At Karus Chains we specialize in silver and gold chains for men (with a small but exclusive selection of the hugely popular Cuban link chain) and so you will see on previous blog posts that we have written extensive "Ultimate Guides" on the subject of men’s chains and neck jewelry. While we cannot claim that this particular article is an "Ultimate Guide", it is a pretty comprehensive list of some of our favorite pieces of men's jewelry.
If you want to dive right in just click on one of the following categories or else you can read on and find out how and why we chose our favorite pieces:
About our recommendations
For this article we have chosen a very diverse range of jewelry pieces – there is no single look and that is the point of our blog- we want to show a wide variety of styles within each category. We were not guided by what’s hot or what’s new. Nor were we guided by what’s on the high street. In fact it’s the very opposite of that.
We made a conscious decision when we began to research for this post that we would stay away from any jewelry that's available on the high street. Most of the jewelry recommended on this blog article is sourced from etsy. It's worth pointing out that our own store, Karus Chains, is not on etsy- we don’t qualify as we do not make our own jewelry and we don't sell vintage jewelry- so there is no vested interest on our part in recommending etsy stores.
We sourced most of the pieces for this article from etsy for some very good reasons. First of all if you’re looking for a unique, handmade gift that has character and can be customized to your exact needs, then you will find it on etsy-it has thousands of designers from around the world producing high quality men’s jewelry.
Another great reason to shop on etsy is that it is so easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
If you don't know what you want, then looking for jewelry on the internet involves the very time-consuming task of trawling through Google and clicking on each individual jewelry retailer and then going through their product listings to see if they have what you’re looking for and if it's within your budget.
On etsy you can tailor your search at the very start using their filters and quickly bring up a wide selection of items that match your requirements and your budget.
We are not against brand-name designer jewelry- in fact we featured several pieces from top designers of men’s jewelry in a previous post and we will feature them in future articles.
In this post we recommend just 6 pieces in each category- we would loved to have included more and it wasn't for the lack of quality jewelry. However, we will revisit this topic again and include a whole host of new and fantastic men's jewelry pieces.
Please note that the items that we have chosen are in high demand and may sell out pretty quickly. The price for some products may also change between the time this article was written and the time of your reading it. Regardless, we hope that our recommendations will point you in the right direction, towards online retailers and designers that you can explore further.
Where we’re coming from
This is not a post about how to achieve a certain look. As far as we’re concerned there are no rules to being stylish. Style is all about being individual; wearing what pleases you, not to please other people. A truly stylish man is someone who has a passion for style and wears what he loves. That encompasses all tastes from men who love a conventional style to those who have eclectic tastes. Style is all-encompassing and we hope that the blog reflects this.
As mentioned above, and in line with what we sell in our store, we have written extensively on men's silver chains and men's gold chains as well as on all forms of men’s neck jewelry. And while we are not experts in the other categories that are covered in this post, we are fans. This is just the first of many posts that we’ll be doing highlighting our favourite pieces of men’s jewelry.
Let’s get the little bit of self-promotion out of the way first: at Karus Chains we specialize in classically styled chains including:
- 10K gold chains for men
- 14K gold chains for men
- White gold chains for men
- Silver chains for men (including Rhodium-plated chains)
- Cuban link chains for men
However, we are passionate about all forms of men’s neck jewelry and we have written 2 very detailed posts on the subject.
If you are interested in looking at a variety of different styles of men's neck jewelry (i.e. not only silver and gold chains for men), then we would encourage you to click on the following article:
From Gold Chains for Men to Rosary Necklaces and everything in between: Karus Chains 2015 Ultimate Guide to Men’s Neck Jewelry
This is a really in-depth look at all aspects of men’s neck jewelry and includes dozens of photos and recommendations.
If your interests lie in classically styled silver and gold chains for men only (i.e. excluding pendants, beaded necklaces etc.), or if you're looking for a Cuban link chain, then the following article should be right for you:
This article covers everything you need to know about men’s silver and gold chains, from the metal types to chain length and width and includes tips on how to clean and maintain your chain. The article also incudes numerous recommended chains, where to buy them and other relevant product details.
