Learning About Cufflinks w/ David, The Cufflink King – How to Collect and Sell Vintage Cufflinks

I was so honored when David, The Cufflink King, came over to talk all about the different varieties and styles of collectible cufflinks.  He shares some very unusual cufflinks from his collection and give great tips on what to look for and how to get started selling cufflinks.  Below is a portion of our interview, scroll down for the video link.  He gives some extra tips to the Jewelry Lovers and Sellers group after the show ended.

TGT: How did you get started collecting and selling cufflinks?

CLK:  First pair purchased at a yard sale in Clearwater, Florida for $4 in 1981. Did not start selling cufflinks until 1993

TGT:  You have a very comprehensive website.  How did you come up with your characters and their personas?

CLK:  The characters are all various types of cufflinks King Doubleside, Jester Toggle, Duke Beanback, Sir Snappy and there are 2 more that I have not yet introduced . . . Queenie Cuff Button and Duchess Barbell

TGT:  How many do you have in your collection?

CLK:  I have no idea at this stage but when I began selling the on the internet in 1998, I guesstimated around 10,000 pairs but many of these were what collectors refer to as cookie cutter types (mass production cufflinks)

TGT:  How can you tell vintage from reproduction?

CLK:  Cufflinks evolved like everything else . . . the oldest ones were double-sided  late 17th century through the mid 19th century; followed by the cuff buttons of the 1880s , then bean backs and ball backs, then single-sided and snaplinks and finally the toggle link of the 40’s til now

TGT:  How do you decide on pricing?

CLK: Pricing has been difficult for non high end cufflinks because there have been very few if any auction records until now and even now, a single auction record is really not a good indicator. So, I guess the answer is whatever the market will bare.

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TGT:  Do you find that people are looking more for true vintage? Specific style/type of cufflink? Or Subject Matter?

CLK:  Cufflink collecting is not so black and white . . . there are vintage cufflink collectors and cufflink collectors; there are collectors for Deco enamels, snap links, historical links, 300 year old or older links, high end links, designer links, advertising links, etc

TGT:  You not only collect, but sell, cufflinks.  What was the most valuable pair you sold?

CLK:  The most I have ever received for a pair of links was either $2700 or $3200, I can’t really remember and this was a wholesale deal.

TGT:  Do you try to repair cufflinks that have chipped paint or missing stones?

CLK:  As a general rule, I do not repair the links I buy but there have been a few exceptions where toggles have been broken or missing.

TGT:  How can you tell if cufflinks are meant for women or men?

CLK:  To my knowledge, cufflinks were in fashion for women during the Victorian era and I would have to research to see if there were other times.

TGT:  Where are some of the places you find cufflinks to sell? Most unusual place you’ve found them?

CLK:  Any place where jewelry is sold or traded may have a pair of cufflinks and of course, private offerings. I always looked for cufflinks in my travels but Israel was probably the most surprising.

TGT:  Are there any particulars that sellers need to make sure to mention when listing cufflinks to sell, other than brand and measurements?

CLK:  Selling cufflinks on the internet can be tricky . . . the most constructive advice I can share is listing them in more than one category (the cufflink category as well as Victorian jewelry or Deco enamels or Queen Ann)

TGT:  Are there different cufflinks for regular shirts vs French cuffs?

CLK:  If understand the question . . . any cufflink can be worn on any cuff that has two button holes for the link to hold the cuff together

TGT:  What is your unicorn? What are you always on the lookout for?

CLK:  I always look for the oldest, the historically significant ones, the ones that you say “I can’t believe someone made a cufflink like this”

TGT:  What are the rarest and/or most desirable cufflinks to find?  

CLK:   You will get different answers to this question depending who you ask . . . the rarest cufflink is frequently not the most desirable.

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If at anytime you notice discrepancies or have questions about the accuracy of what I’m writing/sharing, please let me know and we can look at all the sources and make sure the correct information is being given.