Are you looking for valuable vintage brooches? You have come to the right place, I have done the research to compile a list of the most collectible vintage brooches so you can invest in pieces that will hold their value.
Famous Brooch Makers
These brands create high-end luxury costume jewelry, making their vintage pieces a good investment. Any of the following brands are always worth collecting (Click on the designers name to learn more about them):
- Van Cleef & Arpels
- Georges Fouquet
- Maison Vever
- Christian Dior
- Yves St. Laurent
- Marcel Boucher
- Miriam Haskell
- Elsa Schiaparelli
A List of the Most Valuable Vintage Brooches
Any of these brooches will fetch a hefty price tag:
- Renaissance, Victorian, and Edwardian Cameos
- Georgian Brooches
- Coro Duettes from 1931 to the 1950s
- Christmas tree pins of Stanley Hagler
- Vintage Eisenburg Brooches
- Marcel Boucher Brooches
- Cartier Elephant Brooches
- Georges Braque Pins by Vendome
- Vintage Corocraft Pins
- Gene Verrecchio (Verri) Designed Brooches Made for Corocraft
- Victorian Mourning Brooches
- "Quivering Camellia" Coro Duettes
- Elsa Schiaparelli Brooches
- Eisenburg Original Brooches
- Boucher Fantasy Bird Brooches
- Miriam Haskell Brooches with rare horseshoe signature
- Frank Hess Designed pieces for Miriam Haskell
- Vintage Van Cleef and Arpel Brooches
- Signed Trifari "Jelly Belly" Pins
- Trifari "Jelly Belly" Poodle Brooches
- Vintage Boucheron Brooches
- Vintage Cartier Brooches
- Vintage Brooches by Chaumet
- Art Deco Brooches made by artisans like Gerard Sandoz, Jean Desprès, and Raymond Templier.
- Jeanne Toussaint Designed Brooches
- Georges Fouquet Art Deco and Art Nouveau Brooches
- Carnegie Lucite Brooches
- Trifari "Clip-Mate" Brooches
- Vintage Gripoix (Pâte de verre) Glass Brooches, especially those made for Chanel
- Chanel Byzantine Brooches
- Lisner Oak Leaf Pieces
- Kramer Designed Pieces for Christian Dior
- Cartier Jabot Pins
Are Old Brooches Worth Anything?
They definitely can be. If they are marked with a designer signature and/or are made of high quality materials, they are worth something. Read on to tell if a brooch is valuable.
How to Tell if a Brooch is Valuable
The pricing of vintage jewelry is a complex subject, something that can take years of research to fully understand, but today I will try and distill that information into a concise guide to get you started on evaluating your vintage jewelry.
Note the craftmanship of your piece, see if the piece shows signs of being handmade. Large-scale manufacturing really ramped up in the 40s and 50s, so much jewelry produced then was machine made. Handmade jewelry will be worth more, but pieces made by machine can still have value. Check both the underside and top of the piece. High quality jewelry will be well finished on both sides.
[Read: How to Know if your Costume Jewelry is Worth Anything]
Consider the materials. Materials will affect value, the finer the materials, the higher the value. Vintage jewelry might consist of fine jewels such as diamonds, pearls, gold and platinum. Or it may be made with less expensive materials such as rhinestones, plated metals, silver or semi-precious gemstones. If is is made of gold, silver, or platinum, it should have a stamp. Use a magnifying glass to help find markings.
- [Read: How to Identify Vintage and Antique Gold Jewelry]
- [Read: How to Identify Sterling Silver Jewelry]
- [Read: How to Identify Precious Stones in Jewelry]
Look at the shape and cut of stones to help date jewelry. Old Mine cut and Old European cuts are an example of vintage cuts. Looking at fasteners can help date brooches. Here is an excellent resource on dating brooch fasteners. Also, have a look at the setting.
Inspect the prongs. High-quality jewelry will use prongs to keep stones in place, gemstones will be held in by intricate bezel or prong settings (pearls and opals are often excluded). Cheap jewelry will have stones glued on.
