Some Unger and Green Cufflinks

Some Unger and Green Cufflinks

Unger Brothers

Rear view of Art Nouveau possum cufflinks from Unger Brothers. Rear view of Art Nouveau possum cufflinks from Unger Brothers.

This firm is one of the most highly prized of American silver makers, both for its jewelry and smalls. However, when this firm was founded in 1872 it only manufactured pocketknives and specialty hardware. It did not start making silver jewelry until 1878 and only produced it until 1914. At that time the firm stopped making silver jewelry and started making airplane parts. It never resumed making jewelry and was sold in 1919.

The Ungers produced basic silver jewelry until Philemon Dickinsen became associated with the firm. Philemon was the major designer for Unger Brothers joining them after his daughter married one of the Ungers. Philemon’s designs were produced through 1910. Unger Brothers pieces after 1910 were simpler and are not highly collected.

As to cuff links Unger Brothers early on produced double sided cuff links and later transitioned to single sided cuff links with a curved bar to a pod back. All cuff links would have the intertwined UB maker’s mark for Unger Brothers. You can find most designs in both single sided and double-sided varieties. They are most noted for the patterned Arts & Crafts designs or various Art Nouveau figurals, both human and animal.

Unger Brothers remains one of the most collectible of all American silversmiths as the designs were outstanding and the workmanship met the design standards.

Green Cuff Links
It’s always fun to add color to ones life, especially at the end of one’s sleeve. The most common color to find is green and it will range the gauntlet from low-grade cuff links with celluloid or glass through mock Wedgwood through stones up to gem set gold cuff links.

The top green gemstone is Emerald, which one will usually find in cuff links either as a single accent or with other high grade gemstones or as calibre cut stones usually found in very high end double sided cuff links. Similarly you will occasionally find rare demantoid and tsavorite garnets used in the same fashion. Usually, if you find a pair of cuff links with larger green stones, they are likely either tourmaline or peridot and sometimes, even a green sapphire.

The major stone that is often found in cuff links is jade. Please remember that there are two types of jade. The older jade is called nephrite and it usually has a grainier and oilier feel More people are familiar with Jadeite, which actually comes in almost every color, with the most highly collected being in the apple jade range. There are other stones that are sometimes misrepresented as jade, although beautiful in their own rights. Serpentine is sometimes called new jade, but is softer and less durable than jade. Chrysoprase is sometimes called Australian jade, another misnomer, while much of it comes from Australia, it is a type of quartz. However, while it does make quite a fashion statement it is not jade and should be priced accordingly.

Then, there is malachite. Besides coming in a wonderful banded green color, according to legend it protects the wearer from the evil eye and brings good luck. You can find malachite cuff links just showing off the color or carved into shapes or mixed with gold.

Now, designers are utilizing any green stone possible, expanding the horizons of the types of stone or rock that can be used in jewelry. Paulo Castagli has even added diamonds to speckled Thomsonite for a quite unusual feel.

Please write in about any other greens you are aware of and share your favorite green pair of cuff links.

Special thanks to

Adwin Ang
Cufflinks buying, exclusive interview from experts & information resource site!

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.