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Sapphire and diamond cufflinks
You have probably seen men wearing pearls – pioneered since around 2019 by disruptive style icons like Harry Styles and Marc Jacobs. An important stepping stone for this was the collaboration between Japanese cultured pearl brand Mikimoto and the Paris-based fashion brand founded by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garçons.
The collection debuted in 2020, and is still going strong, with punky additions to the 50cm pearl strands including safety pins and spikes. Pearls seem to have a special place in the heart and on the necks of musicians: G-Dragon, Pharrell Williams and A$AP Rocky have all recently been spotted with pearls.

Examples from other contexts include US baseballer Joc Pederson, who sported a pearl strand from Happy Jewelers as far back as September 2021. And this writer recently spotted a billboard by US-based workwear apparel brand Carhartt, where a crouching model in baggy jeans and a work jacket was clutching a pearl strand between his fingers.

5.52 carat Burmese Ruby Gentleman’s Ring

So yes, in case you’re still in any doubt, men can wear pearls. But beware: a lot of what is out there are glass or plastic beads with a pearl finish.

Around a decade ago men started wearing leather cord bracelets, and together with an appropriated surfer look the jewellery tended to be masculine – think chunky and military-styled dog tags, leather bracelets and heavy chains.

Ronald Abram yellow and white diamond cufflinks

“This still applies – but what’s different now is that men are also embracing styles that look feminine,” Gomelsky notes. “I don’t know if men’s and women’s jewellery as categories will even exist in the future – it will be just jewellery.”

One brand that’s ceased with the binary delineation is Dior, where women and men are seen wearing the same products. The more daring go for the Rose des Vents and Rose Céleste long necklace, where the (adjustable) 85cm 18k yellow gold chain is sculpturally intercepted by materials just right for 2023: diamonds, mother-of-pearl, platinum and onyx. And a contemporary strand should have at least one extension ending in a charm.
Dior Rose de Vents and Rose Céleste long necklace

For the more traditionalist, the rings and bracelets in the Gem Dior collection are solid pieces – available with or without diamonds – with a fluid look thanks to the appearance of being built up by vertical, slightly offset links.

Versace’s rings and bracelets (in non-precious metals) are actually made of links, and often combined with the logo and/or the Medusa head linked with the Italian house since 1993. In general, the Versace look is chunkier and more flamboyant, thanks in particular to the frequent use of the flat and angular, signature-design Greca chain.
For softer shapes in the chunky universe, Alexander McQueen’s antique silver pieces are an option. A telltale sign that they come from the late designer is that the brand still uses the skull – this year marks the 20th anniversary of the motif’s introduction on a scarf from the spring/summer 2003 collection. In the distinctively macho and goth jewellery collection, the Shakespearean to-be-or-not-to-be shapes are mainly incorporated as clasps or charms.

The male jewellery from Hermès pops colourfully with its signature orange, alongside green and blue pieces. The brand’s equestrian background makes its presence felt in soft or solid bracelets combining top-quality leather with distinctively shaped clasps – most notably on the Clic H bracelet, which has been a jewellery staple of the brand since 2000.

But let’s return to the precious universe. Shay, a Los Angeles mother-daughter brand created by Ladan and Tanaz Shayan, predominantly goes for gold and precious stones including diamonds and emeralds. For its male collections, Shay makes chunky chains – deliciously softened by pavé setting one of the links – as well as finer and more delicate designs.

4.39 carat Sapphire Gentleman’s Ring and 4.03 carat Round Brilliant Diamond Gentleman’s Rings

If this writer had to choose one among the latter, it would be the yellow gold and emerald tennis bracelet.

And what should you buy after having breakfast at Tiffany’s?

In general, the jeweller goes for uncomplicated shapes and a high level of craftsmanship. And even though the brand does have some affordable pieces in sterling silver, the precious pieces are what you should focus on.

These include the straight and oval Tiffany Lock bangle in rose gold with diamond accents, and the Schlumberger Sixteen Stone ring with diamonds and sapphires, where golden X shapes are intertwined with precious stones.

Tiffany & Co. has also reinvented its open-ended classic T ring with the T1, which is now closed and paved with white diamonds. According to the brand, this ring sums up the raison d’être for wearing jewellery: “worn outwardly to express what lies within”.

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