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Gold chains have been a popular fashion accessory for centuries, and maintain a timeless appeal across gender, class, cultures, and religions. But if we look back at history, who were some of the first people to start wearing gold chains?
In the following blog, we’re going to go back in time and explore some of the earliest known wearers of gold chains, starting in Ancient Babylonia in 2500 BC. Let’s take a look!
Who were the first to wear gold chains?
If you’re a history buff, you’ll likely already know that archeologists have discovered gold chains and gold necklaces in historic and archeological sites across the world – but who were the first to wear gold chains?
One of the first notable civilizations to wear gold chains was the ancient Babylonians, a powerful civilization once located in what is now known as present-day Iraq. Around 2500 BC, Babylonians used gold to create necklaces and chains for their family members, which were used to show off their wealth and status.
Most Babylonians would also fashion their gold jewelry with gemstones and other adornments that were relevant to their family heritage; these gold necklaces would even go on to function as family heirlooms, along with brooches, earrings, and other decorative accessories.
In Ancient Egypt, gold necklaces and chains were worn by both men and women, and were often decorated with precious stones, like lapis lazuli or turquoise. Gold was seen as a symbol of divine power in Ancient Egypt – and Pharaohs would wear solid gold jewelry to show their dominance and strength. Not only was gold seen as a powerful symbol, but Egyptians considered the unique yellow tone of pure gold as a representation of notions such as eternity, and being indestructible.
In the 5th century BC, Ancient Greek culture saw the development of sophisticated jewelry designs – amongst them, decorative gold chains. The Greeks would use intricate links made from beaten gold to create long, heavy necklaces which they used to accessorize clothing for special occasions, and demonstrate social status in a hierarchical society. Gold was actually the most frequently used metal in Ancient Greece; as gold is incredibly malleable, it worked as a perfect material for crafting bespoke pieces for the Greek elite.
In India, gold necklaces and chains are a timeless fashion staple; they have also been used since ancient times to demonstrate both religious affiliation, as well as wealth or social status. In Indian culture, it’s also believed that wearing gold jewelry can bring positive energy and good luck – which explains why gold jewelry pieces remain so popular today.
What are the benefits of wearing gold?
While chains and necklaces have been worn since prehistoric times, what makes gold one of the most revered, lucrative and sought after metals? Here are just some of the benefits of wearing gold:
Durability and strength
Gold is a strong and long-lasting metal, so it’s perfectly suited to jewelry like necklaces and chains that tend to be worn day in, day out. Gold also doesn’t corrode or rust, which makes it perfect for jewelry pieces that are designed to last long term (such as wedding rings or the traditional Mangalsutra.)
While some may prefer to opt for pure gold items, we’d recommend 22k gold chains if you’re looking for a piece for everyday wear; 22 karat gold represents around 91% pure gold, making it just the right balance between durability and luxury.
Style and versatility
Gold chains come in a variety of styles, thicknesses and lengths – so there’s always something to suit your style! Whether you’re looking for an elegant locket chain or a chunky men’s gold chain, you can always find something that perfectly reflects your fashion sense.
While sterling silver remains a popular choice for decorative jewelry, it simply doesn’t have that same je-ne-sais-quoi that you can achieve when wearing gold. Let’s simply consider the color: gold’s instantly recognizable yellow tone sets it apart from other metals; it’s no wonder it’s been used for centuries to represent wealth, power and status! Even today, gold’s warm yellow color gives any look an extra touch of glamor and sophistication – and real gold (anything from 18k-24k) simply can’t be rivaled when it comes to its visual appeal.
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