When it comes to gold jewelry, dainty, subtle, and barely there has been the look du jour for the past few years. But now things are taking a bolder turn and in-your-face chunky gold jewelry is in demand. Look at the mood boards and social feeds of the most-followed fashion bloggers and you’ll spot loud hoop earrings, layers of gold chain necklaces, and stacks of thick bangles. All in gold, of course.
The trend can be seen across social media on the accounts of celebrities and influencers alike. Check out, for example, the chunky necklace and gold hoops from fashion influencer Aimee Song. Or look at the ad posted by singer Dua Lipa, where she’s also wearing a chunky gold chain and thick hoop earrings.
This trend is a boon for direct-to-consumer jewelry brands, who have shaken up how customers purchase fine jewelry made with real gemstones and precious metals. These brands offer solid gold, gold-plated, gold-filled, and gold-vermeil (sterling silver coated with 10- to 18-karat gold) jewelry at more affordable price points than traditional jewelers. The idea is to combine the casual convenience of online shopping and quick shipping with the quality of fine jewelry.
What is the chunky gold jewelry trend?
The chunky gold jewelry trend is all about thick, bold gold styles that can act as statement pieces on their own or layered together. Rather than adding a soft sparkle or hint of metal that fades into the background, these pieces are loud accessories meant to be a visible part of an ensemble.
The trend includes wide gold hoop earrings as well as stackable bracelets and anklets, but gold chain necklaces have been the standout staple. In particular, various types of chains are back in style, such as:
- Chain-link necklaces
- Curb chain necklaces
- Cuban link chain necklaces
- Rope chain necklaces
- Paperclip chain necklaces
These styles can be worn long or as a choker, or with a charm to create a pendant necklace. The consistent factor is that these chains are thicker and heavier than in the past, when more delicate chains were in style. Rather than being a simple accent, chains are being worn as statement necklaces on their own.
And while some of these styles may be filled with a metal like sterling silver, the trend right now is solid gold or gold-plated chains.
Why chunky gold jewelry is trending
The chunky gold jewelry trend has been growing for a while now, thanks to the revival of ’90s and 2000s fashion. Gold chains were a staple look for both eras, and Gen Z in particular has started wearing these trends as a retro throwback. The return of hoop earrings also fits into this trend.
The trend is being worn by both men and women and has been seen in other accessories, like chunky gold chains used as purse straps.
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Where to buy gold jewelry online
Here are some examples of brands that are getting in on the chunky gold jewelry trend.
Vitaly is a jewelry brand founded in 2011 in Toronto. It pushes boundaries, both by creating pieces that are genderless and by using 100% recycled stainless steel. Its industrial aesthetic is inspired by those recycled materials, since they can come from anything from cars to skyscrapers.
Many of Vitaly’s styles, including its chunky chain necklaces, come in gold as well as silver. Among its bestsellers is its Seville chain, featuring alternating long and short links. It also has chunky bracelet styles and bold heavy rings to complete its androgynous offerings.
Missoma is a demi-fine jewelry brand founded in London in 2008. It aims to be sustainable but on-trend, and its looks are designed to be layered. Missoma’s jewelry is frequently spotted on celebrities, such as Gigi Hadid and Kate Middleton.
Ana Luisa, founded in 2009 in Brooklyn, makes jewelry meant to stand the test of time while still being affordable and ethically made. The brand uses recycled materials where it can and releases new product in limited batches every Friday. Its website has detailed information on its supply chain, including factory audit reports.
Ana Luisa’s bestsellers include the Michelle layering set, which has a pendant necklace and two chunky gold chains. There’s also the Ora bracelet, meant to look like the chunky chain of a watch strap and coated in 14-karat gold.
Jenny Bird is named after its founder, who launched the brand in Toronto in 2008. It’s perhaps best known for its hoop earrings, but the company is also beloved for its chain necklaces and other pieces. Jenny Bird pieces have been spotted on celebrities like Mindy Kahling and Kyle Jenner.