Vintage Costume Jewelry Pins and Brooches

A costume jewelry pin or brooch can say a lot about a woman. If she's wearing a rhinestone-studded Christmas pin, she has immediately communicated her fondness for the season. If her coat is decorated with a colorful Bakelite brooch, she's signaling her affection for 1930s styles. And if her blouse is weighted down by an over-the-top floral display, dripping with fake rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, maybe the message is simply that’s it’s time to have a bit of fun.

Early on, costume jewelry manufacturers understood the pin’s powers of expression. Trifari designer Alfred Philippe created crown-shaped pins from the late 1930s to the 1950s. The crowns were so popular that Trifari incorporated a crown into its mark around 1937. Some of the Trifari crown pins feature eye-catching, brightly colored cabochons. Others are composed entirely of clear crystal rhinestones for a monochromatic effect.

Trifari was also one of several companies to make Jelly Belly pins of animals, whose bellies were formed from a solid Lucite “pearl.” In the 1940s, Trifari fashioned Jelly Belly pins of seals, roosters, and other creatures—its poodles are especially rare.

Beyond the Jelly Bellies and crowns, other types of vintage Trifari pins and brooches to look for are the floral displays of the 1930s and the fruit and vegetable pieces from the 1950s. In particular, collectors like the miniature fruit pins (apples, pineapples, grapes, and strawberries) from the late 1950s through the 1960s. Also popular are Trifari’s patriotic pins from the 1940s of American flags or red-white-and-blue eagles.

Philippe’s counterparts at competitor Coro were Adolph Katz, who became the company’s design director in 1924, and Gene Verri, who designed for Coro from 1933 until 1963. Katz created Coro’s en tremblant floral pins, which featured tiny metal springs that allowed elements of the pin to vibrate when its wearer moved.

Among the most collectible vintage Coro pins are the Coro Duettes from 1931 to the 1950s. The first Duette designs were Art Deco and monochromatic in style, but subsequent pins include pairs of enameled owls with aquamarine eyes and pavé-set rhinestone bodies, crowned cherubs, horse heads, and an Indian brave and squaw. Though their popularity ebbed in the 1950s, today a vintage Coro Duette, particularly one that trembles like the Quivering Camellia, is highly prized.

Coro’s Corocraft brand was a step up in quality, price, and prestige. Corocraft had its own line of Jelly Belly pins that were very similar to those made by Trifari. Whereas most...

Vendome replaced Corocraft in 1953 as the top of the Coro line. This was serious, simulated bling—by the 1960s, Vendome’s Helen Marion had designed a set of six gold-plated pins inspired by the work of the great Cubist artist Georges Braque.

Equally collectible are the Christmas tree pins of Stanley Hagler, who began his career as a business advisor to Miriam Haskell before starting his own jewelry company in the late 1950s. Hagler’s Christmas tree pins ranged from squat, triangular pins dripping with Murano glass beads to trees made of mother-of-pearl and red-glass flowers.

Another former Haskell associate to excel in the art of Christmas brooches was Larry Vrba, whose tree pins were wonderfully outrageous, resembling medals honoring yuletide achievements more than jeweled depictions of actual trees.

The vintage pins and brooches created by Eisenberg & Sons in the 1930s and ’40s were festooned with aqua, ruby, and crystal glass. Many Eisenberg pins were abstract and vaguely organic, but others resembled kings, queens, mermaids, and ballerinas. Animals were also Eisenberg favorites. Some were relatively straightforward embellishments of horses, zebras, birds, and butterflies, but other Eisenberg brooches told mini-stories, like the one depicting Puss in Boots.

Another important, vintage costume jewelry designer to excel in the art of pins and brooches was Marcel Boucher, who designed for Cartier and Mazer Brothers before going solo in 1937. His abstracted animal figurals of owls and elephants are classics—many were made by hand rather than being mass produced, which makes them highly collectible today.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

