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]

Jewel History

Jewel History

Since March of 2007, readers of Lori Ettlinger Gross’s Jewel History blog have been treated to her weekly (someti… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Cartier Sterling Silver Men's Cufflinks 26.2 Grams NrE. Pearl Heavy Vintage 18k Gold Vs2/g Diamond & 19 X 14mm Lapis Dragon CufflinksAntique 18k Gold/platinum Cabochon Sapphire White Enamel Double Ended CufflinksAntique Cameo Brooch Cornelian Cufflinks Micro Mosaic Brooch Seal X 6 ItemsSterling Silver - John Hardy Bali Pebbled Flower Square 10.3g - Cufflinks MensHuge 15.0ctw Natural Australian Opal 14k Gold 1960s Mens Vintage CufflinksAntique Russian 14ct White And Yellow Gold Diamond Cufflinks Tiffany & Co Cufflinks By Paloma Picasso, 925 Sterling Silver, " Groove "Pair Silver Enamel 4 Deadly Sins Gents CufflinksLovely Pair Of Montblanc Gents Cufflinks W Carbon Front Panels - Excellent CondAuthentic Tiffany & Co. Sterling Silver 925 Double Knot Men Cufflinks NrSterling Silver - John Hardy Bali Woven Dome Circle 13.8g - Cufflinks MensBeautiful Pair Of Solid 14k Yellow Gold / Large Jade Buddha Men's CufflinksGucci Black Mother Of Pearl CufflinksVintage George Jensen Denmark Sterling Silver Cufflinks 925 Raised PhoenixVintage Sterling Silver And Polished Green Stone CufflinksHuge Job Lot Vintage Cufflinks Inc Paul Smith, Stratton, Hugo Boss, Rolled GoldVintage Sterling Silver & Enamel Cufflinks Cherry Blossoms Blue BackgroundsHugo Boss Cufflinks White SimonyOld Vintage Art Deco Silver And Enamel Boxed Button And Cufflinks Set (c19)Unusual Pair Of Novelty Solid Silver Piglet Or Pig Cufflinks And Tie Pin.John Hardy Men's Kali Silver Carve Chain Square Cufflinks With Black Sapphire14k Yellow Gold & Oval Bezel Set Classic Black Onyx Cufflinks VintagePair Of French Veuve Clicquot Champagne Trinket / Cufflink / Nibbles DishesDuchamp London Vivid Blue Enamel Cufflinks With Box1992 Vintage 9ct Solid Gold Bright Cut Engraved Gents Oval Cufflinks - 3.3gramsAuthentic Vintage Rare Tiffany Co Double Knot Chain Cufflinks 925 - 3/4"Mont Blanc Cufflinks Bnwt Boxed Silver BlackJohn Hardy Men's Kali Silver Carve Chain Square Cufflinks With Tiger's EyePair Antique 9ct Gold Engraved Cufflinks In Box- Birm.1903Vintage Sterling Silver Green Enamel 925 Small Square Double Sided CufflinksPaul Smith Stripe CufflinksTiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Infinity Cufflinks Montblanc Polished Stainless Steel Turning Cufflinks Rrp$2955 Day Nice Pr Antique Sterling Cufflinks Enamel Blue White Floral Leaf Design14k Gold 18k Cufflinks Natural Ruby Mine Cut Diamond Mother Of Pearl 8.0g Nr128 Pc Vtg & Art Deco Mens Cufflinks Singles Lot Of Signed Rhinestone Crafts LbsUnusually Shaped Vintage Jewellery Box. Antique Jewelry Case Velvet Cufflink BoxC.1970 Vintage Bulova Accutron Cufflinks - Near Mint ConditionAntique Tiger Claw Jewelry, Cufflink Set, Misc. Pieces, Nice!!!!Antique Art Deco Blue & Green Guilloche Enamel Sterling Double-sided Cufflinks Sterling Silver - Egypt Egyptian Scarab Beetle 9.5g - Cufflinks Mens Ab1613Pair Hermes Cufflinks H & Horse Stainless Steel Silver ColorVintage Solid Silver Concorde Airplane Plane Jet Gents Mans CufflinksPatek Philippe Leather Cufflinks / Rings BoxLovely 2000 Kit Heath Sterling Silver Square Cufflinks, Boxed 11.61g - V21 P13Vintage Unknown Danish? Norwegian? Finnish? Silver Onyx? CufflinksJohn Hardy Men's Kali Silver Kali Dayak Cufflinks With Black SapphireAntique Circa 1860-80 Gentleman's 10k Gold & Cameo Stickpin & Cufflink SetVintage Pair Hallmarked 9ct Rose Gold Blue Enamelled Masonic Cufflinks 8.5gAntique Solid 10k Yellow Gold Art Deco Medusa Woman Cufflinks - Rare Find!Pair Hermes Cufflinks H & Horse Sterling Steel Silver ColorGeorgian Silver Cufflink John Rich London 1798Great Pair Of Vintage Art Deco Cufflinks14k Yellow Gold And Carnelian CufflinksTiffany & Co. Sterling Silver Bull & Bear Wall Street Mens CufflinksDesigner Signed Lucien Piccard 14k Yellow Gold & Garnet Cufflinks 1950's ~ Mint!Lot Of Vintage Men's Cufflinks Tie Clips Tie Tacks Silver Swank + Jewelry BoxVintage Genuine Gucci "g" Cufflinks Sterling SilverMikimoto Vintage Pearl & Black Mop And Sterling Silver Cufflinks And Shirt Studs