Brooches and Pins

The clothing pin brooch has evolved significantly since its beginnings in the ancient world. Silver and gold brooches were used in a functional capacity to fasten or secure articles of clothing. The earliest jewelry brooches were made of thorns, flint, and sticks.

During the Bronze Age, pin brooches were then handcrafted from metal. The purely practical uses of gold brooches stopped in the Middle Ages and silver brooches became ornaments used only for adornment and social differentiation.

In Georgian times, pin brooches were often backed with aluminum and had closed mounts. This was to improve or change the color and sparkle of the gemstone.

Victorians favored mourning jewelry brooches which often had black enamel and were engraved with the date of the deceased and encapsulated a lock of their hair. The pin brooch sometimes had a removable glass panel to hold the hair.

Used as cloak fasteners and worn by Celts and Vikings, the earliest Celtic silver brooches were seen in the early medieval period in Ireland and Britain and feature a long pin attached to a ring.