BEAUTIFULLY ENGRAVED CUFFLINKS
ENGRAVERS GUILD OF LONDON
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Engraved Cufflinks Personalised By Engravers Guild
Precision Engraved Cufflinks
Engravers Guild of London is committed to delivering the best engraving quality for personalised cufflinks.
Our team of experienced engravers uses traditional diamond-tipped machine cutters with precision technology, creating a deep impression that retains its clarity and lustre indefinitely.
All of our engraving is carried out in-house. To guarantee the most perfect finish, each model of engraved cufflinks has been individually tooled and jigged so that the end result meets our strictest of quality standards.
Beautifully Presented Cufflinks
At Engravers Guild of London, we aspire to create an occasion around the opening experience. All of our personalised cufflinks are presented in an exquisite custom cufflinks box.
Our own engraved cufflinks from Engravers Guild are delivered in our signature black and white premium packaging, boasting both simplicity and elegance.
The Clewley range of custom silver cufflinks are presented in a handsome real wood case with the logo embossed inside the upper part in luxurious leather. The personalised gift card and Clewley booklet are the final touches to create a beautiful engraved gift.
About Our Personalised Cufflinks Brands
Established in 1944, Clewley was founded as a manufacturing business in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter.
Originally supplying skilfully engineered components to the large jewellery houses of the time, Clewley today offers an exclusive collection of silver personalised cufflinks and gentleman’s accessories.
With a proud heritage, the brand remains true to its founding principles of delivering beautifully finished product and the engraved cufflinks are guaranteed to be of the highest quality.
Engravers Guild Cufflinks
The three pairs of cufflinks from Engravers Guild in this collection have been carefully developed to offer the best quality and greatest value of personalised cufflinks.
Exquisitely made in stainless steel, the finish is incomparable and designed to last for very many years to come. Beautifully proportioned, robustly designed and finely balanced, the engraved cufflinks from Engravers Guild are offered in classic round, oval and oblong shapes.
The highly polished surface of the custom cufflinks is the perfect stage for a personal engraving to make a very special engraved gift.
Types of Personalised Cufflinks
Torpedo or Bullet Back Cufflinks
The most common kind of personalised cufflinks is the classic toggle fastening which is popular for its ease of use and simple design.
The traditional toggle features a small bar which pivots around the centre of the length. When extended in line with the rest of the fastening, the bar can be easily pushed through a shirt cuff. To secure the engraved cufflinks, the bar is twisted to a tangential position with the fastening.
A fail-safe option for most men, the toggle cufflink is guaranteed to be an enduring favourite.
Stalk cufflinks, or stem cufflinks, are the most simply designed type of fastening.
They are characterised by a rigid piece of metal or silver which connects a larger outer face of the engraved cufflinks to a smaller inner face which acts as the fastening.
With no moving parts, the stem personalised cufflinks are the strongest design of fastening. The fixed construction works by pushing it through a shirt cuff and twisted so that the elongated shape of the fastening is tangential to the length of the button hole.
Chain link personalised cufflinks are characterised by two fastenings connected with a light chain. The loose links between the two cufflink faces mean that this type of fastening is often more flexible, which can mean that this style is sometimes more difficult to thread through a shirt cuff as there is no rigidity in the item.
However, the engraved cufflinks have the advantage in that both the inner and outer part can be used to decorative effect. We are happy to engrave on both sides of our Vyse model should it be desired, which a date on the outer part and initials on the inner part of the personalised cufflinks being popular.
Whale Back Personalised Cufflinks
Whaleback engraved cufflinks are so-called because of the end piece of the fastening which swivels, or flips, like the tail of a whale. Lightly curved on one side and flat on the other side of the head, swivel-back personalised cufflinks are considered as one of the most sophisticated fastenings due to their streamlined shape.
An additional benefit is their ease of wearing, due to the rigid stem which can easily be threaded through a shirt cuff. Furthermore, their durable design means they last a long time and so represent a good investment for many years to come.
How to care for your silver personalised cufflinks
Why you must care for your silver cufflinks
Sterling 925 silver is a soft metal and your engraved cufflinks will reflect the character of the life they have lived. Due to the composition of silver, it naturally reacts with sulphur and so will be affected by air, moisture, and a range of chemicals including detergents and fragrances.
