Men Embrace Variety of Metals in Jewelry Design
The men’s jewelry sector was valued at $6.5 billion in 2021, up 17% in 2020, and almost 4% over 2019, according to the market research firm Euromonitor International. The sector has been growing steadily since 2015, save for the pandemic fallout, at a compound annual growth rate of over 3%.
A recent report by Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Co. on the state of watches and jewelry found that men’s jewelry sales make up 5% to 10% of the global market, with wedding bands the majority.
The report hails male consumers as “an opportunity for brands to capture share in a relatively un-crowded market driven by increasingly genderless aesthetics and high-profile celebrity influencers.”
More men are experimenting and enjoying jewelry and wearing what they like — from gold and diamonds to silver and leather to a host of contemporary metals.
Vogue magazine hailed men’s Spring 2022 runways as showing more jewelry accessorizing men than has been seen ever before on the catwalks! Vogue calls out chain link necklaces, with and without pendants/medallions/charms; and hoop earrings among the jewelry styles spied on the runways.
“The growing interest in menswear is sparking creativity in all corners of the market, including jewelry, which frames a logo well and can be a more accessible entryway into a brand than a full look,” writes Laird Borrelli-Persson. “Over the past few seasons, Prada’s metal triangle has migrated to fingers and earlobes; a Ferrari horse pendant can add some vroom-vroom to an everyday outfit.”
In fact, Ann Grimmett, vice president of merchandising for the retail jewelry chain, Jared, told Forbes in a recent article, “Men’s Jewelry is Trending Genderless in 2022,” that the men’s business is “on fire.” She cites, “traditional offerings in gold chain continue to do well, particularly in larger weights, but men are doing more layering on the neck and wrist and expanding beyond this.”
Men’s jewelry is the category that is growing by leaps and bounds, says Cora Lee Colaizzi, marketing director and senior merchandiser for Quality Gold. She describes the fashion buzz to be all about “second-generation metrosexuality” or metrosexual 2.0 — modern day fashionistos who are seriously interested in style.
A core piece in a man’s jewelry wardrobe is a signature ring, underscores Jonathan Cohen, for the iconic men’s jewelry brand IBGoodman, now a part of Quality Gold. He shared during JCK Las Vegas that rings are a strong category for men, with diamond gold bands among the brand’s bestsellers, in single or multiple stones up to 3 carats total weight.
Signet rings that have personal significance are always in demand, Cohen says, whether engraved with a monogram, family crest, or other meaningful symbols. IBGoodman is well known for its emblematic rings for fraternal organizations.
Other popular ring styles for men can be found in Samuel B’s Imperial Bali Men’s Collection, which draws inspiration from mystic dragons and ancient Balinese patterns, weaves and textures. Examples include its Wai star, Ego dragon, and Orak skull signet rings in sterling silver set with black spinel.
Moreover, Esquire Men’s Jewelry, produced by the SHR Jewelry Group, a part of SDC Designs, launched through Jared last year, sterling silver signet rings, some gold-plated, and in all-metal versions, set with gemstones like onyx and chalcedony in its “1933 Esquire” collection.
John Skaret, Vice President of Sales, Independent Division for Frederick Goldman, cites contemporary metal bands to be a significant growth opportunity for jewelers. “Considering the incredible amount of innovation in metals and materials over the years, consumers have grown an appreciation and desire for something different,” he shares, noting that men ages 18 to 45 are very interested in contemporary metals like tungsten carbide for both wedding and fashion rings.
“We have seen a significant rise in men looking for contemporary metal bands for fashion and lifestyle purchases,” says Skaret. “The men’s jewelry category as a whole has exploded in the last three to five years. Because of the incredibly unique designs available in these materials, many men are gravitating toward these rings as a fashion item.” He notes that with these new materials comes a large palette of colors and textures, weight and widths.
Links & Layering
Part of the stylish man’s daily uniform are link bracelets and necklaces reports SHR Jewelry Group CEO Scott Rauch, including Cuban, curb, and oversized Figaro chain. Necklaces feature similar link chains, plus medallion pendants, dog tags, and crosses. For the Esquire line, it’s silver with gold and ruthenium plating.
Colaizzi underscores that a variety of metals are popular in the men’s jewelry category, including 14K gold chain and statement pendants in different motifs, sterling silver, and stainless steel, black carbon fiber and red fiberglass inlay, as found in Quality Gold’s Chisel brand for men.
Sterling silver has also been a favorite metal for men, and Samuel B’s Imperial Bali Men’s Collection has some rich examples mixing silver design elements with gem beads, like its silver snakehead chrysocolla bead (Tarakan) and silver dragon claw matte onyx bead (Tidore) bracelets. The line’s Tobaru, Tara and Ranu bracelets come in a variety of colors in stingray, as well as brown and black leather, with sterling silver and 18K gold accents. All great styles for layering
The SHR Jewelry Group also has a collection, Kingka Men’s, featuring a wide selection of beaded bracelets with stainless steel, leather and rope. Urban, cool and trendy collection, this rock star jewelry includes gems such as onyx, lapis, malachite, tiger’s eye, labradorite, and lava stone, and other materials like ceramic, titanium and tungsten.
Cufflinks to Brooches
Cufflinks remain a go-to accessory for men of all ages, even in our more casual dress-down society says Cohen. Young men are wearing French cuff shirts, often without a tie, with jeans and adding personal style in their cufflinks.
There are many options to choose from in a variety of metals at different price points, from stainless steel to silver and gold. Among IBGoodman’s most popular cufflink styles are from its Americana Collection with bronze coin set in silver cufflinks, or rings, pendants, and bracelets. Among the motifs are sailing, fishing, and horseback riding, as well as eagle, lion, star, and Masonic symbol.
The men’s category has so much variety in metal, stone, style, and price points for men to flash some personality. Cohen mentions the brand has jewelry styles that are very popular for men set with American Oak Bourbon Barrel inlay.
Men’s jewelry has changed immensely over the years, reports Menswear Style, a leading men’s lifestyle platform. From ornate pins and brooches to simple chains and fabric bracelets, men’s jewelry is not only diverse, but also constantly evolving. The platform describes men’s jewelry in 2022, as a melting pot of different decades — “everything from the dog tags of the 1990s to large medallions from the 1970s to classic tie clips reminiscent of the 1950s.”