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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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STERLING SILVER NECKLACE, 49.5 GRAMS
Oct 28, 9:30 AM AEST
STERLING SILVER NECKLACE, 49.5 GRAMS
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD10- AUD40
AUD305 Bids
Signed Pedro Castillo Taxco Sterling Necklace
Oct 31, 10:00 AM MST
Signed Pedro Castillo Taxco Sterling Necklace
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$605 Bids
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$135 Bids
14K gold chain, 3.3dwt, etc.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
14K gold chain, 3.3dwt, etc.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $140- $160
$1304 Bids
15pc Sterling Silver Necklaces
Oct 31, 10:00 AM MST
15pc Sterling Silver Necklaces
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
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18k White Gold Chain Necklace
Oct 31, 10:00 AM MST
18k White Gold Chain Necklace
by Monarch Auction and Estate Services
Est: $0- $0
$503 Bids
14K gold chains, 17.3dwt.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
14K gold chains, 17.3dwt.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $640- $680
$4703 Bids
6 Logging trucks/cradles with chains
Oct 30, 10:30 AM PDT
6 Logging trucks/cradles with chains
by Turner Auctions and Appraisals LLC
Est: $75- $100
$702 Bids
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$92 Bids
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$92 Bids
Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$62 Bids
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$22 Bids
Italy Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Italy Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$62 Bids
GOLD NUGGET LINK NECKLACE.
Oct 30, 10:00 AM PDT
GOLD NUGGET LINK NECKLACE.
by D.G.W. Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $2,500- $3,500
$1,8002 Bids
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Milor Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Milor Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Sterling Silver Italy Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Italy Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
10K gold jewelry, 13.7dwt., etc.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
10K gold jewelry, 13.7dwt., etc.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $380- $420
$1901 Bid
10K gold necklace, 6dwt.
Oct 28, 9:00 AM EDT
10K gold necklace, 6dwt.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $140- $180
$701 Bid
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Italy Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
Italy Danecraft Sterling Silver Necklace
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Italy Danecraft Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Chain Necklaces


Berner's Auction Gallery

Berner's Auction Gallery

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Omni Auction Corp

Omni Auction Corp