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Link & Chain Bracelets
The chain or link bracelet has held its place throughout history as a symbol of continuity or eternity, its circling links a natural parallel to the circle of life. Chain link bracelets and necklaces appear across our globe’s ancient cultures, from ancient Babylonian city of Ur (present-day Iraq) to Mesoamerican cultures.
While the earliest versions were simple looped rings of gold or silver, as time progressed these chains exhibited increasing finesse. The links, for example, became more uniform, and the gauge of each link began to vary depending on the context of its use.
By the Renaissance, hefty gold chains had become a symbol of power for men. Hans Holbein’s iconic portrait of Henry VIII from 1540, for instance, depicts the royal wearing an elaborate chain link strand bedazzled with inset pearls and gems. At the same time, women ported more delicate yet equally dazzling versions in both necklace and bracelet form. This tradition continues today, with chain and link bracelets an elegant complement to larger jewelry pieces or a stand-alone statement piece depending on its gauge.
One of the earliest surviving examples of ancient linked chain dating to 2nd or 3rd century Rome appeared at a Christie’s auction in 2012. The chain closed with a marvelous clasp in the shape of a wheel, reinforcing the circular implications of the chain’s design, and sold for $10,625
The Duchess of Windsor once held in her collection a sapphire chain link bracelet. Designed by Cartier in 1945, the bracelet consisted of a series of links, each of which was created out of successive cushion-cut sapphires in varying shades of blue set in gold. The piece sold in 2013 for the price of $377, 697
A chain necklace ranks as one of the top ten most expensive items offered by the iconic Hermès brand in 2013. Known as the “Chaine D’Ancre” necklace, it features 17 inches, or 150 grams, of 18 karat yellow gold