A History of Cufflinks – and How To Sell Them


A Brief History of Cufflinks

Cufflinks have been used as a fashion accessory by men, and women, all over the world for many centuries and have a long and varied history.  Indeed, according to the National Cufflink Society, evidence of their use has been found in ancient
hieroglyphics in Tutankhamun’s tomb!

Engraved Cufflinks

Prior to the 13th century pins, strings and belts were used to fasten garments but when fitted clothes became popular buttons became the fastener of choice.  However, during the early 17th century noblemen used ribbons, known as cuff strings, to tie the lace cuffs of their shirts.  This was considered both elegant and very much a status symbol.  By the end of the century jewelled or decorated buttons connected by a chain were also being used to fasten the cuffs and what had been considered a matter of practicality became an opportunity for adornment and individualism.  The buttons were expensive to make and therefore only available to the wealthy and privileged.

The Industrial Revolution saw the advent of precious metal electroplating and by the start of Queen Victoria’s reign the middle classes were able to purchase less expensive replicas of the cufflinks.  They became even more affordable when an American, George Krementz, invented a machine enabling production of one-piece buttons and cufflinks.  What was once enjoyed solely by the wealthy became accessible to all.  The 1920s were probably the height of cuff-link invention when manufacturers created a variety of devices and designs allowing the cufflinks to be fitted with a minimum of difficulty.

During the 1970s shirts with built in buttons replaced cufflinks to a large extent but fortunately the foresight of the haute couture brands kept the cufflink tradition alive and by the 1990s their influence had spread to a younger generation, who now view their cufflinks as an essential accessory!

Dalaco Classic Cufflinks

How to choose your cufflinks


With thousands of different cufflinks of all shapes and sizes available it may seem like an impossible task for your customer to choose a pair, or for you to select a collection for your shop, so here are a few tips to help.

Classic and contemporary cufflink collections are a good choice for menswear shops, tailors, suit hire and wedding hire as they offer a smart selection for grooms, guests and those looking to find the finishing touch to a formal outfit.

Cufflinks are often worn to formal events, so coordinating cufflink material and colour with an outfit or other jewellery – perhaps to a gold or silver watch, a wedding band or a set of dress studs can be very effective.  Matching sets of cufflinks, ties, dress studs and tie bars creates a stylish look.

Themed or novelty cufflinks have become increasingly popular over the years.  Cufflinks with sports, animals, music, professions, hobbies and comedy themes are good for less formal occasions and casual wear.  These themed cufflinks are often the preferred choice for gift shops, boutiques and jewellers as they offer a gift solution for the man or woman who has everything!

Customers looking for something really special may wish to choose a precious metal cufflink.  Sterling Silver is a popular choice being a contemporary metal and available in a wide range of cufflink designs.  Yellow and white gold cufflinks are also available in a range of carats or for something a little different – platinum or gunmetal.  You can also find cufflinks featuring precious and semi-precious stones and gemstones.  These are well suited to jewellers as they cater well for anniversaries and christenings, for example – ruby set cufflinks are perfect if your customer is looking for a ruby wedding anniversary gift.

A few retailers are now creating personalised or custom cufflinks, often with engraving of your choice, or featuring a message, photo or fingerprint.  These add a lovely touch of personality to a gift or accessory so look out for this service, or for plain cufflinks that can be engraved.

Lastly, when choosing a cufflink or a cufflink supplier, do not get too fixed on finding a bargain.  Price often reflects quality so look out for a quality guarantee, good reviews and a supplier offering a nice presentation box that will help keep your cufflinks lasting a lifetime.

Tractor Cufflinks

How we can help



Here at Dalaco we have over 1000 different designs of cufflinks and gentlemen’s accessories in stock, and they are all designs that sell well for us.  We cover a huge range of different materials, styles and themes, most of which feature our signature ‘dolphin’ swivel fitting for ease of wear.  We are always creating new and innovative products (lots of these have been requested by our customers), so if there is something you need, do let us know and we’ll add it to our design list!


We provide you with a range of options for presentation cases for our cufflinks, some of which can be branded with your company name and logo.  We find that our most successful stockists keep a range of our designs on display – both contemporary classics and novelties – and then use our brochure in their shop front should the customer wish to view the whole collection. We keep our prices out of the brochure specifically for this.  All our products come with a 2 year guarantee from the point of sale to your customer, as an assurance of our quality commitment to you.

Selling Online

If you wish to sell our products on your website we can send you our full stock list and product photography to help you with the set up.  We also now offer a drop shipping service – please contact us for further details.

Customer Care

We pride ourselves in our customer service, so if you have any questions or queries regarding our products or service just get in touch via email – [email protected] or phone +44 (0)1363 777800.


Author Image for Rachel Larcombe
Rachel Larcombe