Everywhere you turn, someone is getting "linked up" or "chained on." This is a huge trend in the fashion world, where small dainty chains are fitted then welded around any body part. The bracelet tends to be the most popular, but you could also get a necklace, anklet, rings, tummy chains, and on...
The growing popularity of this trend is in part due to the rise of the minimalist aesthetic. This minimalist movement is happening all over, not just in the fashion or jewelry world. We really love this new wave of interested in these elegant everyday pieces. The idea that you could wear it to the gym but its also fancy enough to wear to a party, is making an impact. The jewelry doesn't come off, which makes them effortless as it is subtle, sleek, and worn continuously without the need to change it.
How is it permanent? It is not tattooed on your skin. Basically the process welded on without a clasps or claw to remove it. To remove it, the piece needs to be cut off. It is not attached to the skin in anyway.
Another cause of the popularity in this jewelry trend, is the increasing use of plated chains. Plated pieces are a usually more affordable than filled or solid gold options.
So what are the differences between the filled and plated options? My neighbor is an expert in jewelry design and she is a wealth of information, along with google.
Apparently, in the US there are laws that state percent and weight for metals to be labeled a certain way. To be called "gold filled" in the U.S. the jewelry could be labeled 1/20 14k GF (gold filled) which means 5% of the entire weight of the item is gold. So a "filled gold" piece is a process of gold coating on the outside that is bonded to the inside base metal like brass or cheaper option.
The gold appearance may also come from a process called PVD Physical Vapor Deposition type coating and gold plating. A titanium nitride provides a durable coat in the PVD process. Regular gold plating is not as resistant to water, sweat, or corrosion as PVD processing. PVD plating is typically used in higher end pieces.
What is basic gold plating? Gold plating is when the process of a very thin layer of gold is plated on a metal, like brass. Real gold looks at a fraction of the price. One of the advantages of gold plating is that it gives the product the look of real gold, but it will not wear the same as the of gold PVD process, the filled, or solid options.
Will it last? The time per piece does vary depending on material; but a majority of metals could last up to around one year or longer. I've had 18k plated piece on my wrist for over a month and still really loving the look of it.
I have a feeling this welded chain trend will stick around for a while, here is my why: It is custom so it will fit anyone. It is effortless, elegant, long-lasting, and it has affordable options. It is also widely available from a gym pop-up, or craft show, or a local boutique.
I think, welded fit pieces in jewelry fashion will continue to grow as people seek minimalistic options. I've see the slow down on the need for larger over the top statement jewelry pieces since 2021. Due to the nature of trends, I personally would pick a plated version versus the pure gold option due to the financial commitment, and the dedication to one item all the time. So yes, I am team chain, but I don't think I'll invest $400 on this trend, I like to change my jewelry too much.