Cuff links came upon the style scene in the late 18th century, replacing cuff strings and "sleeve buttons." Like other forms of jewelry, they've been in and out of fashion ever since. By the early 1900s enamel and gemstone links had become popular with Europeans. During the Jazz Age Americans followed suit, pairing ruby and sapphire links with evening jackets. Cuff links took a popularity dive during the Depression and World War II but resurfaced with gusto in the postwar period. Consigned to fashion oblivion in the sixties, by 1990 they'd come roaring back. Now they're essential accessories for the sartorially smart. Clockwise from top: coral and white gold Buddha links from Silverhorn ($3,600, 805-969-0442); turquoise and onyx automobile links from Longmire (about $4,400, 44-20-7930-8720); lapis, mother-of-pearl, and gold globe links from Asprey ($2,200, 800-883-2777); black enamel and pavé diamond penguin links from Nicholas Varney ($8,640, 212-223-1043); 18-karat gold teddy bear cuff links with sapphires and diamonds from Bielka ($4,400, 800-848-3904); 18-karat gold onion links from Mish New York ($2,300, 212-734-3500).
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Essential accessories for the sartorially smart