A snake chain is a type of chain that is composed of links that fit together in an interlocking fashion. This forms a bendable, tubular chain that resembles the body of a serpent, hence the name. Silver snake chains are bright, bold, and slinky. This creates a very movable and fluid chain that invokes feelings of nature, freedom, and exotic appeal. While they were extremely popular in the 1980s, they are coming back in popularity with a vengeance.
During their prime, the options for gold snake chains were pretty limited. They were available in a general mid-length brassy gold chain. Today, designers are taking liberties with the design of the traditional snake chain. Here are a few of the options that came out of the jewelry designers’ experimentations:
- Extra long or extra short lengths
- Variety of metals used: silver, gold, copper, brass, bronze, or alloyed colored metals
- Thicker for an extremely bold statement
- Thinner for casual, every day wear.
- Mutli-strand – different lengths, colors, or thicknesses attached together at the clasp for a more dramatic flowing statement with texture and splash of flirtation.
- Variations in the roundness (more or less tube-like)
One of the more popular variations of the silver snake chain necklace is the lariat. This is when the clasp of the chain is meant to be worn in the front as opposed to the back. Instead of a traditional claw clasp, a bead or other fashionable pull takes its place. In many cases, this allows the wearer to adjust the length of the sterling silver snake chain by pulling the bead or knot to one side.
When deciding on which snake chain necklace is best for you, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. The first is that snake chains by nature are a fairly bold and attention grabbing piece of jewelry. Smaller framed people should opt for a more subtle or smaller interpretation of the piece. Wearing a large or thick snake chain may come across as looking silly or simply distracting in an unattractive fashion.
While brassy gold is tradition for flat snake chains, silver is beginning to overtake that idea. Silver compliments more skin tones, and often looks more subtle and classy than gold when paired with a nice dress or outfit. Also, silver is more versatile; it is easy to wear the silver snake chain during a casual day and then continue to wear it even if with change of wardrobe for the evening.
One of the more modern changes made to the snake link chain is the addition of “bling.” This is more common in the shorter, almost choker length, snake chains. Crystals, beads, cubic zirconias, or even diamonds can be incorporated into the chain for a flashy, dramatic sparkle. However, purchase these styles with caution. They have the most potential to look tacky if not done properly. Stick with small additions as opposed to a large, obviously fake looking stone, unless that is the dramatic, eye-grabbing piece you desire.
If you are seeking a more elegant style, choose a silver plated snake chain that is extra-long yet still relatively thin. This adds a bit of flow to an outfit that may be lacking, but it does not overwhelm the viewer or the beauty of any other piece.
However, if the evening wear is simplistic and minimalist, it can easily be jazzed up with one of the multi-chain versions of the snake chain. This is especially popular with the fairly shapeless little black dress. Adding a multi-chain snake necklace adds texture, flow, color, and a bit of mysticism. The look can only be described as a modern flapper.
It is not surprising that the adjustable snake chain has made a comeback. What is surprising is that it took almost three decades for it to do so. Snake chains are so versatile in terms of their look and in terms of how they can be worn. Any age, any outfit, and any occasions can be paired with a snake chain for a unique and beautiful look.