About Jewelry Chain Oct. 17: Snake Chain and Omega Chain

By on October 17, 2012
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by Rose Marion, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Idea for
October 17, 2012

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What are Snake Chain and Omega Chain?

Snake Chain and Omega Chain are similar types of jewelry chain that aren’t really chain at all. The core of an omega chain is either a long wire or a woven mesh. Then the chain creator takes small metal plates or disks and attaches them to the core.

Sometimes jewelers and jewelry stores use "snake chain" and "omega chain" for the same jewelry chain. When first researching snake and omega chain, the difference seemed to be that snake chain is round, and omega chain is flat. However, the actual difference seems to be in the structure. Snake chains are typically made of wavy plates, wehereas omega chain plates are flat. Also, snake chain plates are typically joined to each other, but omega plates are joined to a wire core or mesh inside the chain. A snake chain may also be found labeled as "Brazilian chain."

You may see Omega chains sold as "flat snake chains," and you may see snake chain sold as "round omega chain." You may also see a "half round" omega, which is domed, a cross between snake and omega. I would guess it’s more a factor of the vendor being familiar with only one of the terms, or simply trying to be clear about the product. Whether it is called a snake or omega, if it’s called flat, you should receive a flat chain; round, round.

These chains are extremely popular for wearing pendants, but remember to make a large bail so that your pendants will fit over the clasp, as well as a wide chain. Flat omega chains can be quite wide, 4mm or even greater! Snake chains are generally more flexible than omegas, because they typically don’t have the core wire or mesh that omega chains do.

Most snake chain and omega chains come finished – that is, with a clasp attached. Because there are no real "links," unfinished snake or omega chain must have the findings soldered on.

Pictures of Snake Chain and Omega Chain

Omega and Snake Jewelry Chains

Omega and Snake Jewelry Chains: Our suppliers labeled all of these snake chains, but if they were flat or non-wavy, they could be called Omegas.

Snake Chain and Omega Chain Diagrams

Hint: You can click the above picture and right-click > Save to save it to your computer, or click on it and Print. There will be more diagrams coming!

Next week, we’ll talk about Wheat chain and Rope chain. See you then!

Resources & Further Reading

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  1. avatar


    October 17, 2012 at 7:38 am

    thanks for the information. when you say that there will be more, I hope that you mean more about the snake and omega. I own a number of these and would like to know more about the structure. I friend told me that if I get a kink in an omega, I can straighten it by rolling a can of soup over it.
    I look forward to all of your new posts…and consequently have become a frequent wire sculpture customer.

    • avatar


      October 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

      That’s a cool trick Kathy, thanks for posting it! I’m glad you’ve found our posts helpful :)

      I know that these chains are intriguing. This is just a starting point for you to discover more about the chains on your own. If you are very curious, I suggest you find a cheap omega chain and see what’s inside. I was not able to find any detailed diagrams of an omega construction, as I suspect those are manufacturing secrets. Good luck!

  2. avatar

    bonny innes

    October 17, 2012 at 8:04 am

    But how are the chains constructed? What do the links actually look like and How are they attached to each other/core? This is what really defines the chain. thanks.

    • avatar


      October 17, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Bonny, I imagine the links look like very small plates with either hooks or a hole through them connecting them to the mesh. I’m sure you’d find out if you disassembled a chain that’s been broken or hurt. I am writing these chain articles in hopes that jewelry artists discover the popular types of jewelry chain, give a basic explanation about the types to their customers, and identify the chains easily, not necessarily recreate them!

  3. avatar


    December 11, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Does anyone know where I can find a large version of flat omega chain?