Colorful winter brooches warm up cool outfits

Lori Verderame

Lori Verderame

When it comes to dressing up, the cold weather offers opportunities to add accessories to an outfit like scarves, gloves, hats, etc.

In winter, we tend to don our best clothes and jewelry to bring some sparkle to the somewhat dreary season. And when it comes to jewelry, albeit fine or costume, a big statement piece makes the outfit. While earrings and bracelets are must-have accessories, a brooch tops off any blazer, sweater or winter coat.

When it comes to winter brooches, there are some aspects of the popular keepsakes that should not be overlooked. Gemstones like opals, diamonds and aquamarines are often the choice of the season for their color when included in brooches. Precious metals like sterling silver and rose gold, yellow gold or white gold are always in fashion.

In the winter months, silver, platinum and white gold get the nod over other colored metals.


The importance of a brooch’s setting ― preferably in precious metals ― should not be overlooked. Look for classic settings like circles, wreaths, snowflakes or flower forms.

Prongs are a quality indicator for both fine jewelry or costume jewelry brooches. Look for prongs holding in crystals, gemstones or other cut stones and remember, the more prongs the better. Most faceted cut gemstones are set with at least four, but even better if there are six, prongs. Prongs should be curved and tightly set to secure the gemstone on a brooch.

Pinback clasps can come in many types including c-clasps or rotating clasps to secure the brooch to the clothing garment or coat. These settings are important to value and the look of a brooch.


For seasonal brooches, some of the most popular styles are those that resemble poinsettia plants, evergreen trees, reindeer, wreaths or other winter themes like sleighs, snowmen or snowflakes, to name a few.

Many collectors realize that brooches are making a big comeback on the fashion scene and the bigger the better with statement brooches commanding high values on the market. Vintage brooches from the mid-1900s to the late 1900s enjoy a very active market online within active selling platforms like,, Mercari, among many others.


The most popular gemstones used in brooches are white pearls to recall a wintery mood such as snowmen, snow-covered trees or angels. Diamonds or rhinestones are selected for brooches to give that look of snowy crystals, too.

Blue topaz and aquamarines are usually paired with pearls in winter season brooches to give the feeling of cold, wintery weather, too.

Blue and colorless clear set gemstones and pearls suggest winter in brooches.

Blue and colorless clear set gemstones and pearls suggest winter in brooches.

In addition to these precious gems, faux gemstones are integrated into brooch design like Austrian crystals or carved cabochon stones in clear, blue, etc.

When it comes to fine jewelry, look for high-quality materials and stunning designs by some of the most impressive designers like David Yurman, Paloma Picasso, Chanel, etc. For costume jewelry collectors, brooches of the winter season by Hattie Carnegie, Miriam Haskell, Alice Caviness and Ben Amun always hold their value for the long term.

Ph.D. antiques appraiser, author and award-winning media personality, Dr. Lori presents antique appraisal events nationwide, appears on History Channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island” and the new series, “Pawn Stars do America.” For appraisals,, or call (888) 431-1010.

This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Arts & Antiques with Dr. Lori: Colorful winter brooches warm up cool outfits

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