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The Brooch

By Danielle

Senior diamond consultant; standing by to provide personal advice. She knows exactly what you are looking for while keeping your budget in mind.

November 25, 2020

Brooches, a trend that comes and goes. The trend actually dates back to Bronze Age and still continues today. The functionality of the brooch turned around in a more decorative piece of jewelry. You have probably seen quite some royals and celebrities wearing stunning pieces of brooches and you may have gotten curious about how this trend came about. The origin and famous pieces will be highlighted for you!

Origin & History

The origins of brooches date back to the Bronze Age, that was from 2000 till 500BC. At that time brooches were merely used because of their functionality. Greeks and Romans used brooches to clasp their clothing together. The years passed and brooches became more and more decorative. Brooches are often linked to royalty and used to be only reserved for the richer classes who could afford expensive jewelry.

The 1800s

brooch

Brooch from the 1800s

The 1800s embraced naturalism. Brooches from that period of time were full of designs of flowers, butterflies and insects. The soft and feminine pieces of the 1800s continued in the early 1900s.

The 1900s

brooch cartier

A Belle-Epoque Diamond Devant-De-Corsage Brooch by Cartier. Source: Pinterest

A world auction record was set during Christie’s May 14, 2014 auction. The most expensive brooch ever sold at Christie’s during an auction was the Belle Epoque Diamond Devant-De-Corsage Brooch made by Cartier. The brooch was made around 1912. The auction realized the sale of a staggering 17.5 million US Dollars for this extraordinary piece. The price increased with 660% over the price of 2.65 million US dollars set in 1991. The brooch contained a pear cut diamond of around 34.08 carats and a few oval and marquise cut diamonds worth around 30 carats. Doesn’t it look stunning?

art deco brooch

Art deco brooch

WWI came around and this had a huge impact on jewelry. 1920 was the beginning of the Art Deco period which included a lot of diamonds and colored gemstones such as emeralds. Geometric lines and bright colors were central in art deco designs.

Brooches were away for a few years during WWII but made a comeback in the 50s. The designs were less and more delicate. Mid-century period came around and flexible designs were central, they created freedom. Freedom was a big phenomenon in this period of time, right after WWII. The 70s and 80s were central for everything in a gold setting, so you will see most of the brooches from that period in gold.

How to wear a brooch

Brooches are one of the most versatile accessories and you can wear them in several different forms. You can wear it on your clothes. A brooch can highlight your waistline, when worn on a dress around the area of the waist. It can replace a belt perfectly. Another possibility is to clasp two pieces of clothing together. As for example, to tie a scarf and a dress. One can put it in your hair as well, this especially looks nice when you have an updo. Brooches can make a boring bag look stunning. One could make a necklace out of it, to use the brooch as a pendant. There are so many ways to wear a brooch, they are countless. Beneath you can find some pictures to show how to wear brooches.

brooches

From left to right: brooch around the area of the waist – brooch to tie clothes together – brooch in the hair 

The most expensive brooch in the world

peacock brooch

Peacock brooch by Graff Diamonds. Source: Pinterest. 

The Peacock brooch was made by Graff Diamonds and is valued around $100 million! The materpiece has the shape of a peacock and contains an impressive total of 120.81 carats. It possesses over 1300 stones in white, blue, yellow and orange diamonds. The center diamond is a very rare dark blue diamond in a pear shape. This diamond alone is already 20.02 carats. Some sources say it is the second most expensive piece of jewelry, after the Hope Diamond. This brooch is not really intended to wear due to its massive weight of over 120 carats and it is very valuable. But if we really like it…?

Famous brooches

Cullinan brooch the queen

The Queen wearing the Cullinan III and IV brooch tied to her scarf. Source: Pinterest.

The Queen’s Cullinan III and IV Brooch

The brooch contains the third and fourth largest stones cut from the famous Cullinan Diamond. The Cullinan diamond was an enormous 3,106 carat uncut diamond and later on cut in to 7 pieces by Joseph Asscher in Amsterdam. The pear-shaped Cullinan III (weighing 94.4 carats) and the square-cut Cullinan IV (weighing 63.6 carats) are part of it. The government presented the diamonds to Queen Mary in 1910. Queen Mary made sure the diamonds got a beautiful place inside a brooch. After Queen Mary’s death, granddaughter Queen Elisabeth inherited the piece and wears it on special occasions only.

 

.Elisabeth Taylor brooch

Elizabeth Taylor wearing the engagement brooch in her hair. Source: Pinterest.

Elizabeth Tailor’s Engagement Brooch

The beautiful Ms. Taylor might sound familiar to you when talking about fabulous jewels, the fact that she is an actress of course and for her many husbands. Fellow actor and two-time husband, Richard Burton, gave her this brooch as an engagement present! It contains emeralds and diamonds and its design is an en tremblant flower spray of gemstones.

Some celebrities wearing brooches

celebrities with brooches

From left to right: Nicole Kidman – Sarah Jessica Parker – Penelope Cruz

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman wears this brooch with elegance! The plain black dress makes sure the brooch stands out. Ain’t this design surrounded by diamonds stunning.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Sarah Jessica Parker shining in her black dress with a brooch in the design of a bouquet of grains.

Penelope Cruz

Penelope uses her beautiful red brooch to clasp her clothing piece and to accentuate her waist.

What to find at Royal Coster Diamonds

At Royal Coster Diamonds we offer the greatest collection of lose diamonds in Europe. Come and visit us in Amsterdam and take a look inside the diamond world. Book a royal experience tour and see how we create beauty that lasts for centuries. Get to know our history, take a seat at one of our diamond polishing tables and of course try on some jewelry pieces! We hope to see your here some time. Furthermore, you can have a look at our website and check out our full collection of jewelry.

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