Over time, your sterling silver personalised cufflinks will tarnish. A film of dark brown, black and purple shades will appear. While there is nothing that can be done to completely protect your custom cufflinks against this, there are a few easy steps to slow the process and restore the lustre of your engraved gift.
Using warm soapy water
Warm soapy water is the most commonly used aid to clean silver personalised cufflinks. Fill a bowl with warm water and add a small amount of washing-up liquid. Very gently with a soft, lint-free cloth, rub the sterling silver engraved cufflinks with light circular motions. For tight and intricate areas, a cotton bud can be used – for example on the toggle of the fastening and between the links of the chain.
The detergent should lift grease and dirt, restoring the shine of the solid silver cufflinks below.
Using baking soda and white vinegar
For more hard to remove stains, baking soda and white vinegar can be used. Fill half a mug with white vinegar and add 2-3 table spoons of baking soda, then soak your personalised cufflinks in the solution for two to three hours. It may be best to do this in a sink as the baking soda will react with the white vinegar to create fizzing and some spitting.
When time is up, remove your engraved cufflinks from the cup and be sure to dry them thoroughly afterwards.
Using water and baking soda
For a more involved approach to cleaning your silver personalised cufflinks, mix baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply just enough water so that a viscous paste is created. Rub this with a soft cloth onto the areas of the engraved cufflinks which need cleaning and the mixture should remove dirt and stains.
This approach used to be used with toothpaste. However, today toothpaste contains a wide mixture of chemicals which can prove damaging to solid silver cufflinks.
How to polish your silver engraved cufflinks
Preparing your custom cufflinks
To get that extra special shine on your personalised cufflinks, you may want to use some form of silver polish. You must first ensure that all dirt and tarnish has been removed from the cufflinks using any of the techniques mentioned above.
If required, a swab of white spirit or methylated spirit can be used – however, be careful not to apply it too vigorously as you do not want to damage the surface of the engraved cufflinks. Once complete, your custom cufflinks should be ready for polish to be applied.
Applying silver polish
The easiest way to apply silver polish to your engraved cufflinks is with a silver polishing cloth. This is uniquely infused with silver cleaning particles which work to create a shine on the surface. At Engravers Guild, we recommend using Talk of the Town polishing cloths, which can be found in all good jewellers and Argos.
Should a silver polishing cloth not be available, you can create a cotton wool swab. Wrap a piece of lint-free cloth around a cotton stick, helping you reach those tight areas such as around the fastenings of the engraved cufflinks.
How regularly to clean your personalised cufflinks
Your engraved cufflinks are designed to last a lifetime. As such, there will be a recurring need to clean them. Not allowing too much tarnish to build up will make the cleaning easier, and so regular applications of silver polish is sensible.
However, the actual process of polishing can damage the surface of the personalised cufflinks. Try to avoid the most abrasive of types of cleaning, and use warm soapy water as much as possible.
How to store your personalised cufflinks
Storing stainless steel cufflinks
Stainless steel is characterised by its durable properties and its resilience to water. Your stainless steel cufflinks from Engravers Guild are made to exacting standards, and should experience little to no deterioration through the lifetime of the product.
Simply keeping your personalised cufflinks in their original cufflink case should protect them from scratches and bashes. If required, a lint-free cloth will be enough to wipe away and grime and stains from the surface.
Storing sterling silver cufflinks
While you can never stop tarnishing entirely, you can take preventative measures to slow the process. In essence, the objective should be to protect your personalised cufflinks from air and water. Air-tight containers or zip-seal bags are often recommended. However, if using these items, make sure that no moisture is trapped inside the container first. Silica gel packets can also be inserted to help remove any dampness.
In addition, ensure that each cufflink is separated from the other so as to avoid scratching. Finally, do not store your engraved cufflinks in anything that may contain traces of sulphur, such as cardboard or cotton.