Karus Chains Favorite Chains/Necklaces
We’re obviously a bit biased in here but then again we can hardly recommend our favorite pieces and not include one of our own chains. The Cuban link chain is fast becoming one of the most popular men’s chains and it’s easy to see why. This 14K yellow gold Miami Cuban link chain is exquisite and at just 6.7 mm it’s super stylish. Karus Chains have a small but exquisite collection of Cuban link chains.
Where to buy it: Karuschains.com
Using fire polished slate colored glass beads together with Tibet silver beads and hematite, this is a very cool and understated necklace. We love the details and the subtle colors. The necklace is made by Ooh La La Beadtique and they have a really good selection of men's beaded necklaces on their etsy store.
Where to buy: Ooh La La Beadtique on etsy.com
These handmade hex nut industrial necklaces by NaLa Jewelry are rugged, unique and very masculine. They have a real home-made feel and that’s why we like them so much. Available in a wide variety of personalized engravings, you’re sure to find one that suits you or your loved one.
Where to buy: Jewelry By NaLa on etsy.com
Ned Bowman of Bowman Originals says that he lives, breathes and dreams jewelry and that is evident when you look at his creations. Each piece is handmade using old world techniques. This sterling silver Poseidon chain is a pretty unique design. It's subtle, understated and stunning- and we love it.
Where to buy: Bowman Originals on etsy.com
This is one of the most unusual and unique necklaces that we have come across. It's a brushed antique silver Celtic style 20g medallion necklace designed by a company called The Key of A, LLC, d/b/a Key of A® and is part of their patented SureShot™ collection. Key of A® is the oldest and largest designer of shotgun and bullet casing jewelry in the US, while their SureShot™ collection is the only patented and fully copyrighted collection in the US. The collection includes a complete line of jewelry and accessories for men using shotgun and bullet casings, from cuffllinks, money clips, tie bars, bolo ties, cowboy hat bands, necklaces and more. It's well worth checking out.
Where to buy: SureShotJewelry.com
Tie Pins/Tie Bars/Tie Clips
We’re not really a tie wearing office in Karus Chains- suits and their associated accessories are not part of our daily attire. However, for those special occasions when we are expected to look a bit sharper than normal, we tend to scrub up pretty good. Italian suits and shoes are very much to the fore and with every good suit, you really need to accessorize.
Tie bars/clips/pins serve the practical function of preventing your tie from blowing over your shoulder or falling into your food. A good tie bar/clip/pin is a very simple accessory that goes a long way towards adding that extra little bit of style to your wardrobe.
They can be personalized with initials, names, family crest, logos etc.
Tie bars/clips/pins are ideally worn between the third and forth buttons on your shirt.
Karus Chains Favorite Tie Bars/Pins/Clips
We really couldn’t justify having a section on tie bars/pins/clips and not mention ties.com, the premium online retailer for anything associated with ties. This mahogany wood tie clip is a stand-out piece and will definitely get noticed. The site is well worth checking out; they have a wealth of information on everything related to ties; they even suggest the best ties that will go with each tie bar/tie clip.
Where to buy: ties.com
Symbolizing endless love forever, this handmade 925 silver infinity tie pin by Jubile Jewlels is the ideal gift for a groom or as an engagement gift. Jubile Jewels have a very large selection of men’s jewelry that’s worth looking into. They also take custom orders, so if you have an idea for a design just let them know.
Where to buy: Jubile Jewel on etsy.com
Founded by Valerie Thai, the award-winning former head designer and art director of Adbusters Magazine, Cabin and Cub has a fantastically unique range of men’s wooden jewelry. These laser cut tie pins are made from bamboo and feature Canadian-inspired ideas. We just love their authenticity.
Where to buy: Cabin and Cub on etsy.com
For all of the Dr Who fans out there this is a must. The handmade Dr Who Tardis tie pin by Kendall McCulloch of Smitten Kitten Kendall is just one of many unique and fun pieces of jewelry on her etsy store - well worth checking out.
