Ah, the wonderful world of Etsy. Much like Wikipedia or IMDB, you can trek there to look up one thing, and discover, four hours later, that you know everything about, well, anything. This week’s finds are all about unique cuffs, which are as different as their places of origin: Tucson, the UK, East Peoria, San Diego. Read on for this week’s picks!

Piece #1: Everything’s Better in England (except the food)

Unique Cuffs on Etsy - 19th Century London Map

The London skyline isn’t very angular. Sure, there are a few cathedrals, but most structures opt for alternate geometric styles: the St. George Wharf Tower is cylindrical, the London Eye is circular, and 30 St. Mary Axe, rather appropriately, resembles a hard-boiled egg in its cup. But fret not, for it’s not the skyline but a late 19th century map of London town elegantly decoupaged onto a brass cuff that stole my heart. The Thames River is a serene turquoise, and landmarks (Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, Waterloo Bridge) are easily recognizable. Anglophilia: now available for your wrist.

Details

  • Material: Brass (alloy of zinc and copper)
  • Finish: Sealant, non-waterproof
  • Dimensions: 0.75″/19mm high, 5.5″/140mm inside length, 1.5″/38mm opening (adjustable)
  • One size fits wrist sizes from 5.5″/38mm to 7.5″/191mm
  • Handmade in Dorset, England, Great Britain

Buy online at etsy.com, $30.

Piece #2: Cuffs for the NSA Age

Unique Cuffs on Etsy - Geographical Coordinates NSA

I like this one because it’s one-part funny, one-part creepy, and one-part extremely relevant: this cuff allows you to engrave your (or anyone else’s) geographical coordinates on a heavy gauge metal bangle. In a time where a civil servant knows everything from your ATM pin code to what’s sitting in your Amazon shopping cart, this cuff might be the perfect gift for a sarcastic, stylish news junkie (ahem). Or a sweet gift of devotion to your partner. But remember: the NSA will know your reasoning either way.

Details

  • Handmade item
  • Material: aluminum
  • Made to order
  • Ships worldwide from San Diego, California

Buy online at etsy.com, $18.

Piece #3: XOXO, Gustav Klimt

Unique Cuffs on Etsy - The Kiss Gustav Klimt

“The Kiss” is one of the world’s most famous works of art. A man and a woman are entwined together under a stunning blanket of gold, green, black and red. Have they not yet kissed, or are we glimpsing post-coital bliss? Are their lips about to touch, or are they teasing one another? “The Kiss” hangs in a museum in Vienna, but an Etsy shop has imprinted the lovers’ embrace onto a beautiful brass cuff. And it’s not a cheap effort – the painting has been vividly realized on the bracelet, and would make an excellent gift for your (art) lover.

Details

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: brass, glaze
  • Ships worldwide from East Peoria, Illinois
  • Cuff measures 1 1/8 inches tall, 5 3/4 inches long
  • Adjustable

Buy online at etsy.com, $24.

Piece #4: Discarded license plate+effort=jewelry

Unique Cuffs on Etsy - Discarded License Plates

Are you proud of your home state? Do you hate your home state but like where you live now? Do you wish you lived in your favorite state? If you answered yes to these questions, this cuff is for you. Names of states are sliced off from discarded license plates, filed, shaped, lacquered, and affixed to supple brown leather. Talk about wearing your heart on your sleeve!

Details

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: leather, metal, license plate, rivets, clasps
  • Made to order
  • Ships from Branson, Missouri
  • Bracelets come in 3 different lengths: 7, 8, and 9 inches, and are 1.25 inches wide

Buy online at etsy.com, $25.

Piece #5: Speaking of Good British Goods

Unique Cuffs on Etsy - Sherlock Holmes Watson Quote

One of the UK’s greatest contributions to literature is the intriguing life and intrigues of Sherlock Holmes, who first appeared in print in 1887. More recently, the character has become a true 21st century phenomenon due to the (devastatingly handsome) Benedict Cumberbatch’s incarnation of Holmes on BBC’s eponymous series. So whether you’re a fan of the man, the books, the many great men who’ve played him on stage and screen, this chestnut-colored cuff, which is illustrated with the layout of 221B Baker Street, is truly an extraordinary gift. The cuff is inscribed with Holmes’ memorable quote to his partner, the good doctor James Watson: “Come, Watson! The game is afoot!”

Details

  • Materials: brass, metal, paper
  • Made to order
  • Dimensions: 1.5″/38mm high; 5.5″/140mm inside length; 1.5″/38mm opening (adjustable)
  • One size fits wrist sizes from 5.5″/38mm to 7.5″/191mm
  • Handmade in Dorset, England
  • Ships worldwide from United Kingdom

Buy online at etsy.com, $42.

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About Nandini Balial: I grew up in India, with an arty theatrical hippie mum who used to make her own jewelry, and vibrant patterns and materials – always on display at any relative’s wedding – quickly caught my attention.  Once I moved to Texas, I had to reconcile the ornate silks, mirrored scarves and silver hoops with glittery Coco Chanel earrings and Ralph Lauren polos. I’m still most comfortable in a vegetable/fruit-dye print cotton shirt and jeans, but my accessories will always vary. I proudly maintain that clothes are expensive and can’t always be mixed n’matched, but accessories are (on average) a bit cheaper, and can always move across your wardrobe (with/without irony). If you ever run across a fun accessory find, e-mail me with the details (and a photo, if possible), and I’ll try to include it in a future column.

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