One of the most immediately recognizable examples of vintage costume jewelry is the Jelly Belly pin or brooch. Pioneered by Trifari in the 1930s and perfected by the company’s head designer, Alfred Philippe, in the 1940s, the phrase Jelly Belly refers to a figural—usually an animal—pin with a rounded middle made out of polished Lucite. Jelly Bellies produced immediately after World War II are must-haves for many collectors of vintage costume jewelry.

One of the earliest Trifari Jelly Bellies depicts a duckling hatching from an egg. With its pavé-set rhinestone head, red coral eye, and gold-plated eggshell, wings, and beak, this 1930s piece is everything a good Jelly Belly should be—elegant, charming, and whimsical.

In the 1940s, Philippe created a menagerie of Jelly Belly creatures. Some were simple, such as a fly pin with rhinestones accenting the insect’s neck and wings. Others were more complex—Philippe’s seal featured an enormous arching Lucite body balancing a rhinestone sapphire ball on the tip of its gold-plated nose.

Roosters and penguins are among the more common examples of the form. Rare Trifari Jelly Bellies include poodles, rhodium-plated elephants with black enamel tusks and a red enamel eye, and a cat pin with a chain in its mouth, from the bottom of which dangled a Lucite goldfish bowl (a goldfish was carved into the plastic from behind). Lucite goldfish-bowl earrings completed the ensemble.

Not to be outdone by the competition, Coro made its own line of Jelly Bellies, designed by Arthur Katz and sold through department stores as a part of its upscale Corocraft brand. One particular striking example from the postwar period was an angel fish, with lots of blue and aqua enameling in the fins and an enormous white ball of Lucite for the body. Other Coro Jelly Bellies were sold as Duettes, Coro’s famous collection of paired pins.

Trifari sued Coro for infringing on its design, but numerous other costumer jewelers of the day produced their own versions of Jelly Bellies, most of which were left unsigned. Today signed Trifari pieces are sought by serious collectors, but unsigned ones by other manufacturers represent a relative bargain, and may even be more appealing to those who like to wear their costume jewelry without worrying too much about its welfare.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Researching Costume Jewelry

Researching Costume Jewelry

Jewelry lovers, venture through this amazing database of vintage jewelry articles, catalogs, and brochures, as well… [read review or visit site]

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

Emerald City Vintage Costume Jewelry

It looks like we're not in Kansas anymore with Elizabeth Rowlands' site on vintage costume jewelry from the 1940s a… [read review or visit site]

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Morning Glory Antiques and Jewelry

Jewelry collectors, feast your eyes on this internet gem! It's a goldmine of jewelry information featuring all styl… [read review or visit site]

All About Jewels Dictionary

All About Jewels Dictionary

This incredible reference dictionary on jewelry, from Enchantedlearning.com, is both beautiful and comprehensive. S… [read review or visit site]

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

Cathy Gordon's Jewelry Gallery

With its vast galleries featuring clear images of jewelry and style, this site really covers it all! Divided up by … [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Trifari Alfred Philippe Sterling Jelly Belly Spider Brooch/clipVintage Trifari Lyre Bird Of Paradise Sterling Jelly Belly Pin PhilippeVintage Unsigned Reja Coro Craft Trifari Sterling Winged Beetle Pin Jelly BellyVintage Trifari Sterling Jelly Belly Turtle Brooch Pin$295 Alexis Bittar Jelly Belly Lucite Strolling Poodle Runway Necklace 33" ChainCrown Trifari Vintage Jelly Belly Pearl Rhinestone Cabochen Clasp Bracelet Wow Vintage Signed Crown Trifari Jelly Belly Pearl Crown Brooch Pin Gorgeous!Vintage Brooch Pin Jelly Belly Purple Cabochon Green Rhinestone Spider Bug U164Vintage Crown Trifari Pearlized Jelly Belly Fish Pin Turquoise StonesSig Monet Vintage Brooch Pin Jelly Belly Bird Hummingbird Green Rhinestone U192Vintage Brooch Pin Bunny Jelly Belly Blue Rhinestone Bow Ribbon U1031944 Corocraft Sterling Jelly Belly Crown - Red And Green1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Vintage * Collectors Pc!* Unsigned Early Jelly Belly Bird Brooch* StunningTrifari Jelly Belly Rhinestone Brooch, PinStunning Antique Estate Gold Tone Blue Cab Jelly Belly Insect Brooch!! 6197s2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Vintage Trifari Jelly Belly Hummingbird BirdMid Century Trifari Mod Seahorse Jelly Belly Pin1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Juliana Vtg Hair Clip Jelly Belly Dragonfly Ab Fruit Salad Watermelon Glass U172 Great Looking Large Jelly Belly Turtle Pin Unsigned RejaTrifari Jelly Belly Rhinestone Clip-on Earrings2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!1950's Vtg 15mm Orange Red & Amber Jelly Belly Lucite Orb Linked Necklace 17.5"Retro Vintage Gold Tone Green Jelly Belly Rhinestone Chicken PinVintage 1950 60s Silver & Jelly Belly Blue Glass Fish Signed Brooch PinBrown Bear Mr Jelly Belly Jellybelly Zipper Pouch Plush Stuffed Animal 22"Estate Vintage Jelly Belly Fish Duet Pins Or BroochesJelly Belly Birds With Blue Bellies And Red Eyes Brooch Pin Vintage Ready 2 WearVintage Brooch Pin Thermoset Cat Jelly Belly Rhinestone Feline Faux Pearl U149Vintage Trifari Alfred Philippe Jelly Belly Pierced Heart Butterfly Pin EarringsVintage Blue Lucite Jelly Belly Dolphin Brooch Pin Rhinestone Fish Silver ToneVtg Jelly Belly Rhinestone Enamel Figural Pin Lot Butterfly Jj Duck Swan Beetle Jelly Belly, Belly Flops, 5 Bags, 4.7oz, Free Fast Shipping!Vintage Red Glass Jelly Belly Owl Scatter Pins Brooch On Branch Gold Tone2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Vintage Czech Republic Orange Jelly Belly Rhinestone Penguin Brooch #706Vintage Jelly Belly Fly Brooch Gold TonedDisney Frozen Milk Chocolate Eggs, Jelly Belly, Whoppers Eggs & More! No Reserve