Professional Jeweler Archive: Metal Muscles

March 2004

Precious Metals/New Products

Metal Muscles

Minimal design elements and high-tech metals make men's jewelry interesting

There’s no question men’s jewelry can enhance a customer’s image. So why is this small niche so grossly under-served, representing only about 3% of the jewelry market? “Until recently, innovation and creativity have been lacking, but that’s changing with higher quality and more designs and metals now available,” says George Simpson, president of The Touch, Waltham, MA.

To pique interest, the jewelry must be cool and masculine. “A chain made of nautical rigging cable enhanced with gold or a bracelet crafted in stainless steel aviation-control cable and gold provide a level of masculinity that other jewelry doesn’t,” says Bernard Reller, designer/owner of Reller Inc., Gainesville, FL.

Use the intrigue of materials such as titanium and tungsten to lure customers also. “These metals are high-tech, and men love the technical aspect to just about everything,” says Simpson. “It’s boys and toys.”

Trent West, who created the Trew Tungsten™ line of scratch-resistant tungsten carbide, says his men’s rings have really taken off and are selling in more than 300 jewelry stores.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for the precious. “Fourteen karat gold, 14k-gold-and-stainless and 18k gold are very popular and coordinate well with men’s watches,” says Simpson. The Trew Tungsten rings also are available using a patented bonding process that fuses gold and platinum into the tungsten.

Boosting sales in this category depends on you reminding men (and their significant others) that it exists and is diverse. Place this jewelry so it catches a man’s attention on his way to the watch or engagement ring showcase. Advertise innovations in design and material. Trent West Design, for example, offers its retail dealers an ad-planner Web site where you can download high-resolution images and logos to use in advertising the new tungsten carbide category for men.

– by Lorraine M. O’Donnell, A.J.P

14k white gold or two-toned links are available as bracelets or neckchain formats.

Aaura Inc., Chicago, IL; (800) 345-4445, fax (312) 641-6520.

Sterling silver money clip has 23k gold electroplated highlights and comes with a lifetime guarantee. Suggested retail, $49.95.

Legere, Attleboro, MA; (800) 451-2922, fax (508) 226-1954.

From the Guy Beard collection, 14k framed hand-braided cuff links are $549 suggested retail.

The Touch, Waltham, MA; (800) 556-0041 or (781) 894-8133, fax (781) 894-7821.

This 7mm tungsten carbide band features 18k gold inlay and is part of the TrewEdge™ collection in the TrewTungsten™ line.

Trent West Design, Watsonville, CA; (888) 466-9358 or (831) 768-8298.

Men’s jewelry is finished in Kelly Waters Overlay™ and Kelly Waters Rhodium Finish.™ Each piece is gift-boxed and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Kelly Waters, Boston, MA; (800) 647-7017,,

14k gold 8-in. bracelet features a 3mm bullet-shaped ruby cabochon. Suggested retail, $1,989.

Reller Inc., Gainesville, FL; (800) 233-4820 or (352) 372-2337, fax (352) 372-9629.

lassic and fancy lines of neckchains, bracelets, rings and dog tags are available in 10k, 14k and 18k yellow, white and pink gold.

ATR Jewelry Inc., New York City; (212) 819-0075, fax (212) 819-0045,

14k True Knots seamless die-struck rings are $625-$750 triple keystone. The line includes bangles and earrings to match wedding band designs. Brides and grooms can give the other items to wedding party members or coordinate their own jewelry to match their bands.

My Way Jewelry Co., Los Angeles, CA; (800) 667-1515 or (213) 689-0945,,

Sterling silver and 14k gold tie pins are $22.50-$300 retail.

Rembrandt Charms, Buffalo, NY; (800) 828-7840, fax (800) 828-7811.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications