When it comes to jewellery, women have most definitely won the battle of the sexes. The most important designs, the best stones, the highest sales volumes are all reserved for women, with men often treated as an afterthought with a few unisex lines directed their way or some bland cufflinks designed to tie in with watch collections. But as men are becoming braver in their jewellery choices, so should buyers and designers.
“Men want to accessorise, and they just can't find much out there,” says Amedeo Scognamiglio, whose jewellery brand Amedeo has recently increased its offering for men, driven by the designer and founder’s personal desire to find more exciting designs in the market. “It started with me. I wanted to wear jewellery and so I started to design pieces for me. I wear a lot of designer sneakers, I collect them, and I started to design jewellery that would go with my designer shoes from Louboutin, Jimmy Choo, Givenchy and Balenciaga, as I thought jewellery and shoes always go together.”
Amedeo is known for its cameos, which can be worn on bracelets, pendants or rings, but also makes unusual pendants for men carved from black lava. Greek jewellery brand Minas, which says that much of its customer base is male, also works with dark materials, opting to oxidise silver designs until it gets a black, almost matte, finish. Many of Minas’ men’s jewellery pieces also have secondary functional uses, such as pendants that are working spirit levels or rings that double as cigar holders.
Minas creates silver men's pendants that double as spirit levels
Amedeo also works with dark materials
Some new men’s designs are embracing gemstones but doing so in a less obvious way, tailored to appeal to men who want the luxury of diamonds and coloured gemstones without it becoming too blingy. Russian brand Openjart has a collection of rings that sets diamonds on the inside of the band, so only the wearer will know they are there.
This Openjart men's ring hides its diamonds in the inside of the band
Others, however, are embracing the bold new spirit of men’s jewellery. Italian brand Federico Primiceri, for example, has included Pac-Man-inspired two-finger diamond-encrusted silver rings in its new men’s collection, while Sarah Ho has upsized her popular Numerati collection of rings designed around lucky numbers to offer men the chance to buy into the creative style in silver or gold.
Pac-Man-inspired men's two-finger ring by Federico Primiceri
Sarah Ho is now offering the Number 3 ring, and all others from the Numerati collection, in men's sizes
For jeweller Ana de Costa, who this year designed her first collection for men in a partnership with luxury car manufacturer Rolls-Royce – 18karat gold pins set with blue sapphires inspired by the history of the brand – it was not just about creating jewellery that men can wear but objet d’art that will appeal to those who appreciate the finer things in life.
“The sapphires blend seamlessly into the blue gold lacquer but the brilliance in the stones helps them to sparkle and twinkle subtly when the light catches them,” says de Costa. “They are understated but still visible. The man who would wear one of these pins would be someone who is a connoisseur of luxury but also of craft and design.”
Ana de Costa has created a collection of precious men's pins in partnership with Rolls-Royce