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The chain – in its most enlightened form - can signify many things: unity, strength, friendship or inter-connectivity. But more recently the (not so) humble gold or silver chain has enjoyed a resurgence, adorning the necks and wrists of both men and women in its myriad forms.

From the intertwined pieces of Chopard’s vintage Art Deco tassel chain necklace to a Pomellato diamond-splashed beauty or just a simple throw-it-on unsigned curb link necklace, they are one of the most versatile styles you can own. 

Ming Lampson, who crafts all her pieces bespoke from her Notting Hill atelier, has seen something of a surge in demand. “There has definitely been a move away from platinum and diamond jewellery in the last few years,” she says. “Diamonds often work best at night whereas chunky gold is a daytime look. Bold gold chains are an amazing way of dressing up casual clothing.  As our clothes have become more relaxed, we need statement jewels that are also relaxed but lift an outfit. A bold gold chain will do that like no other piece.”

‘Diamonds often work best at night whereas chunky gold is a daytime look. Bold gold chains are an amazing way of dressing up casual clothing.’ 

Sling an everyday piece on for the school run with a white shirt and jeans (we love Charles de Temple’s Cuban link two-tone chunky number) or don a more delicate version – such as the evergreen C de Cartier – to add flourish to an evening ensemble. Showing that the chain can span the spectrum from almost biker to gilded socialite, Bucherer Fine Jewellery “Rose Gold Classics” necklace in 18-carat rose gold is luminescent. For a red-carpet look, the gold chain can also be elevated to high glam with the addition of gems. Pomellato’s Catene collection comes adorned with a salt and pepper sprinkling of fine diamonds.

Ghanain-born London-based Emefa Cole, who makes bold fine jewellery, thinks the gold chain adds panache. “They look amazing with simple outfits like T-shirt and denim as well as more opulent fabrics like silk tops and trouser combinations. They scream opulence, and the colour of gold is very alluring. For me, large gold jewellery has always been a part of black culture around the globe, and it has never gone away. It is also an integral part of hip-hop culture which influences the fashion industry.”

Cole feels that it is part of the ever-growing demand for gold jewellery in general. “The market for antique jewellery has been alive with people scrambling to obtain gold works by collectible artists as well as amazing gold-coloured costume jewellery. Schiaparelli’s work, inspired by the surrealist artists like Dali has also highlighted the beauty of gold-coloured jewellery.”

‘The market for antique jewellery has been alive with people scrambling to obtain gold works by collectible artists as well as amazing gold-coloured costume jewellery.’ 

You can also play around with styles, from large loop 1970s textured necklaces to intricate Georgian regard chain necklaces, showing that long can work well, too. Men are also catered for well in this category. See Luis Morais’s stunning 14-carat diamond chain bracelet or for peacockery of the highest order, Shay’s multihued Jumbo rainbow gold multistone bracelet. Head to Martine Ali’s pared down silver designs for something more discrete. 

For some accessible day-to-day pieces, Alice Made This creates some finer gold chains for men and women. For founder Alice Walsh, it is one of the easiest ways to enhance a look. “It is a quick and easy way to effortlessly elevate an outfit. It also is refreshingly unisex. In the same way that a jumper may look oversized or more fitted, female to male, chunky jewellery can be cross-worn and even shared by a couple. My husband Ed and I share a lot of our men’s pieces, especially the Bardo necklaces.” For her, gold chain jewellery “goes with anything and everything. A single large bracelet or a choker can look amazing with a little black dress, popping to add glamour, but I love seeing chunky jewellery against the canvas of a white or plain colourful tee and sweatshirt – it gives a backdrop to the jewellery and allows it to really sing. The remote working screen time has also meant that quick and easy ways to look like you have made considerable effort is more of a necessity.”

‘It is a quick and easy way to effortlessly elevate an outfit. It also is refreshingly unisex. In the same way that a jumper may look oversized or more fitted female to male, chunky jewellery can be cross-worn and even shared by a couple.’

Yet perhaps they symbolise more beyond. “There is also a pining for dressing up. Chunky jewellery gives a psychological boost in the ritual of putting it on… It’s almost like an armour for returning to a new social norm,” adds Walsh.

SHOP GOLD CHAIN EDIT
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