From Sterling Silver Cufflinks to Magnificent Jewels: A Brief History of Gentlemen’s Jewellery
Today when we think of gentlemen’s jewellery, it is often exquisite and luxurious sterling silver cufflinks, like those sold by One Bond Street, high quality watches and fine sterling silver bangles that first spring to mind. Indeed, nowadays, these are the timeless and classic pieces – cufflinks, watches and bangles - that help the debonair gentleman in his quest for dapperness, refinement and sophistication.
It wasn’t always this way, however. Gentlemen’s jewellery does, in fact, have a vast and varied history, ranging greatly from sterling silver cufflinks, to big statement necklaces and even magnificent solid gold jewellery and headpieces. Ancient Egyptian men, for instance, would adorn themselves with enormous gold jewellery like bangles and necklaces, as the size of a gentleman’s jewellery, at this time, was seen as proportional to his importance and social standing. Interestingly, these would also be covered in bright and colourful gems, in order to harness the powers thought to be encapsulated in these vibrant stones. Men’s jewellery was, in this period, then, very different to what we know today.
In Ancient Rome, men’s jewellery was also regarded as a symbol of status and wealth. At this time, however, it’s unlikely that there was even a sterling silver cufflink, like those sold by One Bond Street, in sight as gentlemen didn’t really sport shirts or suits back then! Instead, those men with high standing would wear fine jewellery adorned with diamonds, emeralds and more. And usually these would have been imported from India and Sri Lanka. Men may have also worn splendid bangles during this period, however, much more common were finger rings decorated with single gemstones.
In Mesopotamia, impressive and heavy necklaces, ankle bracelets, bangles and rings were worn by men, that had been decorated with various colourful gemstones. These were mostly sported as amulets for protection from danger, as they were believed to have magical powers. Much like in Ancient Egypt and Rome, there wouldn’t have been a single sterling silver cufflink around! Ancient Greeks also used fine gemstones in their jewellery-making, and thought them to have mystical capabilities. Unlike for the Egyptians and the Romans, however, for Ancient Greeks, exquisite and luxurious jewellery was worn more on special occasions, not simply day-to-day.
Fast forward to the present, as most will be aware, gentleman’s jewellery has undergone quite the transformation. It’s very rare now to see gentlemen adorn themselves with big statement necklaces, colourful gemstones and the likes – although, of course, this does happen sometimes! In the present, most discerning and dapper gents choose to adorn themselves instead with beautiful sterling silver cufflinks, like those sold by One Bond Street, subtle and elegant sterling silver bangles and high quality watches. Of course, there is nothing wrong with big statement jewellery, however, it is elegant sterling silver cufflinks, bespoke bangles and watches that endow their wearers with refinement, sophistication and a cultivated exterior - these are the truly magnificent pieces that every debonair gent should wear.