Why, exactly? Sadly, the answer is that cufflinks, for the most part, are comparatively unpopular right now, which puts cufflink buyers in a good spot. Cufflinks that brought $8,000-$10,000 during the last wave of cufflink popularity now bring half that.
There is still a lively market in cufflinks, but the prices are just lower than they once were.
Cufflinks have been around for about 400 years and their popularity in men’s fashion (much like the on-again, off-again relationship the fashion world has with vests) burns hot and cold. Today’s casual lifestyle means that only collectors and sartorially sophisticated gentlemen have any use for them.
We have collectors whom we have been supplying with cufflinks for many years, and who still buy them. Of course, the older and more decorative (often signed) versions bring the most money. But typically, finely decorated 150-year-old cufflinks defy this because of their tiny size. (Modern-day collectors, for the most part, seem to prefer large cufflinks.)
Pictured here, you will notice A. the set of enameled gargoyle cufflinks by American designer David Webb in 18k gold that are for sale in our store for $4,200. (In 1992, a similar set brought over $7,500 at New York auction.)
B. A fine gold Tiffany Schlumberger blue-enamel patchwork set is for sale in our store for $3,850. (The 1995 auction price was $6,500.)
C. This Cartier set of bone and lapis and gold, signed and numbered by Cartier and designer Aldo Cipullo, is for sale at $5,800. (A similar set sold for $8,500 in 1993 at auction.)
As you can see, Cartier seems to hold its value a bit better.
Another point on value — Mexican and Scandinavian silver cufflinks are frequently worth much more than their silver value, as much as $50 to $150 each.
If you have fine, vintage cufflinks of any kind for sale, we would love to buy them or include them in one of our upcoming auctions.