Gold Chains for Men Aren’t New

The West deemed jewelry too “effeminate” for South Asian men and too “flashy” for Black men. Now, they’re hopping on the bandwagon.

gold chain feature collage gold chain
Bappi Lahiri, Jay Z, Shah Rukh Khan, and Mark Zuckerberg (Snigdha Sur for The Juggernaut)

Isha Banerjee


May 27, 2024


7 min

When Mark Zuckerberg took to Instagram to announce the new Meta AI assistant, netizens did a double take. Then, on his 40th birthday, he posed with his entire family with the same accessory, with a different design: a gold chain. This was big for the centibillionaire who once proudly said he wore the same T-shirt every day because he wanted to “make as few decisions as possible.” 

Instagram users flooded his comments, joking about his new drip and making a viral filter of him with a beard. For many South Asians, however, this was just another step in the “Desi-fication” of Zuck — from attending an Indian pre-wedding in Jamnagar and rocking sherwanis to WhatsApp counting India as its biggest market and his love for gold.

Though some often associate the piece of jewelry with women’s fashion and call men who wear gold chainstacky,” history tells a different story. From emperors and maharajas to pop and film stars, South Asian men have adorned gold for millennia.

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