Where to buy: Smitten Kitten Kendall on etsy.com
Compass Rose Design Jewelry have a fantastic selection of men’s jewelry including cufflinks, necklaces, rings and of course tie bars/clips. Founder and designer Creek Van Houten is a third generation jewelry maker and what we really love about her jewelry is that it is all made from recycled and rediscovered historical treasures. So in effect, and to use a phrase borrowed from Creek, she makes history wearable. This vintage clockwork tie bar is a fantastic example of the craftsmanship that goes into every piece.
Where to buy: Compassrosedesignjewelry.com
I know what you’re thinking- there can’t be a whole lot to write about cufflinks, can there? We all know what cufflinks do and how to put them on. There’s very little variety in terms of fasteners; for the most part there’s the double panel or the swivel bar. They’re all more or less the same size and serve the exact same function. And while all of this is true, such is the variety of designs, shapes, manufacturers and retailers that specialize in cufflinks that we spent more hours selecting the cufflinks for this article than we did for any of the other accessories.
And while there may be very little to actually write about cufflinks, there is plenty to look at. For such a small accessory the range of stylish and humorous designs is breath taking. We liked cufflinks before we started this article but by the time we finished, we were in love with cufflinks. What we have chosen is but the tiniest fraction of what is out there. While we don’t do style tips, we do recommend that you buy more than one pair- have a selection that you can choose from to suit your mood or the occasion.
Karus Chains Favorite Cufflinks
Anna Anagno of One Happy Leaf designs eco-friendly jewelry that is also fantastically stylish . Based in Australia, her jewelry is nature inspired, using eco friendly wood and sustainable materials where possible, along with silver and antique bronze. These are the perfect cufflinks for a groom on his big day or as an anniversary gift; they’re stylish, unique and very memorable.
Where to buy: One Happy Leaf on etsy.com
Marty Magic’s jewelry collection is a hidden treasure – at least it was to us in Karus Chains. But by all accounts her range of fun yet beautiful jewelry has been a big hit for over 35 years among her many “geeky patrons” (her words). We love her men’s range and will definitely be coming back to it for future articles. These sterling silver “Good Luck” frog cufflinks are a firm favorite in our office and would make an excellent gift.
Where to buy: Martymagic.com
Would you like to own a piece of nautical history? Made by RSJS Studios in Leeds UK, these ruggedly authentic cufflinks are made from the copper hull of the famous Cutty Sark clipper ship. The metal was taken from the ship during her 2007 restoration and RSJS have all the paperwork to support its authenticity. RSJS has a small but very attractive and individual range of men’s cufflinks, well worth checking out.
Where to buy: RSJS Studios on etsy.com
We’ve been fans of Monsieur Fox for some time and were eagerly waiting for the right article in which to feature an item from their collection. The Monsieur Fox brand is aimed at the stylish gentlemen’s market, where detail is everything. And the detail in the these sterling silver, 18K rose gold plated cufflinks is stunning. We especially love the micshcevious ruby-eyed glint.
Where to buy: Monsieurfox.com
Elite and Luck have one of the finest collections of unique cufflinks- you really are spoilt for choice when you visit their website. It was hard to pick a favorite. However, we love Tigers Eye, a stunning yellow-golden gemstone that is said to give its wearer courage to engage in challenges- making these cufflinks the perfect gift for the ambitious business man.
Where to buy: Eliteandluck.com
While accessories like cufflinks, watches, ties bars and wedding bands are very much accepted by most fashion-conscious men, bracelets, rings and chains/necklaces are still seen as a bit risky by many men.
However, as men become more confident with their sense of style and more willing to experiment, you will gradually see more accessorizing. This is already happening as is evident by the year-on-year growth in this category over the last few years.
There is a now huge variety of bracelets available including the classic ID bracelet, the leather bracelet, beaded bracelet, the woven bracelet, nautical themed bracelet and metal bracelets of intricate or plain designs. The great thing about bracelets is that they are so versatile- you can wear whatever style suits your mood or you can wear a few styles together and mix them up.
Karus Chains Favorite Bracelets
Rock and Hardware based in Southern California have a fantastic range of men’s bead bracelets. The quality and the finishing on all of their pieces is exemplary. This 8mm black onyx bracelet with Rudraksha beads is one of many fine pieces to choose from. We highly recommend that you browse their store.
