Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > History

Accessories for the Sophisticated Gent

men have worn jewellery and dress accessories

Victorian sardonyx cameo of John Milton berganza hatton garden
Stuart sardonyx cameo of John Milton mounted in a Victorian gold ring, English, circa 1901.
Ref: 17172

For centuries gentlemen have worn jewellery and dress accessories from the very early periods in ancient Greece to today. The art of dress peaked in the 18th century with the evolution of gentlemen’s fashion. Etiquette and ways of dressing was adopted by the growing middle classes and to accommodate for the growth of wealth, there were new developments in gentlemen’s jewellery. The emergence of stick pins for cravats, elaborately designed cufflinks, unique waistcoat buttons, and intricate chains for pocket watches quickly made their way onto the scene.

Many of the rings and accessories had motifs representative of a gentlemen’s political affiliations, clubs or personal interests. For example, if a gentleman was part of a sporting group like fencing, his tie pin would have been in the shape of a rapier-style sword or if he was a part of a well-known family he would have had a family crest hand engraved on his signet ring. Not only did the jewellery serve as adornment but it could also have practical uses as well. One example of practicality were pocket watches, these could be worn as a pendant like King Henry VIII did in the 16th century. For the more ostentatious man, the fob watch was a popular choice and could be set with a number of precious gemstones to display personal wealth and status.

The evolution of the suit and dress shirt, lead to new and innovative ways of creating jewellery. The craftsmanship began to evolve into more intricate and sophisticated styles especially during the Victorian period where fine jewellery reached new heights. To accompany the extravagant watches, skillfully made double, fetter, and close curb chains were assembled and at times were adorned with small lockets or medals. Stylish cigarette holders were created and set with alluring and exotic gemstones and further decorated with repeating hand engraved patterns.

Whether you are seeking out a unique gentlemen’s piece for adornment or practicality, at Berganza there is something suitable for every occasion.  Choose from our vast collection of ancient, antique and vintage jewels for an accessory sure to help you express your individuality and flare.


Diamond set cufflinks in platinum and gold berganza hatton garden
Diamond set cufflinks in platinum and gold, circa 1920.
Ref: 25270
John Goode & Sons rose gold Albert chain berganza hatton garden
Gold Albert curb link chain and fob by John Goode & Sons, English, circa 1912.
Ref: 25539
Victorian diamond set sword jabot pin hatton garden
Victorian diamond set sword jabot pin, circa 1890.
Ref: 25421
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Updated 16/04/2024 at 10:34AM

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