Chains are described by the following criteria:
- length--includes the total length of the chain from end to end-- common lengths for women are 16, 18, and 20 inches
- width-diameter of the widest part of the chain
- type of clasp if the chain is finished
- metal-silver, copper, 14k gold, brass, silver plated, gold plated, base metal
- style--snake, rolo, cable, ball
With all of these variables, the choice of chain is quite wide and varied.
The prices of chains vary widely also, primarily dependent on the current cost of the metal used. Precious metals are considered a market commodity, so they change on a daily basis, and jewelry suppliers change their prices accordingly. At the time of this writing, precious metal prices are way up, which has resulted in much higher prices for silver, gold, and platinum supplies including chains.