So, big news everyone. Brett was married on October 3rd!
And as you can imagine, we are going to begin a series of blog posts on the tuxedo he wore and some of the lessons learned. We are still sifting through the wedding photos, but we want to begin with one of the details – his cuff links. And believe me, these are no ordinary cuff links.
As his Best Man, I wanted to get Brett something very special for his wedding. Coincidentally, I had been corresponding with Abby Sparks, of Abby Sparks Designs. As a Denver-based jeweler, she is making a name for herself in the world of custom jewelry. And with Brett’s wedding approaching, I saw the perfect opportunity to get Brett something very special, something that would become a family heirloom.
So began my first foray into the world of custom cuff links.
Warning: It’s a slippery slope, guys.
I met with Abby in her Highlands office in Denver and she took me through the process. Believe it or not, it felt a lot like building a bespoke suit. There were many, many, options. Really, I could design whatever cuff links I could dream up. Fortunately, Abby was able to guide me through the process and give me a little advice.
First, I selected a metal. I went with platinum. Also available, was palladium and gold (yellow, white, or rose, and anywhere from 10 – 18k)
Then came the texture, and honestly, this was the most fun for me. Before meeting Abby, I had no idea that there were different textures to choose from. As you can see in the image, the outer rim of the cuff link is rough looking, like an orange peel. I thought this was a very interesting texture and masculine. It was also a good pick for Brett because he and I have shared more than a couple Old Fashioned cocktails together – a drink that is garnished with an orange peel.
There were other textures available too, but to try and describe them here wouldn’t do them justice. It’s definitely worth visiting Abby if you’re interested.
The next decision to be made was the big one – the design.
Abby’s team can do just about any type of metal work. Just as those of us at BE can create any piece of clothing you can dream up, Abby can do the same with jewelry. I needed a little bit of help in this area. So, Abby opened her notebook and began drafting up some concepts based on what I had told her about Brett’s style and what I wanted this pair of cuff links to mean to him.
I wanted something that was both masculine and classic. I wanted Brett to be able to confidently wear these cuff links not only at his wedding, but also down the road whenever he wanted to show a bit of pizzazz! For me, that meant a square design with an elegant sapphire stone as an accent. The blue sapphire would match his midnight blue tuxedo perfectly.
Here’s how the final product turned out:
And here are a few photos of the actual production. There is real metal being worked, guys. These cuff links were built from scratch and there is nothing else like them in the world!
ManBands (aka Wedding bands)
Abby does more than just cuff links for the guys. Much of her business is for engagement rings. If you’re popping the question soon, here’s what you need to know:
- Metal choices: 18/14k white/yellow/rose gold, palladium, platinum, sterling
- All shapes and sizes of gemstones/diamonds are available
- Engraving available on the inside or outside of band
- Hand-forged ManBands begin at $600 in sterling silver, $1400 in gold, $1600 in palladium, $2000 in platinum
- There are six different band exterior finishes available:
- 1) Sand-blasted
- 2) Hammered
- 3) Brushed
- 4) S-Curve
- 5) Cross-peen
- 6) Sparks Signature finish
About Abby Sparks Designs
Located in Denver, Abby Sparks Designs specializes in custom jewelry with exceptional customer service. Contact Abby and her team here.
Cuff links begin at around $550 and ManBands range anywhere from $1,800 to $8,500.
I have never been impressed with the cuff links I see in the department store or online. They just have a tendency to look simplistic and almost tacky. But the ones from Abby Sparks Designs really set the bar high.
I couldn’t be happier with the way Brett’s cuff links turned out. Abby helped me to design a very special pair of cuff links that Brett now considers to be a family heirloom. It also opened my eyes to the world of custom men’s jewelry, aka cuff links. Hopefully, I can write about another pair of cuff links soon…
By Ryan Wagner
Have you purchased custom men’s jewelry before? Let us know in the comments below.
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