How to fasten your personalised cufflinks
Step 1 - select the right shirt
Your engraved cufflinks cannot be worn with all shirts. Aside from whether cufflinks would be fashionably appropriate to wear with a particular style of shirt (which will be covered separately in a different section), it must be established whether a cufflink can even be accommodated.
To be able to wear personalised cufflinks, the shirt must feature a cuff which does not already have a button attached. Typically, this will be what is known as a “French cuff”, or “double cuff” as the shirt sleeve is folded back on itself.
Less commonly designed for personalised cufflinks are “barrel cuffs” or “double barrel cuffs” which have only the single layer of fabric. This is perhaps a more contemporary option, though it is important that the cufflink does not overbear the less substantial material.
Step 2 - prepare the cuff
Depending on what type of shirt you are wearing will influence how you prepare the cuff for the engraved cufflinks. In essence, all the holes in the cuffs (whether that be in a double cuff or single cuff) must be aligned. Once they are aligned, press the folds of the cuffs together as tightly as you can – this will make it easier to insert the personalised cufflinks.
As you hold your arm with a 90 degree bend at the elbow, the cuffs should hang down over your wrists so that the holes are between your wrist and the floor.
Step 3 - thread the engraved cufflinks
The easiest way to insert personalised cufflinks is to get somebody else to thread them for you. Traditionally, for gentlemen of standing, this would be done by a valet. However, if your butler is attending to other matters, it’s a good idea to call on a friend or partner. Should you be flying solo, though, you have have to undertake the endeavour alone.
Position one of your engraved cufflinks between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure this is in the hand on the opposite one to the wrist you are trying to cuff. The insert of the custom cufflink should be pointing between your index finger and middle finger. Then, with your thumb, press the personalised cufflinks through.
Step 4 - fasten the silver cufflink
Finally, you will need to fasten your engraved cufflinks so that they do not come loose from your shirt. For toggle cufflinks, this will be simply to turn either the T-bar or whale back into a perpendicular position with the stem.
Alternatively, stalk cufflinks are usually fashioned so that the angle of the bar runs against the pull of the shirt cuff. Insert the cufflink in the way that offers least resistance, then turn the cufflink so that it locks against the cuff.
Finally, chain fastenings are the most difficult of all personalised cufflinks to secure. Requiring high levels of finger dexterity, ensure that the fastening is entirely through all holes of the cuff and that both flat parts rest against the material.
A History of Personalised Cufflinks
Today we have numerous engraved cufflinks and ways to secure our clothing, such as zips, buttons, velcro and elastic. However, for much of human history, people had to rely on ribbons and ties to pull together their garments.
A precursor to modern personalised cufflinks dated back to the 1200s. During this century, clothes began to become more fitted, and noblemen started to adopt fastenings of precious metals to keep their clothing together.
The trend for decorative men’s clothing continued into this century. Of particular focus were those parts of men’s shirts which were fastened, such as the cuffs and collar. Frills and plush fabrics were used at the wrists and neck to signify status.
Soon, it became de rigour for men to decorate these exuberant fastenings with personalised cufflinks in the form of coloured ribbons and ornate metal. This pre-dated engraved cufflinks, though is acknowledged as the first step towards them.
This century witnessed very little in the developments of personalised cufflinks. The Middle Ages marked a period of stagnation in the advancement of science, the arts and fashion. Prevalent styles were largely practical, and additional adornment was given less attention for men. Engraved cufflinks were rarely worn and other accessories were favoured.
Instead, signet rings were used to denote social class and standing. Engraved signet rings also served the necessary function of “sealing” documents with the symbol of the household.
The practicality of the Middle Ages gave way to the Renaissance period. This heralded a new dawn for personalised cufflinks as the aristocracy began to adopt a more effusive fashion. Fine lace became more commonplace and sartorial styles for men became more experimental. Ornamentation and ostentatious tastes created the perfect canvas for the advent of engraved cufflinks. Every opportunity was taken to exhibit wealth and unique style, and engraved cufflinks were often commissioned for the landed classes.
The excess of the Renaissance period began to draw to a close in the seventeenth century. Although this ended bespoke commissions of luxurious fastenings, it served to give birth to the personalised cufflinks we are more familiar with today. The engraved cufflinks made in the 1600s were more slender, though were still embellished with small stones and jewels. By the end of the century they were commonly known as Sleeve Buttons. These were considered an essential accessory for the nobility and the forerunner of personalised cufflinks was born.
