John F. Kennedy (JFK) was the United State's 35th President. Born into a family of great wealth and power. His career was carefully guided and he ascended to become the second youngest President of the United of America (Theodore Roosevelt was age 42 and became President William McKinley was assassinated) . His wife's clothing and jewelry is a popular topic of interest even today. Sadly JFK died by assassination on Friday, November 22, 1963. He was fatally shot in Texas while riding with his wife, Jacqueline in a Presidential motorcade. He was 46 years old (May 29, 1917). While he was President from 1961 to 1963, three short years, his life cut tragically short by an assassin's bullet, JFKleft a great legacy of uniting a great nation.
John F. Kennedy Cuff Links
Gold Eagles and Stars Cuff Link Set
1963 Cuff Link
Most Expensive Cuff Links Ever Sold
"The most expensive cufflinks ever sold were a pair given to the soon-to-be
King Edward VIII by his later wife Wallis Simpson. These featured diamonds
set in platinum and sold at auction for $440,000."
Auction of JFK Cuff Links
"JFK's cuff links with the Presidential Seal did well too. They were made to match his own cuff links, and JFK often gave them to White House staffers who went beyond the call of duty. One pair sold for $11,500, another pair fetched $5750, and a third pair, offered together with a tie bar in its original box, brought $8625. The last set sold to a collector who traveled from Corrales, New Mexico, for the sale."
John F. Kennedy continued Abraham Lincoln's work. While the United States was legally not supposed to discriminate, the reality here in the US was a discrimination of separation blacks from whites - everywhere - buses, restaurants, etc... JFK showed us the proper pathway to real diversity. A true pilgrim of peace.
For JFK's work uniform, you can frequently find him wearing cuff links. Cuff links for JFK was a standard accessory from tuxedo to the campaign trail. As a tribute to a great man who fought for freedom for all American - black and white, let's also remember his attire and his formality of cuff links.
Cuff Links and Their History
Cuff links (also known as cuff link or cuff-link) are fasteners for the sleeves of our shirts. Worn by both men and women. In the beginning of this invention, the common terms were cuff strings and sleeve buttons. Where the sleeves are double, the shirt is said to be a French cuff in homage to the French designers.
Cuff links are the jewelry for the sleeve of our garments. Types of cuff links range from a post and chain simply connecting two discs to a swivel on the central post to single cuff links to double cuff links. Of course, the most expensive cuff links are always double - demanding double the design and extra material.
Camrose & Kross John F Kennedy Cufflinks Set ~ RARE
"Commemorative Presidential Seal Motiff
Cufflinks measures approx. 3/4"
Lapel Pin/Tie Tac measures 1/2"
Lapel Pin/Tie Tac marked - Ballou Reg'd - 130 Years
Comes in original velour-covered steel case.
From The Jackie Kennedy Collection
The American Bald Eagle - National Emblem from 1782
The story goes that as a tribute to JFK, Camrose & Kross had commissioned a special design - a very special set of cuff links to commemorate his contributions to the United States government.
"The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of American, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on this continent."
The design chosen included an American eagle, the nation's in the center is surrounded by forty-three stars, indicating JFK's age at election.
35 Gold Stars - Symbolize 35th President of the United States
In the outer ring, a cascade of 35 stars ends in John F. Kennedy's name, symbolizing his being the thirty-fifth American President.
Center Ring - Very Special - Three Stars for His Years of Service
The center ring of the custom cuff lines includes JFK's title - "President" and three stars - symbolizing one star for each year of his administration serving as as President of the United States of America.
Kennedy Space Program Attributes
"The metallic seal in both cuff links and lapel pin is minted in a special brass-titanium alloy, a development of the Kennedy space program, prized for its lightness and strength. Tooling for this remarkable piece was engraved by Laser, another legacy of JFK's space program."
The Creator of the Commemorative Cuff Links
Camrose and Kross is the manufacturer of the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection, creating exact replicas of Jackie's jewelry. The one set Camros and Kross created, I was fortunate to purchase and give as gift - a gift that is well remembered to this day and greatly appreciated. The majority of the pieces in the Camrose and Kross collection are electroplated in either 24k gold, rhodium or platinum and carry a lifetime guarantee of quality, guarding against all defects in workmanship. Their guarantee includes chipping, stones falling out or defective clasps or closures.
As part of the replica process, the jewelry in the Jacqueline Kennedy Collection is weighted exactly (99% the same as the original!). In many cases, the jewelry is very heavy. The bangle bracelets are a perfect example of the exact weight as the original jewelry designs. The commemorative cuff links appear to be an exception to this rule - a creation to simply honor and remember this great American leader.
History of the Jewelry
Many of Jackie's pieces were gifts, gifts given by other dignitaries from foreign lands or gifts from John F. Kennedy himself. The history behind the jewelry pieces is always fascinating. Some pieces have a provenance of great love and devotion, some pieces celebrate momentous occasions. A few pieces were commissioned by Jackie herself. She was the wife of the President of the United States, a fashion icon but also a very talented and creative lady who started her career as a photographer and ended her career as an editors. Jackie loved literature and taught her children to memorize literature on holidays. The gifts she left her children were beyond large homes and extensive jewelry and artwork. Jackie left a legacy of a love of foreign language, foreign travel, literature, horses, art and of course fashion. A complex lady, a lady worthy of the historical giant of the man that became our 35th President, a man who fought and lost his life for his country. A true pilgrim of peace and legendary leader.
