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The History of Cufflinks

Posted by ilan srulovicz on

The origin of cufflinks date back as far as the seventeen hundreds. Men during that time period decided they wanted something more fashionable to hold their sleeves together. Instead of using ribbons and ties, men began soldering small buttons from two pieces of silver and gold. Attached to each gold or silver button was a thin chain which was attached to another gold or silver button. This was the beginning of cufflink history.

About one hundred years later German immigrant, George Krementz, had an idea. He took the concept of machines making bullets around the year 1876 and decided to apply it to making cufflinks. This enabled him to mass produce cheaper cufflinks with more variety in design. Teaming up with his cousin, George started his first company. By 1900, he supplied most of the world with the cufflinks he made.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the chains being used in the production of low-cost cufflinks were replaced with rods and other easy-to-close fasteners. As the fashion industry caught onto the idea of the look, they began making formal shirts that specifically required the use of cufflinks.

Around the 20th century, sales in cufflinks decreased due to the fashion industry placing buttons on the cuffs of sleeves. However, large jewelry companies such as Krementz and Cartier did not stop making them and today the demand for cufflinks is again in high demand. With cheaper manufacturing costs, there are many new varieties of cufflinks that are now offered for those interested in purchasing a pair. These include the traditional gold and silver cufflinks as well as those made of: silk, white gold, onyx, and mother-of-pearl. Over time, the cufflink designs began to include more than just different types of metals. Jewelers began to incorporate stones, fabrics, and other precious metals thereby reviving the cufflink fashion.


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