The Georgian era largely defines how we understand personalised cufflinks today. The elaborate commissions of previous centuries were toned down, and discretion was the byword for this time. Still the preserve of the upper classes, engraved cufflinks were embellished with small gemstones and designs. More expensive personalised cufflinks made from quartz or glass were decorated with miniature paintings of scenes from mythology or family portraits.
Early Nineteenth Century
The coming of the Industrial Revolution heralded the golden age for personalised cufflinks. The accessory was no longer the preserve of the rich as new manufacturing processes brought down the cost of production. Makers of engraved cufflinks turned their attention to the larger markets of the bourgeoisie and the aspirations of the middle classes in Victorian England.
This coincided with the emergence of more formal fashions. Men’s clothes were characterised largely by stiff white collars and cuffs which could be changed. These were highly starched and old-style buttons were not strong enough to hold the garments together. Hence personalised cufflinks became a necessity as much as a choice of taste.
Mid Nineteenth Century
The new owners of personalised cufflinks opted for a more humble finish than was typically associated with the old upper classes. However, this all changed in the middle of the century when the Prince of Wales was photographed sporting a pair of colourful Faberge engraved cufflinks.
The trend instantly took off and there was a clamour towards new finishes of custom cufflinks. Not having the means of the rich, mass produced personalised cufflinks incorporated ingenious details. Instead of gem stones and diamond, pastes and rhinestones were used to create a similar effect to diamonds. Meanwhile copper, steel and zinc alloys were used to imitate precious metals.
Late Nineteenth Century
Personalised cufflinks benefitted from two things during this time: the improvement of mass manufacturing techniques and the popularisation of engraved cufflinks in popular culture. Engraved cufflinks were no longer reserved for more formal occasion and evening wear, but they were the mainstay of men’s attire.
Alexandre Dumas referred to personalised cufflinks in his best-selling novel “The Three Musketeers”. He described the guards of King Louis as turning back their cuffs, and European shirt-makers were quick to modify their designs to accommodate engraved cufflinks.
End of the Nineteenth Century
Towards the end of this century, further advancements were made in the manufacture of personalised cufflinks. In the 1880s, George Krementz modified a machine that was used to produce cartridge shells in the civil war. This considerably brought down the price of engraved cufflinks and now they were very much a staple of the working classes.
Shirt makers were fast to capitalise on this advantage, and soon shirt sellers were marketing their products as sets complete with personalised cufflinks and tie pins. Indeed, these perfect conditions at the end of the century welcomed the Golden Age of engraved cufflinks that was soon to come.
Early Twentieth Century
During these years, more people wore silver personalised cufflinks than ever before. This saw an ever-expanding range of designs and styles to meet every taste. Moreover, men’s shirts were no longer as heavily starched, meaning that more dainty and delicate styles of engraved cufflink could be worn.
Coco Chanel was an influential figure in the popularisation of personalised cufflinks, creating Art Deco and Art Nouveau designs. Meanwhile, engineering centres such as Germany and the Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter emerged, able to produce vast quantities of custom cufflinks at every price point.
Early-Mid Twentieth Century
The Roaring Twenties were a period when personalised cufflinks most thrived. New design movements and greater attention from houses such as Tiffany and Faberge made engraved cufflinks particularly desirable. Striking geometric designs emerged at this time, and new techniques such as enamelling were made more affordable.
From Royalty to working classes, every man would own several pairs of personalised cufflinks. However, the advent of World War Two would bring to a close this golden era.
Late-Mid Twentieth Century
With World War Two requiring vast quantities of metal for the war effort, buttons became the mainstream way for fastening shirt cuffs. Engraved cufflinks have since been largely overlooked, but for a brief period at the end of the 1950s and beginning of the 1960s. At this time in the UK, rationing was lifted and men revelled in adorning themselves with small metal items such as personalised cufflinks, lighters, cigarette cases and tie pins.
