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Brooches Guide

Brooches have been worn throughout the eras, from the Early Bronze Age by Greeks and Romans, During the Victorian Era, and still today. From the simple to the ornate, small or large a brooch is an excellent way to dress up or accessorize a coat, jacket sweater, or dress. With endless possibilities and equally as many designs, it is easy to find a brooch as unique as the person wearing it.

What are Brooches?

A brooch is a decorative jewelry item with a pin in the back for passing through clothing and has a catch for securing the point of the pin. Brooches are designed to be attached to garments and are often used to hold them closed. In ancient times brooches were known as fibulae. A fibula was used primarily as an ornamental clasp and was used by Romans, Greeks, and by migratory tribes in Europe from as early as the Bronze Age. In many areas fibulae held prominent significance for the identity of the wearer indicating ethnicity and class. Though they can still, and often are, worn to hold a garment together, today brooches are more commonly worn as decoration or to accessorize an outfit.


During the Bronze Age brooches would indicate class, in the Victorian Age, it was common for brooches to have cameos, or feature portraiture. Today, brooches vary in design. Brooches may be festive and depict holiday scenes or items such as menorahs; well others often may be floral in design or feature wildlife or birds. One of the most common and popular types of brooches today is costume jewelry. Costume jewelry brooches are typically encrusted in crystals and take the shape of flowers or geometrical designs. Today, the variety of brooches is rather stunning. Many artists, such as David Gerstein, are using brooches to create wearable versions of their work.


Typically brooches are made from metal, most commonly sterling silver and gold, however many are made of base metals such as nickel and even stainless steel. Brooches can also be made of plastics and acrylics. Brooches may be highly decorative, often containing semi-precious stones and crystals. Many brooches are also embellished with use of colorful enamels.

For More Information

For More information about Brooches, Jewish Jewelry or other Jewelry items, feel free to contact our Judaica experts with and questions, comments or concerns.


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