Wearing gold neck chains has been popular for generations and has been a staple of hip-hop style since Kurtis Blow’s revolutionary 1980 album cover, where he famously wore six-layered chains. These days, neck chains, with or without pendants, are worn by all kinds of men, from ballplayers and rappers to bankers and fashion influencers. If you’re new to the world of neck chains, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the numerous types of gold chains available, from Run-DMC style rope chains to military-inspired dog tag chains, and unsure which style would suit you. Let’s look at one of the most popular types of chain: the Franco.
What Is a Franco Chain?
The Franco chain, named after the Italian designer who created it, is based on the traditional curb pattern often adopted by Italian jewelry manufacturers. These tightly linked chains are made with a series of interwoven V-shaped links, also known as chevrons, giving them a thicker, smoother look that is ideal for showcasing high-quality yellow, white, or rose gold.
You may have seen the chevron links on Foxtail chains but, unlike the Foxtail style, Franco chains only have chevrons on two of their four sides. The other two sides of the Franco chain are similar to a curb link pattern. This means that you can emphasize the chevron or curb style, depending on the way you wear your Franco chain.
The Benefits of a Franco Chain
Although the Miami Cuban Link is probably the most quintessential style of gold chain for men, the Franco chain has gained popularity in recent years and is now one of the most requested styles for several reasons.
The Franco chain is sturdy.
The tightly connected V-shaped links make this style of chain super strong, which means it’s the perfect choice for pairing with a large or heavy pendant.
It doesn’t get tangled.
Unlike other chains, including the popular Miami Cuban Link, Franco link chains’ flexible nature means they don’t get caught when wearing them, which is one of those minor annoyances neck chain lovers put up with. This feature is also another reason Franco chains work well with pendants. You may have seen pendants with huge bails—the part that connects the pendant to the chain—on modest-sized chains to discourage it from tangling. There’s no need for these measures with a Franco chain; you can choose the ideal size pendant and bail for the chain without having to worry about damaging your jewelry or your clothes.
They are versatile.
The combination of the curb and chevron link patterns seen in Franco chains means they can be worn in two different ways, depending on your outfit or mood.
They feel good to wear.
Franco chains are sometimes referred to as “snake chains” because they are super flexible and don’t have bendable parts; they just flow. Wearing this slinky chain, whether it’s a subtle 2.2mm chain or a 6.0mm necklace with a substantial pendant, feels great against your skin.
They are bold even when unadorned.
Although the strength and fluidity of the Franco chain make it ideal for wearing with a pendant, these necklaces look equally striking on their own. The dual-link pattern style and tight connection between each link make even thinner Franco chains stand out alongside other necklaces and against fabric or bare skin.
Franco chains have a timeless style.
All chains are not created equal, and you should put as much time into choosing the right chain style for you as picking out your pendant. You need to find a chain style that works with your vibe and speaks to your style. That’s not to say you can’t wear more than one type of chain, as layering chains of different styles, thicknesses, and lengths can create a dynamic look.
Franco chains have the classic feel of Miami Cuban, Figaro, and Rope chains, but the slick modernity of Box and Herringbone chains. This combination gives them a timeless look that works well with all kinds of outfits and styles.
Plain vs. Diamond-Cut Franco Chains
If you’ve decided that Franco chains are for you, your next question will be whether to get a plain or diamond-cut style. Diamond-cut Francos are a little less boxy and have a slightly more refined style, though you’ll only notice the difference on thicker chains. The other aspect you should consider when choosing between the plain and diamond-cut styles is snagging. Diamond-cut Francos are more likely to snag on your shirt than the plain style, which will damage delicate fabrics or open knits. However, heavier chains don’t snag as much, whether they are diamond or plain cut.
Are Franco Chains for You?
The versatility of these classic chains makes them the ideal choice for more jewelry lovers. They are bold and detailed enough to be eye-catching when worn alone, but strong and comfortable enough to be paired with any style of pendant. If you’re in the market for a gold necklace, a Franco chain could be the perfect choice.