The BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s coming-of-age novel Normal People has generated astronomical amounts of attention since it first aired on 26 April, not least for the emotional lead performances from Paul Mescal, playing Connell Waldron, and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne Sheridan.
The show recently received Emmy nominations for casting, directing and acting, as well as Mescal’s nomination for best lead actor.
The story follows two star-crossed lovers, Marianne and Connell, who begin an on-off relationship at school that continues well into their university years at Trinity College.
Although the series has been lauded as a powerful and heart-wrenching portrayal of youth, love and class, a somewhat unexpected fascination has occurred. The silver chain necklace, worn effortlessly by Mescal’s character, Connell, has become a viral sensation.
While the “unadorned silver neck chain” is dismissed as “Argos chic” by one of Marianne’s friends in the book, following the TV adaptation, it has caused a tsunami of thirst among fans.
The unassuming item of jewellery has reached such cult status that it acquired its own Instagram account (@connelschain) which has so far amassed more than 160k followers and has its own dedicated emoji on Twitter.
To truly cement the viral chain reaction to his necklace, Mescal raffled his own to raise money for Pieta, an Irish suicide prevention charity, which provides support for people who are at risk of suicide and self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. The raffle raised over £62k for the crisis centre.
The silver chain actually saw its heyday in the Nineties when it was worn by pop music heart-throbs, but it’s also frequently used as a sexual focal point on screen.
Take the film adaptation of Andre Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name. One of the first things 17-year-old protagonist Elio notices about his love interest, Oliver, is his Star of David necklace. From this point forward Elio, played by Timothee Chalamet, wears one too, symbolising their relationship and connection.
We’ve also seen them in other films, like when Heath Ledger wore one in 10 Things I Hate About You and Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Lurmann’s Romeo + Juliet.
In Normal People, the dizzying allure of the silver chain can be attributed to its elegant portrayal of Connell’s complexities, he’s at once hard and soft, strong but sensitive.
If you’re as obsessed as everyone else and want to garner your own neck, your friends or your partner’s with a new chain, find a duplicate in our round-up of the best silver necklaces that are as similar as it gets. You’re welcome.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.
Revere sterling silver solid curb 18 inch chain: £29.99, Argos
The OG Argos silver chain that we’re sure Connell would approve of. Made from sterling silver and at 18in in length, this is the perfect match.
Midnight City tennis chain, silver: £12, Midnight City
While it’s available in multiple lengths and thickness, to truly tap into the Connell Waldron vibe, we suggest going for 18mm x 3mm size. The best thing is that it’s made to last and promises not to fade, tarnish or lose its colour, and you can even wear it in the shower.
Asos design short sterling silver necklace: £18, Asos
It’s hardly surprising that Asos has dropped an almost perfect match. This 100 per cent sterling silver chain has adjustable length and bolt-ring fastening. It also comes in a 14k gold plated version if you’re looking to make your own mark on the trend.
Thomas Sabo Venezia chain: From £59, Thomas Sabo
One of the thinner chains in our round-up, it’ll add a stylish addition to any jewellery collection. A range of lengths on offer, as well as a gold and blackened silver version, this is a steal.
Missoma silver medium rope chain: £70, Missoma
Missoma has of course delivered with this rope chain, and we love it. Wear it on its own à la Connell Waldron or pair it with longer necklaces.
Goodhood goods by Goodhood curb: £50, Goodhood
A signature and classic chain from east London based lifestyle brand Goodhood. The mid length (sitting just below your collar bone) chain has a subtle, yet shiny silver finish, and we’re obsessed.