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.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

The Black Tie Guide

The Black Tie Guide

Peter Marshall became an authority on formalwear out of necessity — he needed a tux to wear on the maiden transat… [read review or visit site]

Ventagli.org

Ventagli.org

Anna Checcoli's homage to the beauty and art of hand fans ('ventagli,' in Italian). Use the left-hand nav to browse… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

Fashion Columbia Study Collection

The Fashion Columbia Study Collection (FCSC) is the digital home of the Columbia College Chicago’s fashion archiv… [read review or visit site]

Antiquespectacles.com

Antiquespectacles.com

Dr. David Fleishman's comprehensive spectacles site (over 3500 images), in collaboration with museums around the wo… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Chinese Silver Cufflinks Edwardian Lucky Bat With Coin Beautifully MadeHeavy 25gram 18k Gold Lapis French Hallmark France Made Mens Giant Cufflinks Vintage Brutalist Modernist "tree Bark" Signed Sterling Solid Silver CufflinksJunk Drawer Lot, World Coins, Tokens, Watches, Lighters, Postcards, Cufflinks..Antique Peruzzi Engraved 800 Fine Silver Flower CufflinksRare,original Cufflinks Used And Worn By George Reeves...adventures Of SupermanVintage Lot 15 Pair Wrap Cufflinks * Gemstones * Dante * Swank * NicePair Of Antique Victorian K Of C Gold Cufflinks By R & F - Knights Of ColumbusVintage Solid Silver Cufflinks, Birm 1993, By Joseph Smith.Pair Cufflinks With 90% Gold Coins Prussia German States 20 Mark 14k Yellow GoldPair $5 Liberty Us 90% Gold Coin Cufflinks Half Eagles 1906-d In 14k Yellow GoldSuper Rare Solid 14k Gold Coca Cola Executive Cufflinks Large 15.4 Gr Not ScrapVintage Mcm Midcentury Retro 14k Gold Diamond Cufflinks~mesh Texture~15 GramsVintage 1915-1930 George Jensen 830s Silver & Lapis Lazuli #17 Cufflinks-look!Lucien Piccard 14k White Gold 2.15ct Vs1/g Diamond Sapphire Cluster CufflinksCartier 18k Gold Sapphire Wrap Around Cufflinks Mint Condition W Box NumberedRetro Deco Ultra Fine Natural Sapphire 14k White Gold Large Mens Cufflinks Men's 14k Solid Yellow Gold Round Fancy Cufflinks 11.80 GramsWonderful Pair 18ct Gold Mont Blanc Cufflinks , Wow.Vintage Chrome Hearts Authentic Cufflinks 925 Sterling SilverTiffany CufflinksFine 14k Solid Yellow Gold Barbell Ball Cufflinks 8.4 Grams 1.25" LongMont Blanc Meisterstuck Gold And Onyx Tie Bar And Cufflink Set - 100% GenuinePlatinum And 14k Yellow Gold Vintage Art Deco Cufflinks With DiamondsLot General Motors Gm Gold 14k Cufflinks 10k Pins Salesman Awards 14 Grams ScrapRare Louis Vuitton Lv Matching Tie, Pocket Square And Cufflinks Set BlueFine Antique 14k Solid Yellow Gold Fancy Incised Design Cufflinks 6.6 Grams 3 Pairs Of 9ct Gold Cufflinks 14.45gAsprey Sterling Silver And Enamel CufflinksGeorg Jensen Sterling Silver 925 Cufflinks #74c & Tie Tack Set DenmarkGeorg Jensen Sterling Silver 925 Dolphin Cufflinks #129 & Tie Clip #73 With BoxVintage Sea Green Jade 14k Yellow Gold Cufflinks & Tie Pin 13.0 Grams TotalAntique Vintage Deco 14k Yellow Gold Mikimoto 7 Mm Akoya Pearl Mens CufflinksCartier Silver Watch Crown With Blue Stone CufflinksNwt $320 Dolce & Gabbana Organizer Black Leather Ring Cufflinks Box Cover CaseRolex Cufflinks Gold Colour Patek Philippe Cufflinks Silver And Blue SquareMont Blanc CufflinksSterling Silver Tiffany & Co. Notes Square Cufflinks 925Patek Philippe Gold Colour CufflinksBlue/white Enamel Deakin & Francis Silver CufflinksMont Blanc Creative Cufflinks$500 13.50mm Natural Mother Of Pearl & Onyx Men's Cufflinks 92.5 SilverAspinal Silver Gilt Faberge Yellow/gold Cufflinks With Blue BorderTiffany & Co Paloma Picasso Sterling Silver Bar Style Ribbed Cufflinks 26 GramsVintage Porsche CufflinksSet Of Collectable Heavy 925 Sterling Silver Enamelled CufflinksSterling Silver Mckenzie, London, Chalcedony Luxury Vintage Cufflinks.David Donahue Four Pattern Rectangle Cufflinks .925 New Fashion Vvs1 Handmade Diamond 925 Silver Party Wedding Cufflinks @no Reserve 100517Vintage 14 Carat Gold Cufflinks W/ Oriental SymbolsNwot $459 Montblanc Cufflinks Black Onyx 106681 3 Ring Bar Iconic ContemporarySterling Silver And 14k Gold Cufflinks9ct Gold Cufflinks Solid 9ct Gold Gents Mans Old Cufflinks Cuff Links Sheffield Not ScrapVintage John Hardy 8k Yellow Gold And Sterling Silver Cufflinks In Triangle BoxBeautiful Montblanc Gold Plated Cufflinks With Black Onyx Stone - MintVintage Ed Wiener Sterling Silver American Modernist, Mid Century Cufflinks NrHarold Fithian Mid-century Modernist Heavy Sterling Silver CufflinksTiffany & Co Sterling Cufflinks