Study time periods. Does your brooch have a style that fits with one of the vintage design periods?
Look for evidence of the designer. Designer marks can make the worth of your brooch skyrocket. There are several designers that are still popular today (the list at the top of this article are examples).
Tips for Buying Vintage Brooches
- Only buy costume jewelry that is in more or less mint condition.
- Look at the back of the piece of jewelry, if there is green rust, it means the jewelry has already been damaged.
- Look for signatures to verify authenticity.
- Extremely worn plating, missing stones, missing parts, darkened or cloudy rhinestones, clasps that don't work properly, and chipped or scratched enamel all lower the value of a vintage piece.
- Look for signs of quality such substantial weight, smooth plating and sparkling stones.
- Avoid obvious repairs such as sloppy soldering and haphazard stone replacements.
What to do with Old Pins & Brooches
You can try and sell your old pins and brooches, or you can repurpose them into something new!
- Turn them into artwork to display in your home. Frame them, or hang them up as is.
- Dress up an old belt.
- Make them into bookmarks - add them to ribbon to make a bejeweled bookmark.
- Glue an old cameo to a bracelet for a new look.
- Turn them into drawer pulls.
- Make them into gift tags.
- Glue them to bobby pins or hair ties.
- Add them to a lampshade.
- Glue them onto magnets.
- Turn them into a ring by gluing them onto a ring base.
- Make them into a napkin ring.
- Dress up old bottles with ribbon and a central brooch glued in the middle.
- Use them to bejewel shoes, purses, jackets, etc.
- Remove the center of your brooch and replace it with a photograph. You now have a little photo frame!
- Create curtain tiebacks.
- Turn them into a necklace or pendant.
Where to Buy Your Vintage Brooches
Did you know that Etsy has an extensive vintage community? I love shopping for vintage jewelry on Etsy. I like how easy it is to navigate and I love supporting small businesses! Etsy makes it simple to read reviews of each shop, so you can shop with confidence knowing other people have had positive shopping experiences. [See our favorite Etsy Shops]
I also really enjoy shopping on eBay for collectible vintage brooches. The selection is massive!
Tips for Shopping for Vintage Jewelry Online
- Make sure you search within the Vintage section or use vintage in your search terms.
- Look for shops with lots of positive reviews.
- Read the shop's "Shipping and Policies" tab before making a purchase decision.
- Read reviews and buyers feedback, only buy from shops with consistently happy customers.
- If you find a shop you like, add them to your favorites or bookmark them so you can find them again.
- Be specific in your search keywords.
There you have a list of the most valuable vintage brooches, as you can see there is quite a lot of them!
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! I always answer.
4 thoughts on “A List of the Most Valuable Vintage Brooches”
I have a box full of brooches and necklaces that were given to me that are old I believe and I have no clue if any of them are worth anything or what to do with them. Any suggestions on finding out what I have?
Hi Marie, first I would inspect them for markings on the back, do any of them have signatures or metal stamps? What are the materials? Are the stones made of plastic, glass, rhinestone, or precious stones? Is the jewelry real gold or gold-plated or neither? If they are marked with a signature and if they are made with precious stones and metals, they will have the highest value. Unmarked jewelry can be hard to value, as people are not only buying the jewelry, they are buying the brand name.
You can read my article, “How to Know if Your Costume Jewelry is Worth Anything” and also do some research online about how to identify vintage jewelry. Also stay tuned, I am going to write more about this topic soon.
I have a signed Alice Caviness brooch. It is gold colored and looks like a spaghetti squash. I have not found another one like it. anywhere.
I can send a pic if you if you would like to see it.
As you probably know, Alice Caviness started out as a model in New York. Her company began manufacturing costume jewelry in the 1940s, which became much sought after for its bold, high-quality designs and colorful gemstones. Her jewelry is collectible and sought after. I’d love to see a picture of it, so I can perhaps tell you more.
All the best,