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The Chain Gang: Newest Styles are Anything But Basic

To pick up on the contemporary mood, consider a pair of flirtatious dangle earrings in which a fancy-colored gemstone is accented with diamonds and suspended from a delicate gold chain. When choosing the perfect color, remember spring's favorite gemstones: amethyst, peridot and Swiss blue topaz. If unsure of which color is best, go for the sure-fire winner of gold and diamonds, interpreted in white gold with a double circle design.

Two important trends for chains are two-tone combinations of white and yellow gold and the contrast of polished and textured links. The bi-color concept is ideal for the woman with both white and yellow gold pieces in her jewelry collection. For her, consider an open-link bracelet with alternating colored links. It's classic yet versatile and will look smashing with any of her other jewelry.

Designers love gold's easy malleability because it allows them to create a variety of different textures and treatments. Look for flat gold chains, such as serpentines and herringbones, with diamond-cut details or polished-and-matte textures. Or choose an openwork design using fine-gauge threads that looks as delicate as a piece of lace. Another option to consider is a necklace or bracelet that twists a number of fine chains together: lots of small elements that make a big impact.