Beyond this, though, engraved cufflinks are largely confined to formal wear and special occasions. The tradition of personalised cufflinks lives on with high-end jewellers, catering to the super luxury market.
Late Twentieth Century
The 1980s saw what was perhaps a watershed moment in the world of personalised cufflinks. Having suffered a decade of neglect in the 1970s, a golden pair of cufflinks worn by the Duke of Windsor came up for auction. These were originally gifted to the then Prince of Wales by his lover, Wallis Simpson. The cufflinks were engraved with the Royal insignia and finished with the letter “E” for Edward.
Although Edward VIII famously abdicated the throne for his wife, the tale gripped the world and they were one of the most famous couples in history. Such was the interest, that there was a great clamour when hundreds of their items came up for sale. The personalised cufflinks were a particularly coveted lot and sold for £400,000.
The attention on the engraved cufflinks reawakened an interest in men’s style and a new generation of men began to experiment with the accessory.
End of the Twentieth Century
The Twentieth Century witnessed mixed fortunes for personalised cufflinks. Having enjoyed an increasing and steady adoption over the previous 600 years, the 1900s witnessed the heyday of engraved cufflinks in the 1920s but also their fast demise in latter years.
In the 1990s, though, there was a small renaissance. A new wave of high street fashion commonly adopted French cuffs in their shirt designs, necessitating the need for some form of personalised cufflinks.
The proliferation of technology for personalisation, though, did allow for the growth in an enduring trend for the accessory. While engraved cufflinks have often been gifted throughout history, this tradition was reborn again for special occasions. Weddings in particular offered a moment for a bride to gift the groom a pair of personalised cufflinks for the big occasion.
Twenty First Century
In an age of fast fashion and transient tastes, the Twenty First Century represents challenging times for personalised cufflinks. With experimental styles and avant-garde designs, it is difficult to anticipate what fortunes lie in wait.
Popular culture, as ever, has had an influence on engraved cufflinks. Television shows such as Peaky Blinders introduced a new generation of men to forgotten historical trends. Accessories commonly associated with the Victorian era, such as pocket watches and personalised cufflinks, have benefitted from the attention.
Moreover, with increasingly unique styling and niche communities, traditional accessories are falling back in to favour amongst some demographics. The steampunk trend embraces all this nostalgic and is one of many influences which will determine the future fortunes of personalised cufflinks.
PERSONALISED CUFFLINKS IN STERLING SILVER
Engraved silver cufflinks for men from Engravers Guild of London UK are selected exclusively to showcase the uniqueness of the personalised element. Fashioned in sterling silver 925, they are designed to be a permanent expression of love, respect or appreciation between the giver and recipient. Enhanced by the full gifting experience, the custom cufflinks are presented in luxury wrapping, and finished with an individual gift card.
Engraved sterling silver cufflinks are the hallmark of a man’s sartorial style. Long established as the mark of a distinguished gentleman, personalised cufflinks in silver are a defining feature of men’s attire and a nod towards inherent masculinity. Since being coveted by European monarchs in the seventeenth century, statesmen, businessmen and cultural icons have all seen the bespoke cufflink as providing a personal touch and reflecting the character of the wearer in an understated way.
Engravers Guild of London is one of the UK’s leading purveyors and finishers of sterling silver accessories, founded to make perfect gifts more personal.
HISTORY OF A LONDON CUFFLINK
Personalised silver cufflinks from Engravers Guild of London reflect London’s association with the gentleman’s favourite accessory. It was at the time of King George (1738-1820) that the buttons which had traditionally been used to fasten cuffs became more ornate and durable in London. However, during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and towards the end of the British Industrial Revolution, technology had advanced that cufflinks could be mass manufactured and afforded by the middle classes.
It was tradition for businesses, organisations and social societies in London to commission large runs of engraved cufflinks, with elaborately personalised cufflinks still favoured by the upper classes. The most expensive set of cufflinks ever sold at auction was made by Cartier London for the Duke of Windsor. They consisted of double sided cufflinks engraved with E & W. On the back they were engraved Edward 23/6/35, and Wallis 19/6/35. Estimated to bring £70,000 – 90,000, the set sold in London for a record £115,250 in 1987.