Shirts with French cuffs—which are cuffs with two buttonholes instead of one buttonhole plus a button—are designed for cufflinks (or cuff links, as they are sometimes spelled). Some cufflinks feature straps that wrap around the outside edges of a shirt’s cuffs, but most cufflinks feature an embellished surface that is worn facing out, as well as a pivoting post that discreetly secures the decorative side of the cufflink to the cuff.

In the late 19th century, as Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts vied with Edwardian sensibilities for style supremacy, cufflinks were often made of 14-karat gold and set with everything from onyx to agates. Lion heads were popular designs, as were cufflinks made from Roman coins. At the turn of the 20th century, a manufacturer called Fenwick and Sailor made numerous styles of cufflinks that resembled charms on a charm bracelet.

By the 1920s and ’30s, enameling techniques common to other types of jewelry—from rings to bracelets to brooches—had found their way to cufflinks. South of the U.S. border, Mexican silversmiths in Taxco created cufflinks in the shapes of tropical birds and other animals. And at some point, Royal Copenhagen and Wedgwood got into the act, the former creating pillow-like porcelain cufflinks in the firm’s trademark blue, the latter producing cameo cufflinks out of Jasperware.

The functional design of these cufflinks was as varied as their decorations. Instead of a pivoting post, some so-called “dumbbell” or shank-style cufflinks would feature a backing piece that was just small enough to squeeze through the cuff’s buttonholes. Small lengths of slender chain were substituted for posts in some designs, while double-face cufflinks (also referred to as double-side or double-panel cufflinks) had no “good” or “bad” side since both faces were richly detailed.

Cufflinks achieved a cachet of cool after World War II, when the sophisticated man about town kept a collection of cufflinks on hand that rivaled his array of neckties. In the 1960s in particular, a company called Swank was making 12-million pair a year, most of them big and brassy as costume jewelry. Crown shapes were a popular Swank design, as were cufflinks that showed off large chunks of topaz, smoky quartz, and other semi-precious stones. Swank also made cufflinks for Masons and other fraternal orders, while Hugh Hefner sold his devotees square black cufflinks with a white bunny at their centers.

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Recent News: Cufflinks

Source: Google News

Auction for bargain hunters! Bonhams puts 'cheaper' items under the hammer to ...
South China Morning Post (subscription), August 29th

The cheapest item up for grabs is a pair of cufflinks with an initial estimate of HK$7,500, while bargain hunters will doubtless be watching out for jewellery and jadeite without a reserve price. This means they will be sold for whatever price people...Read more

Capitol Pill | Summer Blockbusters and Superheroes
CHS Capitol Hill Seattle, August 29th

The woman who dressed in a formal dinner jacket, with cufflinks on her shirt and impeccably shined shoes to deliver a picnic, served on fine china, pressed linens and crystal water glasses, to a friend undergoing chemotherapy. The veteran soldier who...Read more

Writing and collecting are addictions for me, Kanbolat says
Today's Zaman, August 29th

This week's guest for Armchair Conversations is Hasan Kanbolat, an expert in international relations who has a diverse background that has ranged from serving as a specialist on the Caucasus at the Foreign Ministry to establishing a think tank focusing...Read more

Dear Veronica: Cuff links and communication!
Engadget, August 19th

Hello everyone! This week, we tackle fashion for the very first time! Our main question comes to us from my friend Patrick Norton of TekThing, and answered by Evan Wolkenstein, creator of You can head over there to read his entire...Read more

Thief ransacks house and steals items including wedding necklace, personalised ...
Bucks Herald, August 14th

Three pairs of cufflinks, including a personalised pair, two pairs of gold earrings and a set of gold earrings and matching necklace were also taken alongside Swarovski items including a pair of cufflinks, a bracelet, a necklace and a pair of earrings...Read more

Man Surprises His Groomsmen With Hilarious Personalized Cufflinks
ABC News, August 13th

Don't be jealous, fellas. Not all grooms take the time to be as creative as this one -- who surprised each of his groomsmen with custom, personalized cufflinks on his Aug. 9 wedding day. One of those lucky groomsmen, Sam Casey, was so impressed with...Read more

Woman in court over handling widower's stolen cufflinks
The Bolton News, August 6th

AN elderly widower had jewellery stolen when he allowed two women into his home to get a drink a water. At Bolton Crown Court Hungarian born Ilona Kereszturi was handed a suspended prison sentence after admitting handling gold cufflinks belonging to ...Read more

Pollution-Eating Tower Would Turn Smog Into Rings And Cufflinks
Popular Science, July 28th

The Kickstarter campaign is offering cubes, rings and cufflinks to its supporters, which cost about $54 for a cube and $271 for the jewelry. To make the cubes, each tower would use about 1,700 watts of energy from non-renewable sources--but Roosegaarde ...Read more