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Watch our silver chain necklace being made

Handmade jewellery: sterling silver chain necklace made by hand in Australia and available in our online store.

Our elegantly simple sterling silver chain necklace has been one of our most popular jewellery designs for years. Have you ever wondered how jewellery chains are made? We're here to show you.

It's a very labour-intensive handmade design, so we thought we'd share a behind the scenes time lapse video showing some jewellery making in action so you can see what's involved.

Many years ago I made just one of these silver necklaces for myself to wear. I kept getting so many complements and queries about it that I decided to put the design into production so customers could have chains of their own.

Making a silver chain:

To this day all of the handmade chain necklaces we sell are individually made by me personally. It's a labour of love.

Each chain starts out as plain silver wire.  It's softened and wrapped to form a tight coil before being cut to create individual links. The links are then roughly linked together with pliers to form a chain. Each chain link is then carefully soldered closed using a blow torch and silver solder. Care must be taken to not solder the links to each other.

After each soldered link is checked and smoothed using a small grinding tool, the hammering commences! I use a beautiful embossing hammer designed for silversmithing work to hammer each link of the chain on both sides. This gives it an amazing sparkly texture after the chain is polished.  

Hammering also helps to harden the soft silver and further tests the links to ensure they are soldered correctly. As I work I also check and adjust the shape of each link in the chain.

Finally the chain has a bolt clasp attached to one end and it's put into a tumbling machine filled with stainless steel shot, where it rolls around for many hours to become beautifully polished.

Watch the jewellery making video:

To see all of this hard work in action (at a fraction of the time it actually takes), watch the video of jewellery making in action. This shows me making an opera length (85cm or 33.5") version of the handmade silver chain.

Check out more of our handmade chains.

How to wear your silver chain necklace:

Apart from the fact that it's such an elegantly simple but still eye-catching and unique design, I love that you can wear this versatile necklace in different ways.

The clasp for the chain can be connected to any link, so you can wear it at whatever length you like: full length, choker length or somewhere in between.

I usually wear my silver chain with a trail of links dangling down from the clasp at the front, but you could wear these hanging at the back instead.

The longer length versions of the chain (especially the full length opera necklace) are even more versatile and you should be able to wrap it twice to form a double strand.

The chain can even be wrapped around your wrist to form a bracelet - although we do have a matching bracelet chain available as well.

Find out more about our necklace lengths in our necklace length and style guide. Check out all of our sterling silver jewellery

Simone Walsh is an Australian jewellery designer and maker who has been creating handmade jewellery in sterling silver, gold and gemstones for over 25 years. She lives and works in the beautiful countryside outside Adelaide in South Australia, where she's surrounded by vineyards and rolling hills. Simone is the Founder & Creative Director of Simone Walsh Jewellery.


2 comments

  • Hi Shani. I use a strip of titanium bent into a hook and held up by a third hand. The solder won’t bond with the titanium and it’s able to withstand quite a lot of repeated heating before the end needs to be trimmed and bent into a new hook.

    Simone Walsh
  • What is the holder you are using to solder the links on?

    Shani

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