For thousands of years, men adorned themselves with jewelry just as much as (if not more than) women. Regardless of class or stature, many men in days of yore were bejeweled. In fact, one of the earliest forms of jewelry was a style of ring given to servants, as a sort of latter-day credit card: when servants went to market, they could buy goods, and the master would be billed later, based on the particular ring that was worn and shown as proof of permission.
Fast forward to the 21st century, and men’s jewelry is seen in a different light. Large gold chains, flashy rings, and shiny pendants can be seen all over the music industry and the sports world; but for the typical American man, jewelry has been far simplified in the past 50 years. Signet rings have become simple wedding bands, and tie-tacs have been replaced by simple chains.
Many men who work industrial jobs steer away from jewelry, for fear of loss or damage to either the item itself, or the part of the body to which it was attached. In a world where many manual, hard-labor jobs are becoming computer and office jobs, it begs the question: why hasn’t the trend for men’s jewelry seen an uptick?
Even when searching for men’s jewelry online, several articles pop up saying men shouldn’t wear jewelry, or begging men to limit their presentation to three pieces: a watch, a wedding band, and a pair of cufflinks. Many of these articles come from fashion magazines. This is ironic, because most fashion magazines are notorious for breaking fashion standards.
Fear not, gentlemen! There is plenty of men’s jewelry out there to be worn, and it comes in all different styles!
Jewelry shouldn’t be viewed as a strictly feminine product--some people wear jewelry to accent a look, and others wear it to add to their personal style. Some people wear jewelry as another way to express themselves, both artistically, and fashionably. And when we say “jewelry,” we aren’t always talking about shiny gold and diamonds.
Do you fear wearing rings because of your work? Silicon rings are a great alternative that’s light, comfortable, flexible, and affordable! Metalwork has also come a long way since jewelry first came around, as well as the different materials with which craftspeople work.
Alternative metals such as tungsten, titanium, and steel have all become popular in making affordable men’s pieces. Other exotic materials like fossils, uncut stones, elk ivory, meteorite, and even wooly mammoth tusks have all made their way into the jewelry realm.
Bottom line: whatever appeals to you, rock it! Stray from the norm, and express yourself with pieces that make you feel good. Jewelry is a great way to trademark the uniqueness of your character. Whether it’s a simple ring, a chain with artistic touches, or a pendant with symbolic meaning-- wear it proudly and boldly!