Cuff Links Exchange - Presidential Pastime
History details that since the 1920s, heads of state have used cuff links as a token of good will. A common practice among this set is to exchange cuff links - both foreign and domestic dignitaries. Of course, jewelry is loved by men and women alike, the jewelry on the sleeves of menswear dates back to the 1700's. A symbol of prestige and power, cuff links and a crisp shirt and fine tailored suit.
Cuff Links - Awards of Appreciation
Beyond the dignitaries and politicians, Presidents have given cuff links as a memento of appreciation. Similar in nature to a Mayor giving a "key" to the city; the award of a cuff link is a personal gift of great distinction. World leaders, citizen ambassadors, staff appreciation, friends and family may have been the lucky recipients.
My doctor in Chicago, I recall clearly, donned a distinctive set given to him by an ambassador who he had operated upon. It was a token of appreciation, that my physician clearly was proud of - and rightfully so, the cuff links were regal looking even under the white physician jacket.
JFK and His Brother Robert Wearing Cuff Links
Presidential Eagles and Stars Cuff Links
President Nixon and Elvis Presley
Presidential Memorabilia Very Collectible
Presidential memorabilia remains very collectible. Jewelry is often the talk of the auctions for the size of the dollars that celebrity jewelry often brings. Interestingly, the Presidential cuff links over the years have garner both allot of attention and substantial dollars. Hail to the Chiefs, a website devoted to American political and Presidential memorabilia with special attention given to the presidencies' of:
George W. Bush, (43rd President inaugurated at age 54 in 2001)
Bill Clinton, (42nd President inaugurated at age 46 in 1993)
George Bush, (41st President inaugurated at age 64 in 1989)
Ronald Reagan, (40th President inaugurated at age 69 in 1981)
Jimmy Carter, (39th President inaugurated at age 52 in 1977)
Gerald Ford, (38th President inaugurated at age 61 in 1974)
Richard Nixon, (47th President inaugurated at age 56 in 1969)
Lyndon Johnson (36th inaugurated 1963 at age 64),
John F. Kennedy (35th President inaugurated at age 43, 1961),
Dwight Eisenhower,(34th President inaugurated at age 62, 1953),
Harry Truman, (33rd President inaugurated at age 60 in 1945),
Franklin D. Roosevelt, (32nd President inaugurated at age 51 in 1933),
Hail to the Chiefs also has a large collection of signed sports memorabilia, rare collectibles and also jewelry and art from around the world.
" Here is one of the rarest items of Kennedy Presidential Memorabilia. It is a pair of 14K solid yellow gold cufflinks. They feature a beautifully detailed and die struck Presidential Seal on the front, and President Kennedy's full engraved signature on the back. These are the rarest of the Presidential cufflinks. Very few sets were ever made. They were frequently worn by President Kennedy. He also gave them to very close personal friends and visiting Heads of State. The last sets that I saw sell sold in the $10.000.00 range, plus a 15% buyers premium. The auction was at the Guernsey Auction House in New York approximately four years ago. JFK Presidential Memorabilia continues to be very difficult to obtain, and the values keep escalating. These cufflinks and several other JFK items now on my auction came from the Estate of Peter Lawford. He was married to JFK's sister Pat, and was a close personal friend of both President and Mrs. Kennedy. He frequently traveled with the and supported his political campaigns. "
John F. Kennedy Cuff Links Summary
Cuff links are distinctive in menswear. This tiny piece of jewelry adds character and grace to a business uniform or political uniform. Exchanging cuff links in the world of dignitaries as a token of appreciation adds a touch of class and history to the meeting. As Camrose and Kross has shown, the history of the moment, the appreciation of the gift is the real story behind the jewelry. Whether family history, a sincere gift of appreciation of a job well done between dignitaries or a patient and a physician, cuff links remain the king of masculine jewelry - an elegant note showcasing the attention to detail and sincere concern for appearance - both in decorum, in dress and in political power.
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photo courtesy of:
Presidential history details provided by wikipedia.com
Kelly Kline Burnett (author) from Madison, Wisconsin on January 27, 2016:
You are very astute! Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article but more importantly, a million thanks for sharing your knowledge. I will edit and update.
Forever in your gratitude,
Abi'l-Khayr on November 21, 2015:
In the picture above of the man leaning through a bus window, you identify him as JFK -- but it looks to be his brother Robert. Note, for example, the hair parted on the opposite side of the head compared to the picture of JFK in his rocking chair which appears above.
charmstotreasure on August 10, 2010:
Beautiful! Love old president's history. Awesome! Visited Warren G Harding home in Marion, Ohio, and saw lots of great antiques, reminds me of this hub. Good theme!
jewellery channel on August 09, 2010:
great hub GmaGoldie...
the featured cuff links look amazing...
Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on July 28, 2010:
Well researched. Cuff links are not that popular these days but they might make a come back
carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on July 27, 2010:
what a cool collectible those would be!!
KKalmes from Chicago, Illinois on July 27, 2010:
Hello Goldie, I love anything Kennedy... this was a very interesting narrative on cuff-links and history.
World-Traveler from USA on July 27, 2010:
Thanks for that! You have a very interesting way of teaching political history through the use of cuff links. Thanks!