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What do the code numbers that precede a style of chain mean?

The code numbers that precede the chain relate to the size of the chain.

For example: 12/18 Trace- 12 = gauge wire in inches (0.012) 18 = links per inch

18/3/1 Figaro- 18 = gauge wire (0.018) 3 = small links per inch 1 = large links per inch

28/6/6 Z Curb- 28 = gauge wire (0.028) 6 = links per inch 6 = double link

The information most relevant will be the second part of the number code i.e. the links per inch.