Perhaps the oldest kind of jewelry worn by humans was a necklace. Chain necklaces are included in this history because they have been worn by various historical figures, including medieval nobility and contemporary rappers.
Here is all we know about chain necklaces throughout history, including their origins and function in the antique jewelry market today.
What Is A Gold Chain Necklace?
A chain is, by definition, a collection of rings or links that are joined or fitted together and are typically composed of metal. We have worn chains as jewelry for millennia and have utilized them for a broad range of purposes.
Chains are often used as metaphors for enduring love and human connection since they are composed of endless fortified and connected circles. The chain has likely existed for 6,000 years in its current form. Chain necklaces have undergone several variations, but compared to ancient versions we would have worn, they have little changed.
The History of a Gold Chain
The first chain necklace was discovered in ancient Babylonia (modern-day Iraq) when beautiful jewelry from approximately 2500 BC was hidden in royal graves. Most of the chains in this tomb were variations of the classic loop-in-loop design, which spread across the Mediterranean, Western Asia, and the whole globe.
Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all wore gold and silver chain necklaces and started hanging semi-precious stones and ornamental pendants from them. This aquamarine-set pendant from the latter 20th century demonstrates this.
They often wore charms strung on chain necklaces to ward against evil. A little later, the Byzantines often wore chains with crosses to demonstrate their devotion to their religion.
Chain necklaces have often been worn by royalty and the affluent throughout history. By 300 BC, the higher echelons of society's elite wore chains containing diamonds within the links.
Chains were commonly used as authority and power symbols throughout the Middle Ages. King and clergy wore heavy gold chains adorned with office-specific emblems or badges. Even more so than brooches, chains were an essential component of clothing throughout the late Gothic and early Renaissance periods. They eventually came to be generally recognized as a symbol of social distinction.
Personal decoration became more significant throughout the Renaissance, and Leonardo Da Vinci refined the standard chain design.
Rich pendants, often depicting biblical themes or symbols, were typically worn by the higher classes on thick gold chains. Males and women used chain necklaces throughout history, although men preferred to wear bigger ones to show off their status.
Henry VIII often appeared with a large chain around his neck; he gave out heavy gold chains as tokens of his favor but retained the finest for himself. Men in Germany and Flanders during this period were also stylishly covered in gold links, some of which were the size of bicycle chains.
Style and Function
Chain necklaces were as crucial to well-dressed women as they were to their male counterparts throughout the years. These chains had significantly changed; they were now more delicate, longer, and thinner. This is evident in the pendant from the 1950s, which has a delicate gold chain. Women would have often adorned themselves with necklaces and pendants made of gemstones.
Chains started to have a use besides being beautiful in the 18th century. They were fastened to fur muffs designed to keep women's hands warm. These were known as muff chains and were worn around the neck to make it easier for ladies to wear their muffs.
These chains inspired the present style of children's mittens, which often include a string to keep them linked.
Modern Gold Chains
When she started to appear covered from head to toe in faux pearls and gilded chains in the 1930s, Coco Chanel is credited with popularizing the chain necklace. Everyone, especially the working class, who was severely affected by the Depression, could wear this style since it was both inexpensive and accessible.
As the genuine gold chain shrank and grew during the war, jewelers opted to make chain necklaces resembling bricks, gas pipe links, and tank treads. Long gold chains became fashionable again as the 20th century went on. However, they weren't heaped on Chanel-like, but in the simple bohemian manner of the 1970s. They were both big and sleek, and both men and women wore them. This Victorian-era chain necklace was created much earlier, yet it perfectly captures the period's understated but bold fashion.
Oversized gold chains were first used by male rappers in the 1980s and 1990s; this custom continues today. Nowadays, you may discover variants on several chain necklaces, including clunky industrial chokers and draped chains like those worn by Coco Chanel. All of these necklaces are reimaginings of earlier designs.
There are many ways to weave and wear a chain necklace since it has become a timeless piece of jewelry. Although women wear gold chains too, it has increasingly become popular with men.
Reasons Gold Chains Are Popular With Men
With the rise in popularity of hip-hop and rap music, gold chains have become a signature piece of jewelry.