Where to buy: Rock and Hardware on etsy.com
Lisa Lehmann of Studio Jewel handcrafts each piece of jewelry from recycled sterling silver or gold using traditional metal smith techniques. Her men’s jewelry is rugged, understated and very masculine. This sterling silver cuff bracelet exemplifies Lisa’s work. The bracelet can be customized and personalized making it a fantastic gift. Studio Jewels has a small but extremely desirable range of men’s jewelry- well worth checking out.
Where to buy: Studio Jewel by The Bead Girl on etsy.com
Margo’s Handmade Jewelry has a small but really unique selection of men’s bracelets. This particular example combines beautifully woven wire with tar black rubber. It’s a very individual look and we haven’t seen many examples of this type of bracelet. It’s the perfect gift for someone with a very distinctive personality.
Where to buy: Margo's Handmade Jewelry on etsy.com
Stefanie Fix is a jewelry maker and singer-songwriter based in Austin, Texas. While we haven’t had the pleaure of hearing Stefanie's music, if it’s anything like her men’s jewelry, then it must be something special. This particular piece is made with genuine heishi, African and glass seed beads and is a really strong, masculine piece. Stefanie’s style is very individual with fantastic detail and finishing.
Where to buy: Stefanie Fix Collection on etsy.com
Co-founded by master artisan Bre Harris, all of the jewelry pieces from Leo’s Wisdom are meticulously sculpted and it shows. We just love this "Guilty Pleasure" bracelet featuring sterling silver roses, detailed skulls and Onyx colored stones. Leo's Wisdom have a huge selection of men-only jewelry that’s well worth checking out.
Where to buy: Leoswisdom.com
There is no way in the wide earthly world that we could even begin to attempt to cover the subject of watches in just a few short paragraphs. There are so many manufacturers with corresponding retailers and specialists that we just couldn’t do it justice. However we have read extensively on the topic and if you want to find out more detailed information on watches, then we recommend the following 2 articles:
There are 2 basic types of watches- analog and digital:
Analog Watch: this is the traditional watch with 3 rotating hands for the hours, the minutes and the seconds. Within the analog category there are 3 different types:
- Quartz: where the second hand jumps every second
- Mechanical: where the second hand moves continuously
- Automatic: this is mechanical but usually self winding
Digital Watch: A digital watche simply displays the time as a number.
Within the watch category there are numerous styles including sports, dress, diver, pilot, pocket, military and fashion.
Strangely enough the more in-expensive and medium priced time pieces that are electronic with quartz movements are often the most accurate, while their more expensive counterparts that have mechanical movements powered by spring are often less accurate. These more expensive watches are popular as a result of the exquisite craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal.
Watches are more complex than other forms of men’s jewelry. They are also more storied- i.e. there are often detailed histories surrounding watches- how they are made, where they come from, the background of the manufacturer. All of these elements can influence your decision when buying a watch.
The main criteria in our selection for this article is to discover watches that you might not normally come across. We are keen to highlight different styles from less well-known manufacturers and retailers who produce and sell high quality, unique watches as well as some really cool vintage pieces.
Karus Chains Favorite Watches
We were very keen to feature a wooden watch in the article and we looked at over a dozen manufacturers before we came across Analog Watch Co. What a find- they have a very small but stunning range. This wooden watch with a wood strap made from lumber offcuts is handmade from Makore and Red Sandalwood. It’s a simple and very elegant timepiece- we love it.
Where to buy: Analog and Co. on etsy.com
We saw this watch on twitter some time ago and just had to include it. Designed by Biegert and Funk the QLockTwo is unlike any watch you’ve ever seen with the time displayed as readable text. The watch is available in a variety of colors, metals and prices but we love this brushed rose gold version as it contrasts really well with the black leather strap. We found this watch on watchismo and we really, really recommend that you visit the site- what a collection of truly unique watch designs.
The price: $990
Where to buy: Watchismo.com
What a find- a vintage 1970’s Zenith men’s dress watch in excellent condition. This is an extremely stylish dress watch and makes for a fantastic heirloom. We found it on Villa Collezione where there’s an excellent selection of men’s vintage watches- we were spoilt for choice.
