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Men's Jewelry Breaks The Rules

Jun 1, 2008
Anodized titanium. Stainless steel mesh. Rivets. Carbon fiber. Steel cable. Sound like shop class? These are the tough, nontraditional materials that are breaking all the rules and giving men's jewelry a whole new attitude.

Not so long ago, gold, platinum, and silver were the only metals used for fine jewelry, Now, jewelry designers are mixing "precious" and "nonprecious" materials with complete abandon. Diamonds get a more rugged, industrial feel by setting them in steel or titanium. Surprising accents of leather, cable, wood, and even rubber give a sleek, sexy edge that appeals to men's growing sense of adventure and daring when it comes to wearing fine jewelry.

Edward Mirell, a sophisticated, fashion-forward jewelry line, offers artistic designs featuring enticing accents of diamonds, colored gemstones, steel cable, and weathered leather. The line primarily features titanium, a lightweight, durable, scratch-resistant alternative to gold and silver. A patented anodizing technique creates a rich array of accent colors and a pure black titanium that's completely unique to the collection.

For a walk on the wild side, designer Catherine Zaydeh offers the Fiero collection, which features bold animal-inspired designs in sterling silver and yellow gold with alligator skin bands. Her Buffalo Horn collection showcases jewelry adorned with jet-black strands of hand-carved water buffalo horn combined with white, yellow, or rose gold.

Italian design firm FIBO Steel offers sleek stainless-steel pieces with a hip, urban attitude. Steel offers a look similar to platinum, but it has better resistance to scratches and stands up to aggressive wear. Leather, gold, rubber, and carbon fiber accent edgy razor blade motifs and pieces inspired by computer circuit boards.

Porsche Design's pure, clean-lined pieces appeal to the discerning man who loves the perfect combination of engineering and technology. The "Grooves" collection features rings that are ergonomically designed for ultimate comfort, a bracelet that boasts a magnetic steel catch, and a water-tight stainless steel pendant that screws open for storing personal documents.

Frederick Goldman, Inc., offers a collection of men's jewelry featuring design motifs inspired by NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing). Each piece is made from materials taken straight from the races, such as stainless steel with black finishes and the driver's racing numbers. Featured drivers include Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Tony Stewart, among others. The collection includes bracelets, rings, dogtag pendants, key chains, and money clips.

Aviation aficionados will gravitate toward the Fly Naked with Reichen collection, which features titanium jewelry made from the same materials used to build airplanes. Each of the sleek black or gray titanium pieces is offered in a propeller motif or the provocative "Fly Naked" graphics. The line is inspired by Reichen Lehmkuhl, best-known as a million-dollar winner of CBS's The Amazing Race.

For motorcycle enthusiasts, Von Dutch Watches presents a line of triple-chrome stainless-steel timepieces with a highly polished finish that painstakingly mimics the chrome piping on classic Von Dutch motorcycles. Bold enamel flames, gothic numbers, diamond detailing, and gas tank motifs complete the edgy yet sophisticated look.

Today's jewelry for men offers endless opportunities to showcase personal style and stand out from the pack. You can bet your grandpa's pocket watch on that.
About the Author
Jodi Goldberg is the editor of Fine Jewelry News, http://www.finejewelrynews.com, the place to stay in style and in-the-know about fine jewelry. She has been a writer and editor for legal, children's, and jewelry publications for the past 20 years.
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