Fine antique cufflinks have been made in a variety of materials ranging from precious metals to tortoise shell, pearl, ivory, Vulcanite (an early form of hardened rubber), Bakelite and glass. In fact just about any material that imaginative jewelry makers could shape, bend or mold can be found in a pair of cufflinks. Among the precious metals, platinum, gold and silver have been the most popular with palladium, a platinum group metal, making a rare appearance.
Prior to 1900, platinum's high melting point limited the metal's use in fine jewelry and cufflinks. With the development of high-heat torches the limited use of platinum began to melt away. Some of the most striking cufflinks from the early decades of the 20th century elegantly contrast gold and platinum. These two-tone cufflinks sparkle with the warmth of antique gold and cool brilliance of platinum. Here are a few examples.
An exquisite pair of platinum and gold cufflinks from Carter, Gough & Co. During the early decades of the last century, the firm created beautiful cufflinks and dress sets in the sparkling, airy style of the Edwardian period. Carter,Gough cufflinks appear to dance in the light as you move your cuffs. For another example, please revisit the photograph at the top of this post.
Elegant two-tone cufflinks in the bold Art Deco style. These cufflinks feature checker board platinum centers surrounded by engraved and dimpled gold borders. Crafted around 1930, I believe these cufflinks were created by the Chicago jewelers Lebolt & Co. There is something undeniably magical about the cool geometry of Art Deco design.
For more elegant cufflinks crafted in platinum and gold,
please visit our Antique Cufflink Gallery.