Double Box Chain is deconstructed, each link can be described as being akin to square shaped rings (as opposed to round rings) with equal width and length.
So what makes this capable of still being classed as a Box Chain despite it’s alternative shape?
Well now you know what one link looks like, let’s take a look at the formation of the links, because this is where it really begins to form the signature Box shape. One of these ‘rings’ are placed down flat (horizontally) and another is then stacked onto this. With this stacking from a side profile the appearance of Silver forms a square shape: equal in length and height. To keep these two links in place the same combination of two links stacked upon each other are placed on one edge and then another two links on the opposite edge. Once the links are paired together, the signature cube shape is pronounced.
Another variation of the Double Box Chain also exists. The link formation is exactly the same as a standard Box Chain in that it is made of one link pairing with another single link, but instead of the surface appearing totally flat, there is a straight line groove. The appearance of the groove is designed to look like two links like the above mentioned Double Box Chain but is different because it is only the one link that pairs with the next, instead of two.
Available items coming to our collection this Summer:
Sterling Silver 3.9mm Diamond Cut (4 facets) Double Box Bracelet
Sterling Silver 4mm Diamond Cut (8 facets) Double Box Bracelet
Sterling Silver 3.9mm Diamond Cut (4 facets) Double Box Chain Necklace
Sterling Silver 4mm Diamond Cut (8 facets) Double Box Chain Necklace
Almost identical to the double Box Chain, except instead of two links stacked upon each other there are three.
The variation also includes the grooved version where the appearance on three grooves are etched into the flat surface.
A quirky yet classy chain style, the Greek Box Chain is named because of it’s striking pattern that embraces shapes derived from Ancient Greece. Then Greek pattern is visible immediately when the chain is placed flat on the chest, wrist or dressing table, as shown below. The Box element however is specific again to the individual links. However the difference between the box links in this style compared with the Standard Box Chain (for which is a guide) is that the box shape has been somewhat sliced at a 45 degree angle. Owing to this angle allows for a more flatter chain. Instead of a plain surface our upcoming collection features the Greek Chain with a highly special surface imprinting, that features a silky texture, known as Pave.
Available items coming to our collection this Summer:
Sterling Silver 3.5mm Pave Greek Box Chain Necklace
Sterling Silver 4.6mm Pave Greek Box Chain Necklace
Sterling Silver 5.4mm Pave Greek Box Chain Necklace
Sterling Silver 4.6mm Pave Greek Box Bracelet
Sterling Silver 5.4mm Pave Greek Box Bracelet
Enhanced by Finish
All the above Box Chain descriptions cover the essential structure of the Box Chain links, however each of those Box Chain styles can also be complimented with additional jewellery finishing. Such finishing might include Diamond Cutting: a form of enhancing parts of the link to give a bright, high sparkling finish or imprinting patterns upon the link surface known as Pavé- as with our Greek Box Chain.
Why the Box Chain Links are so alluring: deeper shape meanings revealed..
Along with Circles, Triangles and Rectangles, the Square shape is a part of the geometric family of shapes. Geometric shapes are those that are symmetrical and accordingly reflect order and regularity and the Box Chain similarly uses straight edges and corners. This is in contrast to those link styles with curved or circular shapes which mentioned some time ago in our Blog Post on Twisted Chain Styles (in case you missed that blog post don’t worry you can catch it HERE).
There we also explained how different shapes are responsible for evoking different emotion. So are there any evocative emotions or symbolism associated with the Box Chain and if so what are they? With the Box Chain the square shape is the key focus. As a familiar shape it’s symmetry is formed through 4 equal lengths and 4 equal widths. This is in addition to equal 90 degree angles at each of its four corners.
As a result of this regularity and consistency it’s predictable nature equates to square shapes as having an air of honesty about them. As a shape commonly found in building architecture it’s no wonder that it can also be seen to also symbolise solidity, reliability and security. With its symmetry it is also said to denote conformity and conformity itself closely denoting peacefulness.
With such symbolism it’s a great style to have as part of your collection that will speak a subtle, meaningful style. This includes whether it’s worn as a Bracelet or a Chain though when paired with pendants matching similar themes of peacefulness, honesty and reliability such as those of sentimental or religious value it is sure to serve as a complete jewellery piece.
Box Chain Widths best suited for..
As the thickness of Box Chains get wider, the increase in width makes for a more visible filler look all around. So let’s take a look at recommended widths for Men and Women:
At a minimum any fineness is acceptable, with the usual Standard box chains started from 0.8mm upwards and a maximum width needn’t be advised if as a Woman bold statement style jewellery is preferred. A good middle width for Women would be a 1.5mm width.
A minimum width for men is likely to be advised at 1.5mm upwards, with no limit on the maximum recommended width. A good middle width would be a 2mm Box Chain.
If you haven’t by now been able to find reasons to opt for a Box Chain..Box Clever:
Box Chains are certainly chains that can be worn much more that the occasional wear and very well suited to everyday wear for functional and stylish reasons: They won’t catch hairs, will match any pendant and most styles of Box Chain aren’t overly flamboyant, though are very well capable to have a star factor when supplemented with careful jewellery finishing.
We hope this was a great guide to familiarise yourself with the Box Chain style and recognise it’s defining Square Shape, even when it may look slightly different in their evolved incarnations.
To see more of our full Box Chain Necklace Collection CLICK HERE