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    

Vintage Signed Crown Trifari Sterling Jelly Belly Turtle Brooch Sterling Silver And Rhinestone Fish Pin / Brooch Jelly Belly ? ~ No Reserve ~1940's Corocraft Sterling Jelly Belly & Rhinestone Lovebird Bird Brooch Pin CoroSigned J.j. Vintage Brooch Pin Turtle Jelly Belly Facet Glass Shell Animal E9Vintage Lot(53) Of Christmas Brooches Jelly Belly, Enamel, Rhinestone, Pot MetalA+ Trifari Gold Tone Multi Color Moonstone Jelly Belly Cluster Flower Brooch PinArt Deco Lucite Amber Gold Spider Jelly Belly Bakelite Era Brooch Pin Trifari?Spectacular Trifari 1944 Jelly Belly/rhinestone Sterling Elephant Brooch4 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Signed Trifari L'orient Blue Cabochon Jelly Belly Enamel Pearl Crown Pin Rare2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Napier Signed Brooch Pin, Red Jelly Belly Glass Apple, Gold Tone Metal, Leaf Lea1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Longaberger Signed 2007 Jelly Belly Basket Fest Basket W/liner Protector4 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!! Box Bean Boozled Mystery Dispenser, Jelly Belly, Fast Ship, High Demand! Box Bean Boozled Mystery Dispenser, Jelly Belly, Fast Ship, High Demand!1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!! Box Bean Boozled Mystery Dispenser, Jelly Belly, Fast Ship, High Demand!Vtg. Amethyst Baguette & Oval Rhinestone Green Jelly Belly Dragonfly Brooch~2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Antique Victorian Sea Turtle Jelly Belly Tortoise Blue Lucite E114Vintage Jelly Belly Bumble Bee Turquoise Glass Rhinestone Gold Tone Pin Brooch1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Huge Vintage Animal Brooch Zoo Lot Jelly Belly Turtles Etc. Cool Collection X22 1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Misfit Vintage Rhinestone Ladybug Bug Jelly Belly Hat Lapel Pin Beetle Tie TackMix Lot 3 Interactive Jelly Belly Mickey Mouse Bean Machine Cash Register 236814Fabulous Vintage Boucher Jelly Belly Bird Golden With Red Eye Gorgeous Jelly Belly Bean Boozled Game With Spinner Sealed 3rd Edition2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Vintage Unsigned Jelly Belly Related Costume Rhinestone Floral Pin Brooch BlueVintage Jewelry Awesome Blue Green Giant Dragonfly Jelly Belly Brooch Lot 117Star Jelly Belly Lantern Flower Pin Brooch Pink Peach Stones Enamel Plant Silver1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Vintage Signed Trifari Jelly Belly Bird Earrings Brooch Pin Set Rhinestone GoldVintage Aurora Borealis Rhinestone & & Enamel Jelly Belly Bird In Flight PinGoldtone Jelly Belly/cabachon Flying Vintage Bird BroochJelly Belly University Medium Tee ShirtVintage Brooch Pin Jelly Belly Horse Figural Frosted Glass Rhinestone E996Fun Adult Size Adjustable Jelly Belly Interstellar Propeller Multicolored Hat