Since brooches are typically grounded on safety pin-style, metal closures, it’s assumed that they were first created and worn in a period when people knew how to manipulate and work with metal. Because of this, the earliest evidence of brooches and pins is from the Bronze Age (3300-1200s BCE).
There are a number of clues you can use to successfully date antique and vintage brooches and pins. This usually begins with looking at things like clasps and hinges, since certain types are known to have been used during specific periods in time.
You will also want to look at the overall style, examine for signs of repair, and use a jeweler's loupe to locate any identifying marks present as you're dating jewelry.
Brooches served a variety of purposes in earlier times. Sometimes used as a way to fasten items of clothing (dresses, skirts, shawls, etc…) brooches also were the linchpins to complicated hair-dos, before later becoming essential class markers at social events. You’d be surprised by how much information you could (and can) glean about someone based off their brooch. During the Renaissance, obviously gold pins were easily recognized, along with the presence of pearls, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds., so people were able to easily identify who the principal members of society were.
How To Wear Your Brooch:
On a Hat:
Dress up your hat by adding a brooch to the side. Looks especially good with beret hats.
On a Jacket or Blazer
Probably the most common way of wearing. Add them to any coat, blazer or even a denim jacket. Adds some glamour and elegance.
On a Bag or Shoes
If you have a plain bag or a pair of shoes that you would like to spark up, a brooch can do just the job! Just be sure you don’t mind putting holes in them as they might be permanent.
On a Scarf
Adding a pin to a scarf is not only stylish, but it can also help it stay in place. Try wrapping a silk or blanket scarf around your shoulders and putting the pin to secure it in place.
On a Shirt
Add a brooch around the neckline to add a spark to a simple dress. Especially when added on top of the top button it looks stylish and glamorous. Another fun way is to add them as cuff-links.
On your pants or skirt
This style trend is for the much more adventurous person. Pair a cluster of brooches on the top of your pants, just above the pockets for a super stylish look.
In your Hair
If you have a special occasion adding a pretty brooch to your hair-do can make a simple look make special and dressed up.
It’s nice to know that brooches and pins still carry meaning today and that they’re still so easily utilized and able to add some punch to any outfit! Let us know how do you like to wear your brooches!