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Like some other types of chain, it goes by a couple different names. It can be called “spiga” or “espiga,” which is the Spanish word for “wheat.” Named for the natural intricacies of a sheaf of wheat, the wheat chain offers lifelong strength with a subtle touch of delicate luxury. Whether your style is cool and contemporary or soft and sentimental, this versatile piece with its secure lobster claw clasp can keep up. They are beautiful, elegant, smooth, and perfect as a stand alone chain, or one that holds a pendant
What are Wheat Chain and Rope Chain?
Spiga (meaning wheat) chains, are generally made up of twisted oval links, that are plaited together in one direction, to create a delicate and symmetrical chain. A Spiga chain looks like a series of metallic fibers running into each other at their points, creating a beautiful textural appearance. The chain tends to look the tips of wheat stalks, hence the name Spiga / wheat. This semi-rigid chain is very durable and sturdy and can be worn with pendants or as is. This strong chain has a classic and timeless look.
It seems that there are many ways of making a chain that looks like growing grains of wheat. Some vendors claim that their wheat chain is made from 4 woven strands of wire. Others say that wheat chain is formed of narrow, long tear-drop-shaped links. Another source says wheat chain uses oval and twisted (like curb chain is twisted) links that interconnect, and this seems to be the most common type of wheat chain. In general, wheat chain does not move as much as simpler chains like curb and rolo chain because the links are so narrow and hold so many other links, that movement is restricted.
Some people call wheat chain, spiga chain (espiga is the Spanish word for wheat). It seems when people refer to spiga chain, this chain is made of figure-8 links linked together, giving it an even more intricate, braided appearance than wheat chain.
Rope chains typically looks like two strands or coils of wire that have been twisted together, also called a double helix. This is a popular chain style for men’s jewelry, and it is usually quite thick. Some of the links may have flat sections, giving a faceted effect: this is called diamond-cut rope chain. The links are typically oval or round, and rather than being twisted or spiraled together, the links are carefully joined to the link across from them. This is a very delicate process, and even though automatic rope chain machines have been around since the 1930s, still today many of the rope chains on the market are handmade. Italy provides much of the world’s machine-made chain.