When you are new to the world of antique jewellery, it can be hard to know what you are looking at and whether it has any value. However, you can find a lot of information freely available online that you can use to educate yourself in this matter. Brooches are a type of jewellery that is no longer as popular as it once was, but there is still a demand for them.
If you love antique brooches and want to learn how to identify and date them, below are some tips for you to follow when you go shopping.
Look At The Clasp
When you see a style of brooch that you like, the first thing you should do is look at the clasp, which can tell you a lot about the piece. You can also use it to help date the item, so you know how old it is. Some of the different clasps are as follows, and there is a wide selection of antique brooches for sale at Kalmar Antiques with varying types of clasps:
- A T-Bar Hinge – You find that this type of clasp was used predominantly from the 19th century and stopped being so popular around the 1920s. You do not see this clasp often used in modern jewellery, so when you find a brooch with this type of clasp, it can usually be dated to at least one hundred years old.
- A Trombone Clasp – This type of clasp was used from the 1910s until the 1960s, so a brooch with this type of clasp may not be antique. A trombone clasp uses cylinders to keep the brooch in place, although these can sometimes come loose, and as such, the brooch can fall off.
- A C Clasp – One of the most common types of clasps is the C clasp, and you can find this on many brooches from the 1800s onwards. The C clasp was in frequent use until the early 1900s, when the safety clasp was developed and made popular in jewellery use.
- The Dress Clip – The dress clip increased in popularity in the 1930s and is a simple way to fasten a brooch to your clothing. The clip has small prongs to hold the brooch to your clothes so that it does not slip or fall off.
Other Things To Look At
You will also need to look at other things when trying to date a brooch other than the clasp. An excellent indicator of the age of an antique brooch can be seen when you look at the pin on the piece. A general rule of thumb is that the longer the pin, the older the piece of jewellery. You can also look at the materials used to make the brooch, which can indicate its age and value.
The best way to educate yourself in brooches and the different styles you find is to get out and look at what is available in antique shops where you live. You also get the benefit of being able to ask lots of questions to help increase your knowledge. There are also websites that can provide you with lots of helpful information about antique brooches and other type of antique jewellery.