When it comes to bling, trends may come and go, but the noble gold chain is impervious to the whims of change. “They’re approachable and durable,” says Chiok Va Sam, the Chinatown jeweler affectionately known as A$AP Eva. Since founding her store Popular Jewelry in 1988, Eva has benecklaced clients from Kim Jones to Jake Gyllenhaal and Travis Scott. Here, she gives us her chain reactions to six iconic links.
“The Cuban Link emerged in the 1970s, around the same time as the birth of hip-hop. It’s a thicker and more rounded variant of the traditional curb link, which is more flat and faceted. The exact origin of the style is unknown, and its mystique adds to its intrigue. One theory is that it actually started in the disco era, and MCs later adopted the style, bell-bottoms and all.”
“The Figaro Link is a three- or two-link pattern that is interspaced with a longer, oval-shaped link. This style originated in Italy, hence the name Figaro, a reference to Mozart’s famous opera. We mostly manufacture our Figaro links domestically in our own factories, but a good portion of them are still produced overseas, in their original motherland.”
“The original intention of the Tennis Chain was to give off a feeling of casual luxury. This necklace is for those who want to flaunt their wealth and clout as shamelessly as possible. Or, contrarily, for those who don’t mind eating cup noodles for a few months on end!”
“The Franco Chain, also known as the Box Cuban, is ideal for those who don’t want a flat-looking link, or those that like the box chain but want something a bit more intricate.”
“The Rope Chain is approachable because it resembles such a historic, universal object. It’s ideal for those who want to have a solid chain with a pattern, without it looking too link-y and full of holes. Plus, it adds a rustic look to your style.”