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Chain Necklaces

The beauty of an antique chain necklace lies in its air of eternity. This quality, combined with the relative ease of manufacture, made chain link necklaces an attractive type of adornment early in the ancient world.

These first chains, made from simple loops of gold or silver, were popular among the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean as a symbol of affluence as well as eternity. Over time, the chain links became increasingly refined, with jewelers developing different link gauges, or sizes, as well as discovering ways to dangle pendants or beads from individual loops.

Over time, the chain link necklace evolved into a wide variety of chain link styles, from the simple trace link, which consists of delicate rounded rings, to the more intricate herringbone, in which links are woven together to create a luminous, seemingly liquid strand of metal.


Quick Facts

  • Surviving ancient Roman and Egyptian chain jewelry from the 5th-7th centuries A.D. includes the more complex body chain styles. These extended necklaces wrapped around both the neck and the torso, literally wrapping the body in lustrous gold
  • In addition to signifying eternity, the chain also became a symbol of strength and industry. Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, for example, was known to sketch prototypes for chain links amid his designs for engineering innovations
  • Also during the Renaissance, Venetian jewelry designers developed a link style made from thin gold wire rings that were joined and then looped through another set to create a woven or mesh motif. This technique, originally known as “entrecosei,” is better known today by its simplified cousin, the Venetian link chain

Recommended Items at Auction

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14K Miami Cuban Link Necklace
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14K Miami Cuban Link Necklace
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14k Gold Box Chain Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
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Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
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Italy Milor Sterling Silver Rope Twist Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
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18K Yellow Gold Link Chain Necklace
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
18K Yellow Gold Link Chain Necklace
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Est: $1,800- $2,500
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Milor Sterling Silver Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Milor Sterling Silver Necklace
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Est: $10- $1,000
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Sterling Silver Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
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Est: $10- $1,000
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(2) Sterling silver heavy chain necklaces
Dec 07, 11:00 AM EST
(2) Sterling silver heavy chain necklaces
by Millea Bros Ltd
Est: $150- $250
$1504 Bids
Weight Gold Tn Cascading Chain Necklace
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
Weight Gold Tn Cascading Chain Necklace
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $20- $60
$154 Bids
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(2) 14K ROPE LINK NECKLACES
Dec 01, 5:00 PM EST
(2) 14K ROPE LINK NECKLACES
by Leighton Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,100
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24" GUCCI LINK CHAIN STERLING SILVER NECKLACE 100G
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
24" GUCCI LINK CHAIN STERLING SILVER NECKLACE 100G
by Imperial Auction
Est: $500- $600
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STERLING CHAIN WITH BROKEN CLASP LOT 696
Dec 04, 5:00 PM EST
STERLING CHAIN WITH BROKEN CLASP LOT 696
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$74 Bids
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
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Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
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14k gold wheat chain necklace
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
14k gold wheat chain necklace
by South Bay Auctions Inc
Est: $1,000- $1,500
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Group of (2) 14k gold necklaces
Dec 03, 12:00 PM EST
Group of (2) 14k gold necklaces
by South Bay Auctions Inc
Est: $1,200- $1,800
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Sterling Silver Rope Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Sterling Silver Rope Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$213 Bids
Oversized Sterling Diamond Link Necklace
Dec 07, 11:00 AM EST
Oversized Sterling Diamond Link Necklace
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $150- $300
$303 Bids
IPPOLITA STERLING SILVER ORGANIC CHAIN NECKLACE
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
IPPOLITA STERLING SILVER ORGANIC CHAIN NECKLACE
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $150
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Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$113 Bids
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14K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND CUT ROPE CHAIN
Nov 27, 10:00 AM CST
14K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND CUT ROPE CHAIN
by J. Garrett Auctioneers
Est: $2,000- $2,500
$1503 Bids
Sterling Silver Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$283 Bids
"BEC" LINK CHAIN NECKLACE STERLING SILVER
Dec 04, 10:00 AM EST
"BEC" LINK CHAIN NECKLACE STERLING SILVER
by Imperial Auction
Est: $200- $300
$603 Bids
Italy Milor Sterling Silver Rope Twist Necklace
Dec 01, 10:00 AM EST
Italy Milor Sterling Silver Rope Twist Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$83 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chain Necklaces


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Berner's Auction Gallery

Berner's Auction Gallery

Greenwich Auction

Greenwich Auction

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida