Are you looking for a collectible that is inexpensive to buy,very available,easy to store in a small space,and can be displayed on your sleeve?Sounds too good to be true? Well,let me tell you about the hobby of cuff link collecting!
I first began collecting cuff links during my teens;I was attracted by the many colors and designs.Later,as an adult,I came to appreciate their smart appearance on my shirt cuffs.Throughout it all,I labored under the impression that I was the only cuff link collector in the world.I couldnt have been more wrong!There are many thousands of cuff link collectors throughout the United States;there are thousands more throughout the world.Whats more,hundreds more join their ranks each month.
Like most hobbies,cuff link collecting is addictive;the deeper you get into it,the more interested you become.Fortunately,it can be a very affordable hobby.And, though some collectors concentrate on only the most expensive varieties of cuff links,others buy them for as little as 25 cents per pair at neighborhood garage sales.No doubt,the ability to buy at low prices is a big part of the allure for many collectors.Eventually,practically all collectors seem to”graduate”to at least a few pairs of”special”cuff links.Typically,its the desire for a solid gold pair,a pair of”signature”cuff links(a pair that was created by a well-known designer and bears his/her name)or a pair that carries some nostalgic reference.One New York City collector recently purchased an entire collection just to gain ownership of a pair that once belonged to her movie idol,the late Clark Gable.
Who Collects Cuff Links?
According to The National Cuff Link Society there are two distinct categories of cuff link collectors.One group is comprised of cuff link”Wearers”;they simply enjoy wearing cuff links.The other group,the”Collectors”,consists of people that save cuff links strictly for the fun and satisfaction of collecting them. Whether “Wearer” or “Collector”,both groups are equal in their dedication to cuff links.And,whenever they get together,there is plenty of buying,selling and swapping in progress.As one “Wearer”recently punned,”The linkage at our swap meets is fantastic”.
Although some of the”Wearers”only wear cuff links for dressy,formal or special occasions,most consider their cuff links as important to their appearance as their shoes.Some literally wouldnt be seen dead without them.Indeed,one lawyer reports that a client recently demanded that his will contain instructions that he be buried with a favorite pair of cuff links.
Polls of the”Wearers”provide an instant profile of the group.Surprisingly, fashion is not the primary motivation for this factions interest in cuff links.They are quick to tell you that their main reason for wearing cuff links is because of the statement of individuality which it conveys.They enjoy the capability of cuff links to express ones mood,impress a client,or to demonstrate that they care about their appearance. Entrepreneurial”wearers”frequently wear customized cuff links that they use to promote their business;some even seek out cuff links that relate to the business of their customersand make it a point to wear them on a business call to that account.Some “Wearers”delight in taking off their cuff links and giving them as spontaneous gifts to clients or friends.One well-known CEO of a very prominent Fortune 500 company always carries a spare pair of cuff links in his briefcase.In his own words,”I am always so flattered when someone admires my cuff links that I cant resist the impulse to instantly remove them from my sleeve and give them to that person as a present.That extra pair in my briefcase often comes in handy!”
Predictably,”Wearers”select cuff links to match their individual personalities. Gregarious types tend toward large and flamboyant pairs.Artists are often biased toward highly colorful cuff links;their taste also favors pairs made of natural materials such as wood,stone,coral,and silver.Hobbyist”Wearers”are often seen wearing cuff links that relate to their avocation;this explains the large variety of cuff links which depict paperweights,postage stamps,and antique cars.No doubt,coins are the most popular of this category.Cuff link faces made of actual coins or facsimiles have been around for at least 150 years.Manufacturing jewelers often receive orders to fabricate cuff links out of actual coins.However,serious coin collectors frown on the practice;they regard it as a cardinal sin if the coins have to be altered in the process.They insist that any soldering, splitting or hole drilling can really reduce the value of a coin;in some cases the alteration can render the coin worthless.
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