Structure often finds itself at the epicenter of any good design. Particularly in the jewelry world, standing the test of time starts with stability rooted in origin. Like any accessory with cyclical success, the birth of a beautiful object is conceived through culture. Dating back to early Egypt, collar necklaces were one of the most popular trends from royals to common-folk alike. While silver was scarce and super expensive in the region, brass and gold became the go-to metals in Egyptian jewelry making. Due to its variety in material, the collar trend offered early Egyptians an accessible, class-friendly statement that was embraced across their civilization at large. Not only was the flat silhouette beloved by Egyptian culture, it was also believed to magnify and enhance beauty through its scale and reflectiveness.
With their continued popularity and advancements in craftsmanship, collars became more ornate and intricate as time went on. Today, one such adaptation is famously known as the herringbone chain. Worn in present day fashion across the world, this unique chain is known for both how it lays, as well as its luster. Similar to the silhouette of the classic Egyptian collar, this chain features a structured and repetitive parallel pattern that resembles the spine of a herringbone fish. While the visual correlation is easy to see, certain facets of its lineage are left open to interpretation.
As a spiritual people, the Egyptians attached meaning to many things. In early Egyptian civilization, fish were valued for purification over consumption. It was believed that they kept bodies of water like the Nile clean and were not typically eaten by higher-ranking members of society. Based upon the traditions and beliefs surrounding fish at the time, it is possible that the Egyptians opted to wear the herringbone chain as a symbol of external preservation. The trend could also speak to the arrival of early Christianity in the region, which became synonymous with the fish symbol as a whole.
Regardless of how the trend came to popularity, this delicate and precise design has outfitted generations far beyond the early days of civilization. With particular emphasis on the ’80s, Hip-Hop heroes like Run DMC and the Beastie Boys revived and popularized this classic chain, in conjunction with other thick styles like the eye-catching Cuban link. Designed to be different, this stand-out style has had another comeback in recent years, topping trend reports in both 2020 and 2021. Worn by men and women alike, this chic staple shines in its OG form or takes on a twist like our Helix Chain and Helix Layers. Now available in water-resistant, eco-friendly stainless steel, you can dive into this trend with a clean conscience.