A Fashion Statement
Men often see gold chains as a flashy accessory, a fashion statement, or a small, sparkling item that finishes off their look. Depending on their personalities, each style and design has a particular impact on men's fashion.
Men's jewelry was formerly restricted to timepieces or maybe the occasional ring and earring. The variety of gold chains that are now readily accessible makes accessorizing fun and encourages men to dress more stylishly.
A specific gold chain may correctly complete a man's attire if he wishes to transform an unremarkable, daily appearance into one that exudes style. A guy might seem dapper by letting a thin gold chain dangle from an open trench coat.
You may complete an attractive ensemble with a chain with a pendant for a faultless aesthetic appearance, or you can add a delicate chain to your regular attire.
Gold chains are not only a fashion accessory; they also represent men's social standing and prestige. Men who can afford these excellent jewelry pieces use them to show their social standing since they are often pricey.
Additionally, it might demonstrate membership in a particular social group. For instance, those in the hip-hop business were the first to start wearing gold chains.
Additionally, you may wear a gold chain for luck, as many cultures associate yellow with luck and neutrality. Wearing such jewelry promotes wealth, happiness, and tranquility since it keeps bad energy at bay.
This one is one of the most popular jewelry items given as gifts to loved ones. As a result, many men choose to wear them because of their sentimental worth.
Gold Is Everlasting
Whatever kind of gold chain you pick, it will last a lifetime. As a result, you may safely invest in this jewelry and pass it down to subsequent generations.
The men's height will determine the ideal length of a gold chain. Measuring chain length directly on the body is crucial to obtain the proper fit since the most common size is between 18 and 36 inches (46 cm - 0.9 m).
For instance, a gold necklace 22 inches (56 cm) long may seem excessively lengthy on a shorter guy, even if it might fit nicely on a taller man. It is essential if you're wearing a pendant chain. The general guideline is that the pendant must hang in the center of the chest for a flawlessly harmonized appearance.
Depending on the purpose of the purchase, the gold chain's thickness may be of utmost importance. You shouldn't choose the heaviest, broadest chains when purchasing a piece with a pendant. Thinner chains in this situation will draw attention to the charm rather than the chain itself.
Most of the time, 12 mm thick gold chains are the best option for a striking appearance. A gold chain between 1 and 6 mm in thickness is required for a more tailored appearance since you can easily tuck it beneath a shirt.
Gold Chain Styles
The Rope Chain kind features small links that resemble ropes. This necklace has a stern appearance due to how the links connect and may be worn in many ways.
This traditional style of men's jewelry is just a row of circular links 90 degrees apart. The main difference between this design and the Miami Cuban chain is its thickness.
You may pick to add a pendant to the smaller chain to go with the traditional design or wear a larger one around your neck for a bolder appearance. These chains are available in various gold alloys, including 10K and 14K yellow, rose, and white gold.
A Figaro chain is made up of two or three minuscule round links that are followed by an oval link. One of the best chains in the world is this Italian creation. This design may be completed with a pendant like a cross or a medallion.
How to Wear Your Gold Chain
- It's usually fashionable to wear heavier gold chains with a T-shirt or a sweater with a wider, oval collar. The chain will then discretely tuck in the front and peep out from the sides of the neck, adding just the right amount of spice to the ensemble.
- The best way to draw attention is with an open-chested shirt and a delicate box chain. This jewelry item will be highlighted by the attire without being garish.
- T-shirts or sweaters look great paired with a simple box chain. If you like to wear an open shirt, choose a chain 18 to 20 inches (46 to 51 cm) thick to retain the look elegant and fashionable.
- While stacking chains is fashionable right now, combining more than three is not advised. Two is often the ideal number to gauge flavor. It's crucial to avoid wearing chains of the same length while stacking. For instance, build two chains every 22 or 24 inches (56 or 61 cm) long to show the layers.
- Another tip when wearing a chain over a shirt or turtleneck is to add a pendant chain. The secret is to wear a necklace 22 or 24 inches (56 or 61 cm) long so the pendant hangs appropriately.
Men use gold chains for their superior quality, as well as for aesthetic and symbolic purposes. Gold chains are an excellent investment since they never go out of fashion and can be worn with various outfits. Contact King of Jewelry and we will help you pick out one from our gold chain collection.