Blogs: All That Glitters / Gold

Quiet Luxury Is a Handmade Gold Chain


Yes, we are still talking about quiet luxury. No, we’re not going to stop. Especially when the concept of quiet luxury is perennially relevant to the jewelry industry and to any conversation any of us are having at any given time.

It’s not a trendy, talked-about persona that spread on TikTok. It’s simply the thing that pretty much everyone wants on some level, whether they’re to the manor born or patently middle-class. Swan or scullery maid. Boldface name or basic you-know-what.

I’ve been talking to a lot of industry pros and personalities about the concept of quiet luxury. Watch this space for a forthcoming article; it will contain lots of bons mots and insights and identify some great buys beyond the standard-issue diamond studs and tennis bracelets.

The Oakland, Calif.–based designer Dorian Webb has an innate understanding of quiet luxury, as both an artist and the owner of a business built on connecting with clients who have elevated taste and believe in investing in high-quality pieces that are beautifully made—but not ostentatious—and well suited to a range of dressing scenarios.

“I think that there’s a greater emphasis now around things that are timeless,” Webb says. “Quiet luxury is a little bit more introspective. It’s what jewelry has always been about:  details, expressing yourself, and then also just kind of marking your place and marking your space. Jewelry is so essential, and so personal, and it’s not about big labels—it’s about objects that capture memories and pleasing yourself. And a lot of that has to do with details, subtlety, and intentionality. Quiet luxury is also a form of self confidence: You don’t have to have a stamp of some brand name that’s visible to all to get enjoyment out of that piece and to believe that it is part of a luxurious experience.”

Taking Webb’s words into consideration, and just digging into this concept from left, right, and center, I think I’ve landed on the poster child for what we’re talking about when we talk about about jewelry that is timeless, that feels substantial and, in the context of this precise moment, implicitly expensive.

It’s a gold chain. A handmade one with heft and presence. It could be newly minted or a family heirloom. It could be an ancient artifact. It could be Mob wife. It could be coastal grandmother. It could be the thing that Slim Keith wore to lunch at La Côte Basque and what her descendants (real and imagined) look for at auction and in the glass cases at Bergdorf’s.

It might be one of the options I showcase here. They are the jewelry versions of Daisy’s voice in The Great Gatsby. That is, they are (quietly) “full of money…the inexhaustible charm that rose and fell in it, the jingle of it, the cymbals’ song of it,” to be worn by someone “high in a white palace the king’s daughter, the golden girl…” 



Briony Raymond gold chain
Beryl chain in 14k gold, $3,000; Briony Raymond
Katey Walker gold chain
Large circle chain in 18k gold, $12,995; Katey Walker
Howl gold chain
Hale necklace in 18k gold, $31,000; HOWL
i seira pod chain
Pod necklaces in 20k gold (various lengths), $8,300–$8,900 each; I Seira
Alice Pierre
Anais chain necklace, $1,830; Alice Pierre
Lizzie Mandler gold lariat
Signature knife edge oval link chain in 18k gold, $9,390; Lizzie Mandler
Dorian Webb Shimmer choker
Shimmer long link choker in 18k gold, $6,395; Dorian Webb
Jennifer Demoro
Barleycorn necklace in 18k gold with lapis, $7,620; Jennifer Demoro
cindy liebel gold chain
Yemaya necklace in 14k gold, $4,140; Cindy Liebel
Reinistein Ross Sonoma chain
Sonoma medium mixed link chain necklace in 20k peach gold, $18,500; Reinstein Ross
PAtcharpiva gold chain
Mirage chocker in 18k gold, $28,905; Patcharavipa
FIE ISOLDE gold chain
Cogency necklace in 14k gold, $11,800; Fie Isolde
Melissa Kaye gold chain
Ada necklace in 18k yellow gold and diamonds, $27,950; Melissa Kaye

Top: Midgard chain in 22k gold, $16,800; Loren Nicole

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Amy Elliott

By: Amy Elliott

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