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    

Rare Lot Of Crown Trifari Horse Brooches, Sterling Jelly Belly & Alfred PhilippeVintage Rare Sterling Jelly Belly Trifari Spider Bug Rhinestone Brooch - Pin*rare* Vintage Estate Signed Crown Trifari Lucite Jelly Belly Turtle Brooch G153Vtg Crown Trifari Alfred Philippe Sterling Insect Moonstone Jelly Belly Brooch*rare* Vintage Estate Signed Coro Craft Lucite Jelly Belly Squirrel Brooch! G151Corocraft Coro Craft Signed Rare Sterling Enamel Jelly Belly Fish BroochVtg Art Deco Colorful Jeweled Rhinestone Jelly Belly Enamel Brooch Pin Lot 10pc*rare* Vintage Signed Crown Trifari Lucite Jelly Belly Penguin Bird Brooch! G149*rare* Vintage Estate Signed Hobe Sterling Silver Jelly Belly Bird Brooch! G163*rare* Vintage Estate Signed Coro Craft Jelly Belly Head Enamel Brooch!!! G161Exquisite! Vintage Jomaz 4 Layer Rhinestone Jelly Belly Bird Pin Brooch Minty!Rare Vintage Signed Hattie Carnegie Dragons Breath Jelly Belly Frog Brooch! G179*rare* Vintage Estate Signed Sterling Silver Seahorse Jelly Belly Brooch!!! G155*rare* Vintage Estate Signed Sterling Silver Jelly Belly Fish Brooch!!! G164High Quality Vtg Huge Swan Brooch Pin Glass Jelly Belly Crystal Rhinestone D72Rare Vintage Hattie Carnegie Faux Jade Jelly Belly Buddha Figural Pin ~ UnsignedColorful Jelly Belly Cabochon & Faux Pearl Maltese Cross Pin 2.25" L BroochVintage Bug Brooch Pin Fly Insect Jelly Belly Rhinestone Ab Figural D258Unsign Designer Vtg Jelly Belly Bird Brooch Pin Turquoise Acrylic Rhinestone ...Mid-century Vintage Thermoset Jelly Belly Ab Rhinestone Ballerina Figural PinPink & Clear Rhinestone Jelly Belly June Bug Insect Vtg 1 1/8" Long BroochVtg Crown Trifari Philippe Sterling "moonstone" Jelly Belly Clip Earrings As IsVtg Style Bug Brooch Pin Topaz Blue Crystal Rhinestone Fly Jelly Belly Bee D222Vintage Brooch Pin 12k Gold Filled Bal-ron Jelly Belly Scarab Bug Beetle MothVintage Art Deco Blue Enamel Bird Rhinestone Red Glass Jelly Belly Pin Brooch1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Vtg Antique Brooch Pin Victorian Art Deco Jelly Belly Frog Toad Gold ToneUnusual Vintage Lucite Vermeil Flying Insect Brooch Beautiful Detail Jelly BellyVintage Sterling Silver Jelly Belly Stone Sea Turtle Pins Lot Of 2035d 3 Trifari Bug Insect Scatter Lapel Pins Butterfly Bee Beetle Jelly BellyVintage Green Lucite Jelly Belly & Rhinestone Bug Bee Insect Trembler Pin Brooch2 Box's Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!*rare* Stunning Vintage Estate Red Jelly Belly Fish Gold Tone Brooch!!! G1061 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!Star Wars Death Star Jelly Bean Dispenser Jelly Belly Storm Trooper Darth VaderSweet Silver Tone Green And Clear Rhinestones Jelly Belly Hummingbird PinVintage Gold Tone Jelly Belly Blue Lucite Cab Dangle Earrings~haute CourtureSigned Trifari Jelly Belly Turtle Earrings Original Card Blue Stone Gold ToneVintage Jelly Belly Brooch Lovebirds Rhinestones BlueVintage Rhinestone And Glass Blue Silver Jelly Belly Earrings Spectacular!Vintage Enamel Blue Green...... Pearlized Jelly Belly Face Kids Figural BroochVintage Signed Napier Molded Green Glass Pineapple Jelly Belly Brooch PinNew!!!! Bean Boozled Spinner Tin Jelly Belly (4th Edition)Stunning Vintage Estate Gold Tone Smokey Quartz Jelly Belly Brooch!! 2720oVtg Jelly Belly Trembler Pin, Purple Cabachon Rhinestone, UnsignedStunning Vintage Estate Gold Tone Rhinestone Jelly Belly Owl Pendant!!! 2762sJelly Belly Owl NecklaceVtg. Avon Red Jelly Belly Cab Gold Tone Ornate Perching Owl Brooch~Jim Inglebright Autograph 8x10 Color Photo Racing Nascar Jelly Belly1 Box Bean Boozled Spinner Game 3.5oz Jelly Belly. High Demand!!