Saturday, 19 September 2015

Thick Gold Chains

9ct Round Curb Chain (HM-CUR-0005)-335Owning gold accessories has long been seen as an affirmation of one’s power and wealth. Streams of silver and gold have adorned the most famous among us, from royalty to movie stars, and the prestige these pieces bring with them can turn even the most apathetic eye. Women, in particular, have found jewellery indispensable to their wardrobe, but they aren’t the only ones who are able to enjoy this luxury. Men have long since worn jewellery as a fashion accessory, though there’s certainly more acceptance with women than there is with men.

Men’s jewellery is no modern invention. Although women are usually able to mix and match their jewellery at will, there are certain boundaries that men face. Men’s necklaces and rings tend to have more symbolism, and Cecil B. Hartley, author of The Gentleman’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, insisted men out to have their adornments be not only pleasing to the eye, but functional as well. The watch chain had already been developed in the 18th century when changes in fashion, in particular the slimming of men’s pant designs, gave cause to this useful invention. Men could no longer keep their pocket watch in large pantaloons, so the watch chain became an essential.

Earrings never really caught on in men’s fashion, mostly because it was hard to justify a practical use for them. There is one piece of men’s jewellery that has withstood the test of time, though. The thick gold chain is still very much in use today. Some of history’s most recognizable faces wore thick gold chains to show off their power and nobility. Henry VIII, the Tudor King of England who is infamous for his unique way of ending his marriages, wore heavy gold chains on most or all of his outfits. The king’s love of gold and precious stones meant he had one of the largest inventories of jewellery in the kingdom, have of which he lavished on his wives.

Although no particular pieces can be directly attributed to him, several portraits exist showing Henry VIII wearing gold chains featuring precious gems. A portrait painted at the time of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon shows him wearing a gold chain necklace interspersed with onyx and pearls. These two gems, along with rubies, can be seen in several other portraits adorning thick gold chains. Two portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger show multiple gold chains worn, each of which is set with rubies, onyx and one or more strings of pearls. Henry VIII also owned multiple brooches, signet rings and a crown that carried almost 300 varying gems and weighed an astonishing 3.4 kilos (or 7 ½ pounds).

As thick gold chains are very masculine and show off one’s prominence, Henry VIII wasn’t the only male royal figure to have a vast collection of jewellery. The Collar of Esses, a livery collar from the Middle Ages, has been passed down to the male heirs of European royalty. This particular collar was a symbol of the House of Lancaster during the reigns of Henry IV, V and VI, and usually held a pendant called the Dunstable Swan Jewel. Several other livery collars that used thick gold chains have been seen in many European countries, such as the Cosse de Geneste or Broomcod, given to the English King Richard II by King Charles VI. This type of collar had been previously given to Chamberlain Geoffrey de Belleville by King Charles V, and was thus passed on many generations.

As prestigious as royal jewellery was, men’s jewellery today has evolved past being symbolic and functional to more of an accessory like women’s jewellery. Men’s jewellery tends to be of a bolder, simpler design without all the intricacy normally seen with women’s jewellery, but society has become much more comfortable with the idea of men accessorising in the same way the female population does. One place thick gold chains have found popularity is with hip hop culture.

It’s hard to think of a gangsta rapper without images of dangling gold chains flitting through our minds. Much like royalty, rappers show off their wealth and prestige with expensive gold chains, some of which are thick enough to be considered a rope rather than a chain. These chains are usually worn with pendants featuring dollar signs, Jesus figures and other more creative designs. Perhaps the most stunning gold chain worn by a rapper was from 2002, when rapper Nigo walked out on the streets with a $4 million dollar sign gold chain necklace. It weighed a whopping 6 ½ pounds when the chains and pendant were weighed together. Other famous rappers who went all out on million dollar chains include Lil’ John, Kanye West and Mike Jones, who put a 100+ carat diamond on his “Ice Age” pendant.

Here at Chain Me Up, we have a wide selection of thick gold chains that will turn heads whenever you walk in the room. They may not be the width of a boat rope, but we prefer to keep our chains more reserved than that while still making a statement. These chains start at a 9mm thickness and can go up to 17mm. The round curb chain is one of our most popular, but we also have several belcher, curb roller and fancy gate chains as well. Our designs will make sure you get the best value for your money, and your friends may just be jealous enough to ask you where you got them. Just send them our way; we promise only the best for our faithful customers.





Thick Gold Chains

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