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Holiday Gift Ideas for Men

Don’t forget about the jewelry store when you’re making your list (and checking it twice).

As the holiday gift-buying season bears down, it wouldn’t be surprising if the ones left on your list are your father, husband, son or another male relative or friend. Finding holiday gifts for men — ones they’ll really appreciate — can be a challenge. The jewelry store may not be the first place that pops into your mind, but it can be a treasure trove of possibilities when gift shopping for men.

  • How does he dress? Is he a personal trainer or machine operator who could wear a diamond stud earring but not a big ring that could injure him or someone nearby? Is he a computer programmer or science teacher who might enjoy a technically interesting timepiece? If he’s on the management track, would dressing in a shirt and tie with cuff links and tie bar mark him as a contender?
  • Take note of any jewelry his buddies, father and brothers wear. This will give you some hints on what type of jewelry he might be comfortable wearing.
  • Drop hints. “Did you see that onyx ring your boss wears?” “I love your brother’s watch with the sports team logo.” “My sister just bought her boyfriend a titanium ring. Isn’t that cool?” Gauge his reaction and try to start a conversation about men’s jewelry, but don’t be blatantly obvious that you’re trying to get ideas for a gift for him.

A cheat sheet

Here are some great holiday gift ideas for men. Which ones do you think the man you’re shopping for would appreciate most?


Available in many styles and various materials, including metal and high-grade leather, choose designs that have a substantial, masculine look. Otherwise, you’ll be making a return visit to the jewelry store.

Cuff links:

Worn with French-cuff shirts, these come in countless styles, some with gemstones, and are suitable for men who want — or need — to make an upwardly mobile impression at work.

Dog tags:

Named for identification tags worn by military personnel or for the actual dog tags that inspired them, this jewelry comes in many styles, including solid metal; metal with inlays of a gem, mineral or a second metal; engraved names and birthdates; and even names or initials cut out or outlined in diamonds. Let creativity be your guide.

Diamond earrings for men:

Whether your special guy wears one or two, the holidays are a good time to expand his wardrobe of ear jewelry. You don’t even have to worry about the size.

Engraved jewelry:

Have your guy’s name or one of his favorite sayings engraved on a cuff bracelet, ring or dog tag pendant.

Jewelry valet:

Most of these boxes for jewelry storage are wood with velvet- or satin-lined interiors to protect watches, men’s bracelets, neck chains and tie bars.

Key ring:

Instead of the flimsy kind sold at discount store, give a more substantial, elegantly styled version found in the jewelry store.

Money clips:

Available in numerous materials and styles, these clip onto paper cash and credit cards to avoid the bulk of a wallet.

Nautical rope jewelry:

This is a popular masculine style in all types of jewelry, usually in gold and sterling silver.

Neck chains:

Box, rope and Figaro are among popular styles for men.


Not just for women, pendants that hang from neck chains come in many styles suitable for men and boys. Themes include sports, religion (cross, prayer box, blessing box), military (all branches of the Armed Services) and medical (symbols for doctors and nurses, as well as ones with the medical alert emblem on the front and a solid back that can be engraved with important information such as cardiac history or severe allergies).


The versions offered by jewelers are typically better quality and offer more functions than others.


Although many guys have never worn any jewelry other than a class ring or wedding band, some are completely open to considering bold men’s rings. Popular metals range from white and yellow gold to more unusual choices such as titanium and tungsten. Such rings for men not only look attractive, but also have a story to tell because of the unusual material. Some also come with a gemstone (diamond, emerald, sapphire, ruby and smoky quartz are popular for men, as are black onyx, green malachite and blue lapis lazuli).

Sports-themed jewelry: 

From pendants to watch dials, you’ll find almost every sport represented, including football, baseball, basketball and soccer, as well as auto racing, boating, bowling, boxing, golf, running, skiing, snowboarding, tennis and weightlifting.

Tie bars:

Tie bars work like a small clothespin to keep the tie attached to the shirt. As with cuff links, they signal someone who is looking to get ahead in a professional environment.


You’ll have many options to consider, from inexpensive electronic models with quartz movements to fully mechanical watches operated by springs that have to be wound (a good option for the mechanically inclined) to high-end digital Swiss watches with lots of additional functions. Watches come with round, square or rectangular cases and a metal band or leather strap. You’ll find some men’s watches with a sports team logo emblazoned on the face, and some called chronographs, the most basic of which is a combination display and stopwatch. You’ll even find pocket watches, an elegant nod to yesteryear that may be on the comeback trail.

Watch winders:

These boxes — usually wood with a glass window — store and wind mechanical watches.

OK, it’s time to shop! Keep the information you’ve gathered top of mind, but also ask your jeweler for ideas. He or she may be able to steer you to a perfect gift you hadn’t even though about. And be sure to ask about return policies — you’ll get peace of mind that if the unexpected happens, you can return to choose something else.

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