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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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10Kt. 22" Flat Cuban w/ Lobster Clasp Chain
May 25, 7:00 AM PDT
10Kt. 22" Flat Cuban w/ Lobster Clasp Chain
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Est: $0- $0
$72514 Bids
18k Gold Chain
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
18k Gold Chain
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Est: $10- $10,000
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14k Gold Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
14k Gold Chain Necklace
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Est: $10- $10,000
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Trifari- Goldtone Necklace
May 21, 6:00 PM EDT
Trifari- Goldtone Necklace
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$87 Bids
14k Gold Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
14k Gold Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$216 Bids
10k White Gold Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
10k White Gold Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$356 Bids
10k Gold Italian Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
10k Gold Italian Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$396 Bids
Sterling Silver Magnetic Clasp Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Magnetic Clasp Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$105 Bids
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$95 Bids
14k White Gold Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
14k White Gold Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$444 Bids
Sterling Silver Gold Tone Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Gold Tone Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$54 Bids
14-Karat Yellow-Gold Flat Chain with Extension 9.2 dwt; L: 20 in
May 21, 10:00 AM EDT
14-Karat Yellow-Gold Flat Chain with Extension 9.2 dwt; L: 20 in
by Weschler's
Est: $400- $500
$5003 Bids
10k Gold Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
10k Gold Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$183 Bids
Sterling Silver Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$43 Bids
18K Yellow Gold Figaro Chain Link Necklace
May 25, 10:00 AM MST
18K Yellow Gold Figaro Chain Link Necklace
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$1903 Bids
TWO SILVER NECKLACES
May 23, 3:30 PM AEST
TWO SILVER NECKLACES
by Lawsons
Est: AUD60- AUD90
AUD303 Bids
Sterling silver fancy link chain, length 24 inches
May 21, 7:00 PM EDT
Sterling silver fancy link chain, length 24 inches
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $60- $90
$302 Bids
PRETTY! Sterling Silver Necklace LOT 1376
May 26, 5:00 PM EDT
PRETTY! Sterling Silver Necklace LOT 1376
by Jones Auction House LLC
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
14K gold chain Italy
May 25, 10:00 AM EDT
14K gold chain Italy
by TEG Auction Gallery
Est: $75- $195
$322 Bids
Brutalist Sterling Silver Necklace
Jun 05, 11:00 AM EDT
Brutalist Sterling Silver Necklace
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$502 Bids
Sterling necklace
May 23, 6:00 PM CDT
Sterling necklace
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $28- $85
$162 Bids
Sterling Silver Italian Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Italian Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$22 Bids
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
May 23, 10:00 AM EDT
Sterling Silver Chain Necklace
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $10,000
$32 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chain Necklaces


Weatherham Estate Treasures

Weatherham Estate Treasures

Berner's Auction Gallery

Berner's Auction Gallery

Pfeffer's Auctions

Pfeffer's Auctions

Easterly Auction Company

Easterly Auction Company