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    

Breathtaking Coro Craft Sterling Siler Rhinestone & Enamel Tropical Fish BroochExquisite Boucher Peacock Pin W/ Jade Green Cabochons, Enamel Blue BodyAmazing & Rare Schreiner Couture Ruffle Spider Mum Brooch Pin & Earrings Set Vintage Coro Craft Enamel & Rhinestone Trembler Dress Or Fur Clip / BroochVintage Coro Duette Double Flower Trembler Brooch Dress Clip Red & WhiteRare Antique Sterling Silver High Relief Carved Ladies Dancing Lava Cameo BroochExquisite Marcel Boucher Sterling Silver Pin W/ Large Aquamarine Rhinestone Vintage Coro Duette Double Flower Brooch Dress Clip W/ Red Enamel, RhinestonesExquisite Enamel, Rhinestone & Pearl Trembler BroochRare Antique Victorian 14k Gold Painted Portrait Miniature Girl & Dog BroochVtg Coro Duette Sterling Silver Owl Dress Clip, Brooch Enamel, Amber RhinestonesFabulous Glittering Vtg. Coro Rhinestone-studded Flower Brooch W/ Enamel DetailsMagical 16 Pc Huge Art Glass Givre Sabrina Rhinestone Brooch Earrings Lot LoadedVintage Signed Jewellery Solid Silver Marcasite Snowdrop Flowers Brooch Pin Vintage Big Made In Austria 9 Brooch 4 Pair Earring Lot Pink Demi Purple DemiVintage Jewellery Set Enamel Chrysanthemum Brooch Set Signed 'exquisite'Vtg Schreiner 2.75" Intaglio Jade Peking Art Glass Rhinestone Brooch Pin PendantVintage Marcel Boucher Flower Brooch W/ Stacked Cluster Of Ruby Red RhinestonesVintage Antique Art Deco 1930's Lily Of The Valley Flower Enamel Pin BroochVint Trifari Philippe Crystal Moonstones & Rs Night Bird / Hummingbird Pin ExcLarge Vintage Signed Pennino Gold Tone Rhinestone Fascinator Pin / BroochTrifari Vintage "gems Of The Sea" Peapod Brooch And Earrings Set - Book Piece!30s-40s Art Deco Cherry Red Bakelite/catalin Ribbon Clamper Bracelet&brooch SetFabulous Vintage Signed Jomaz Tree Leaf & Colored Stones Brooch Vintage C.1920’s-1940’s Art Deco Clear Rhinestone/ruby-red Glass Brooch/pin YqzAntique Victorian Salmon Coral-14k Gold Repousse Pendant/pin/brooch-scrap/wearVintage Jewellery Reverse Carved Lucite Enamel Yacht Boat Sailing Brooch PinVintage Sterling Silver Pink Tourmaline Topaz Amethyst Chinese Lady BroochJuliana D&e Olivine Green Tapered Pentagon Brooch Pin Book Pc Htf!Hattie Carnegie Costume Tribal Pin/brooch; 24 GramsRare Antique Art Nouveau Unger Bros Lady Smoking Cigarette Brooch4 Piece Vintage Rhinestone Christmas Tree Brooch Lot - Eisenberg, ArtRare Har Dragons Breath Fortune Teller Genie Crystal Ball Brooch Vtg Antique PinUnique Green Book Piece Juliana Brooch Striped Art Glass Rhinestones (d&e) Huge Lot! 132 Pcs Quality Vintage Costume Jewelry-rhinestones, Enamels Brooch Huge Lot Of Vintage Enamel Flower Brooches Rhinestone Jewelry Over 100 Pieces!!50+ Piece Antique & Vintage Estate Junk Drawer Lot W/ Jewelry, Military Pins?Juliana Book Piece Purple, Green & Blue Diamond Shaped Rhinestone PinCrown Trifari Enamel Red White Mod Flower Brooch Pin Earrings Set Demi ParureVintage Signed Italian Jewellery Lovely Venetian Micro Mosaic Flower Brooch PinVintage Ciner Gold Plate Black Enamel Emerald Green Glass Frog BroochVintage Coro 2 Daisy Flower Enamel & Rhinestone Brooch27 Enamel Flower Pin Brooch Earring Lot Vintage 1960s Jewelry Vendome Kramer Elegant Reja Sterling Silver Brooch W/ RhinestonesVintage Wood & Bakelite Brooch Pin Spectacular Sitting Dog - An Absolute Must!Vintage Sterling Silver Signed Guglielmo Cini Crown Imperial Eagle Brooch PinCrystal Forest! Vintage Gold Tone & Rhinestone Christmas Tree Brooch/pin Lot Vintage Art Deco Jewellery Amethyst Marcasite Sterling Silver Bar Brooch PinSigned Sterling Silver Vintage Navajo Brooch Pin Multi Flower Turquoise Bn62Job Lot Of 7 Vintage Costume Brooches With Pendant & Earrings, Mixed - V18 Y96Rare Vintage Trifari Sterling Silver Horse Brooche Pin Rhinestones ? N/r Job Lot Vintage Costume Jewellery - Necklace - Brooch - Rings - Earrings Lot Of Vintage Rhinestone Jewelry Colored Brooches Earrings Signed Lisner CoroVintage Maison Gripoix For Chanel 'poured Glass' & Baroque Pearl Pin ExcellentVintage Schreiner Rare!! Pronge Brooch Early Signed Schreiner Rare!Vintage 50s Original Schnauzer Dog Brooch Sat In A Boat Novelty German PlasticVintage Art Deco Jewellery Beautiful Turquoise & Seed Pearl Brooch Pin Sphinx ?Vintage Jewellery Lovely Scottish Stag's Head & Agate Brooch Pin SignedAntique Victorian Bohemian Garnet Snowflake Brooch PinChristian Dior Vintage Red Glass Brooch Heavy Square, Pear Rhinestones Confirmed