Gold Rush

By: jamessmith12


Imagine that the first men to start wearing necklaces were the cavemen! They would string mollusks and shells together to adorn themselves with. Some have been found with animal claws, teeth or bone as well as stones.

But we have come a long way since those far off days.

About 4,500 years ago, the ancient Egyptians started to use gold to decorate themselves but they went through a phase of wearing solid plate like pieces. Although they used the string type of gold at times, the fashion was for more solid looking pieces.

The ancient Romans on the other hand would only allow women to wear gold chains. Some were decorated with semi or precious stones and both the Egyptians and Romans had a penchant for burying these treasures with their dead!

Between the second and third century, gold was pierced to make room for charms or stones and the effect was a little like today’s lace. Many women wore multiple chains at once which showed their wealth and status in society. Those in the lower echelons of society would wear plain chains and maybe only one at a time.

Even today, wearing gold chains can denote the wealth and standing of the wearer. Take, for example, Mayors of most towns across England. Each will be wearing the mayoral chain – made of gold naturally – which may be studded with precious jewels. This type of chain normally denotes the importance of the town or city and is often donated by local dignatories or businesses.

Even the Queen of England wears gold chains on state occasions. Hers, of course, come studded with only the best of diamonds, rubies and emeralds etc and is a far cry from what most of us can afford!

Nowadays, of course, there are virtually thousands of different designs to choose from. Men have also taken to the ‘gold rush’ in a big way and will often be seen sporting one or more intricate chains. The younger, more fashionable set also started to wear multiple chains but this seems to have paved the way for more solid, heavier chains perhaps with a charm or pendant.

Sea going people would sometimes choose emblems that reminded them of the ocean, an anchor or such, while a Christian may decide on wearing a cross or crucifix to show he is committed to his faith. The Jewish religion is also not left out with the Star of David being a favorite choice. Indeed, the cross and Star of David are perhaps the most popular pendants throughout the world.

Some chains have a ‘hugs and kisses’ design which is a set of Xs and Os which represents this. If someone presents you with this kind of necklace then you know what their intentions are!

Some chains are interwoven and give a lovely, heavy, rope style. Others are bonded into square shapes – called the box chain – which tend to be heavier than most and also very strong.

You are not restricted for choice when it comes to color either. Gold now comes in yellow, the more usual color of gold, as well as ‘rose’, which has a pinkish tint, and white, which looks silvery. Necklaces or jewelry made up of all three colors is a very popular choice and can be worn with just about anything.

Of course, if you intend to wear a pendant on your chain, you must take care to purchase a strong, ‘made for a pendant’ style chain. Some people have made the mistake of adding a pendant on a weaker chain only to lose both because the chain snaps.

You also need to consider what length of chain you want. Some like chains that hang to the waist but others would prefer chains that sit at the base of the neck. If you want to wear several chains at once, try getting a set of chains with differing lengths so that each can be admired in its own space.

Ladies tend to wear different shaped necklines and the wrong chain will not suit some. For example, if she is wearing a deep ‘V’ neckline then a long chain will tend to get caught up in her cleavage. Better to wear a chain that hangs above the ‘V’ to show off the dress – and her accoutrements! – to perfection!

Round necked dresses will take the longer chains more easily and are a great backdrop to the chain itself.

Men, on the other hand, often wear open necked shirts. If this is the case, he will probably wear a shorter, thicker chain that can be seen glimmering against his skin, but nestled under the shirt and collar.

When it comes to design of chains, your choice is only limited by the designer’s imagination. Modern machinery has been developed to make more and more intricate designs and we, the public, show no sign of getting bored with the choice. Fashion trends come and go but gold chains seem to be timeless.

Of course, you can also get different ‘strengths’ of gold. The higher the karat the more gold there is in the object and as such will also attract a price tag. Also, the higher the karat in the yellow gold seems to imbue the piece with a stronger color than the lower value chains.

Be aware though, gold does tend to bend very easily, especially the thinner, more flexible chains or pendants. Always try to get heavier, stronger chains so that careless accidents are kept to a minimum.

It would seem then that the gold chain necklace is here to stay. Try giving this beautiful gift for special occasions and you will be rewarded with undying appreciation. For that special touch, try engraving a pendant with a special date or message before stringing it on the chain. A very classy gift indeed!

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Be aware though, gold does tend to bend very easily, especially the thinner, more flexible chains or pendants. Always try to get heavier, stronger chains so that careless accidents are kept to a minimum.

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