Men bracelets are no longer seen as accessories for playboys. Forget about the cheap, awkward ones, they are many that are now finely-made and that cost more than a watch.
Iver Rosenkrantz, a Nairobi jeweller, has been selling most of his exquisite bracelets made from rare gemstones to women. But now he is targeting men.
“It is not a secret that 90 per cent of jewellery buyers are women and the remaining 10 per cent buy either for themselves or for a woman. But we have now introduced very cool pieces for men since I believe that it was high time that men are also considered,” he says.
For men, he currently has a solid wrought of 14-carat rose gold where elephant skin texture has been curved by hand into the gold to create a bangle. This is the most high-end piece he has in his new collection and depending on the size it can either have 60 or 80 grammes of gold. The semi-circular bangle is then complemented with sapphires at the bottom end of each side.
He also sells a Jotto rose gold bracelet that also comes in silver. The gold costs Sh1 million while the silver goes for Sh55,500.
“This is one of the pieces that I really like because it is very masculine, luxurious and will make any gentleman stand out. And the beauty of all my pieces is that they are always curved by hand,” says the jeweller.
Another outstanding piece is a beaded bracelet made from Mount Kilimanjaro's lava that has been polished. The bracelet also has 14-carat rose gold beads and black diamonds. This also comes in a silver version. These pieces range from Sh53,000 to Sh240,000.
“Not only is lava good for a person to wear, it also has a calming energy, keeping a person more focused and especially in the world we live in I believe we all need that. It also has a rustic cool look,” says the jeweller whose designs do not conform to universally accepted standards.
Mr Rosenkrantz creates designs that he can also wear. When we met at a café in Nairobi, I first noticed the two bracelets on his left hand and he jokingly says he cannot afford the rose gold one.
“I am an adventurer more than I am a jeweller, so for me the stone is basically two things. It is my gateway to adventure because gemstones in Africa and the rest of the world usually come from interesting places,” he says.
He also wears his Kenyan bracelet that has the national flag colours. It is made from Japanese glass beads with a stainless steel clasp. ''It is very fine work,'' he says. The Kenyan bracelet costs Sh10,000 and the one with a gold clasp is the most bought. A person’s name or initials can also be engraved.
His new collection also has women bracelets, rings and necklaces. They are made from tumbling gemstones sourced from Congo and aquamarines from Zimbabwe wrapped with 18-carat gold, or small diamonds placed directly into the stone.
“Setting of small diamonds inside a stone is something that has never been done before. We polish the stones according to the colour and then make the pieces that are unique that make an African statement,” says Mr Rosenkrantz who first came to Tanzania as a law student and spent six months working in a court in Dar es Salaam.
His new collection, he says, is more affordable than his last one.