How did it all begin?
Historians believe the the first cuff links appeared in Europe in the 1700s. At that time cuff links were custom hand made strictly for the wealthy class and were extremely limited in stock, making it an expensive ornament only available for the bourgeois.
In the 18th century the Europeans had invented a stamping machine which allowed mass production of enamel cuff links, this was the first break through for the industry. However the middle class still could not afford the astronomical price tags on enamels and silver cuff links at the time, replicas soon caught on with a range of alternative materials such as gold coloured alloys.
Rapidly people realized the cuff link was here to stay and shortly in the 1840s, the French cuff dress shirt (double cuff shirt with no buttons) was designed. To this day the french cuff shirt is extremely fashionable and worn hand in hand with cuff links.
The peak period when the cuff was manufactured at most was in the mid 1960s with over 12 million a year in production by Swank Inc.
Cuff links have come a long way in the 20th Century, whether you are male or female you can be sure to find what you are after in your price range. Prices range from $30-$300 dollars for a pair. Novelty cuff links, steel cuff links, silk knots, enamel, humorous and modern cuff links are all available at department stores and online.
Why should you invest in a pair of cuff links?
Never will it be out of fashion and they will last a lifetime. It's definitely a highly recommended accessory to complete an outfit. Remember first impressions last.