Where to buy: Villa Collezione on etsy.com
If you’re looking for a quality, stylish divers watch without paying through the roof, then look no further. This 23K gold plated Invicta pro diver watch is resistant up to 200 metres. What we particularly like about it is the beautiful contrast between the black dial and the vibrant gold. We found this watch on Minoroligy’s etsy store but they also have their own website where they have a fantastic selections of men’s and women’s watches.
Where to buy: Minoroigy on etsy.com
Char Baumgardner of Char’s Favorite Things has designed some of the most unique pieces of men’s jewelry including money clips, flasks and cufflinks. As you know we are big fans of skulls and crossbones and this pirates pocket watch featuring a smiling large skull, with a sceptre, tiny skulls and roses is right up our street. The level of detail is fantastic.
Where to buy: Chars Favorite Things on etsy.com
Up until recently, and outside of the rock n roll fraternity, the only ring that most men would ever consider wearing is a simple wedding band. While for the most part this is still the case, there has been a shift in men’s perceptions of rings over the last 2 decades. A lot of this has been driven by the rise and visibility of male fashion icons like Johnny Depp, David Beckham and Pharrell Williams. Men are more open to experimenting and it is not unusual now to see a man with one or more decorative rings.
The various types of rings include:
While in the past the wedding ring was a simple silver or gold band with little or no design, this has changed over the last 20-30 years. There is now much more variety in the shape, size and metals used in wedding bands. This makes it easier to find a wedding band that will resonate with your personality and sense of style.
Examples of these include military, college and membership of an organization (for example the Masons). By wearing such a ring a man is making a very literal statement about who he is, where he is coming from or what he stands for.
Fashion/decorative rings are every other type of ring – basically it’s a ring that a man wears because he likes it and for no other reason. While rings have been very much part of the rock n roll look over the last few decades, it is only in recent times that we have seen sport and Hollywood stars embrace this look. As a result men are starting to feel more comfortable wearing them.
Rings are not for everyone. As with all men’s jewelry we advise that you wear what you’re comfortable with. To be able to carry off wearing a ring, it needs to suit you and for that to happen you need to be totally at ease with your sense of style. If you force it, it will show.
Karus Chains Favorite Rings
We are big fans of London-based Stephen Webster and have featured his jewelry in a previous article. We love the detail and colors in this ring with a rose gold plated outer band, rose gold plated beads and the best bit; a black rhodium inner rotating band . This particular ring come from Razny Jewelers- they have a fantastic range of men’s jewelry.
Where to buy: Razny.com
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Fiona Robertson has a small but fantastic selection of vintage and handmade recycled and up-cycled jewelry. This Victorian decorative ring in the style of a buckle is dated 1897. We love it's tarnished and very masculine look.
Where to buy: Fiona's got Vintage on etsy.com
We've been fans of Claudia from Crazy Ass JD since we started blogging earlier this year. Claudia designs beautifully masculine pieces of jewelry and this ring is a great example of why we love her work. It's a simple, hammered copper ring giving it a rough look yet it is smooth to the touch. This is the type of ring that many men will want to wear.
Where to buy: Crazy Ass JD on etsy.com
This is most definitely the type of ring that a lot of men will love. It’s subtle, understated yet very stylish. Made by Jessica Jones of Hello Thula in South Africa, this sterling silver ring has a beautiful matte/textured finish. We really love Jessica’s jewelry. It is so simple- there’s an innocence about it that’s hard to describe but browse her collection on etsy and see for yourself.
Where to buy: Hello Thula on etsy.com
Mens Rings Online have a fantastic selection of very stylish and masculine rings. It was really difficult to choose just one but we really love the matte finish on this titanium ring. It's subtle, understated yet very stylish. They have a wide selection of rings in various styles and metals. It's well worth checking them out.
Where to buy: Mensringsonline.com
So that brings us to the end. As we mentioned at the very start, this is not a definitive guide, it's merely a snapshot of men's jewelry that we really like. We'd love to get your feedback and welcome any suggestions.