The Origin of Chains 

The Origin of Chains 

March 19, 2016

Today, chains are little more than a given in everyday life. We wear them as jewellery, we use them to suspend light bulbs, we encounter them as railings and more. But where did they come from? And what is their meaning? As a deeply philosophical jeweller, Antonio Marsocci has nursed an eternal fascination with chains. If you too are curious, read on as we explore what it is that makes chains so special. 

Links to the Stone Age

According to experts, chain necklaces and bracelets can be traced as far back as the Stone Age. Originally, the artisans of bygone times created the decorative links out of stones, shells, bones, claws, teeth and anything else they could find. As the ‘links’ were sometimes talismans or trophies, prehistoric societies often wore chains as a sign of power. For example, if a warrior chief had a chain of bear claws, it symbolised that he was strong, powerful and capable of slaying the ferocious animals.

The spiritual connection

Spiritually, chains represent enduring strength and stability. The chain is associated with steadfast durability, which made it the adornment of choice for leaders in high positions. The physical and metaphorical strength of chains also saw the style emerge as a symbol of religion and faith for those wanting to convey their dedication to higher beings.

The golden revolution

In 2500 BC, gold made its first appearance as a material for chain jewellery. As well as solid gold chains, artisans started to experiment with beads, gemstones and other contrasting metals such as copper and silver.

The ancient Egyptians played an integral role in elevating chain jewellery to the next level, pioneering the intricate 10k and 14k designs worn by royalty. In fact, they loved chain jewellery so much that they even insisted on being buried in it after they died. The Classical Greek period also saw chains evolve, with the introduction of 3D pendants and lavish designs. 

“For me, chains are so much more than simply a handful of links joined together to create a single entity. They represent strength, power and faith, which is why I favour them so much when designing Think Positive collections,” explains Marsocci.

From ancient status statements to modern jewellery staples, chains have drastically evolved over the years. To wear your very own slice of history, why not start browsing our stunning collection of sterling silver chains for men and women?



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