Girls had nameplate necklaces, boys loved crosses, disco dancers had saucer-sized gold medallions nestled in their chest hair, and Mr. T had half of Fort Knox on his body. Before the days of sunscreen and skin cancer, gold was the perfect accessory for a deep Coppertone tan, and no 70’s or 80’s outfit was complete without a string of gold draped around the neck.
Teen idol Scott Baio of Happy Days fame always wore a golden cross with his muscle tees, and Farrah Fawcett sold a mail-order golden faucet charm (gold plate, silver, 14 karat, or diamond encrusted) for all your fashion needs. Charms replaced the nameplate as roses, unicorns and zodiac signs dangled from simple herringbone chains. Mr. T wore all of these styles and many more, all at the same time.
As the 80’s wore on, and the slim-fit silhouette loosened and became baggier, gold chains grew in direct proportion. By the end of the decade, layers of gold were worn piled up on the necks of girls and boys alike, Mr. T style. Giant gold ropes, dubbed ‘dukie chains,’ were popularized by rappers like Run DMC and Salt-n-Pepa, soon growing to an incredible size.
A rash of robberies occurred when desperate teens decided that status was worth stealing from their own friends, but please don’t persecute the poor gold chain as a result. Remember… gold doesn’t steal gold; people steal gold.
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