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Vintage jewelry hardware refers to the various types of clasps, pins, earring backs, rings, and other elements used to create jewelry. NOTE: This is the final article in my four-part series on how to identify and date vintage jewelry. As time went on, the pins became shorter. Although mostly seen on older brooches, some inexpensive brooches are made with C-clasps even today. The trombone clasp, patented in Europe in , was named after the musical instrument as it had a tube with a round top. You would pull the top out to release the pin. These were used in the latter half of the 19th century into the s, mostly by European jewelers.

One of the best ways to avoid reproductions and fakes is to know and understand how originals are made. Reproductions are rarely made the same as originals due to changes in materials, labor costs and modern production techniques. When looking at brooches, you can get a good idea of the age of the piece by studying the catches, hinges and pins Fig.

For the purposes of our discussion we are going to use the words "brooch" to mean the decorative, ornamental piece. The word "pin" will refer to the pointed piece of metal that pierces the clothing.

Dating necklaces: clasps and fasteners -Part I

The "hinge" is the assembly that allows the pin to pivot. The "catch" is the piece or mechanism that holds the fastener at the pointed end opposite the hinge.

Dating Brooch Fasteners - to One of the best ways to avoid reproductions and fakes is to know and understand how originals are made. Reproductions are rarely made the same as originals due to changes in materials, labor costs and modern production techniques. Some push button clasps have a lever or button that must be pressed to release the closure. 3. The Hook Clasp - You may have heard this type of vintage jewelry clasp being called by the name shepherd's hook because it looks like the staff shepherds and shepherdesses are known to carry with them in the fields. 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. The best jewelry detectives know that leftover components from earlier periods were sometimes used.

Pins, hinges, catches and other non-decorative pieces such as jump rings, latches, etc. Tube hinges were also used during other eras but not to the extent they were used during last half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Tube hinges are formed by three cylinders, or tubes, of hollow metal Figs.

Two tubes are attached to the decorative piece; one tube is attached to the pin. The tube on the pin is jointed to the two tubes on the decorative piece with a rod that passes through all three tubes. Note that the tube on the fastener is a separate piece soldered to the end of the pin Fig. Tube hinges were made by hand. Although they all generally have the same basic construction, they may vary considerably in appearance and the exact number and shape of pieces used.

Tube hinges were usually made by the same person who made the brooch. The round hinge was a big labor saving device. Most round hinges came as part of a per-assembled unit that included the hinge, catch and pin.

Such units could be attached to the brooch in one step.

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Previously, tube hinges and catches were all attached individually. Some round hinges, though, can be found separately Fig. These single pieces were mostly made for repair work. The pads below the hinge made soldering easier. Pins that go with round hinges can be identified because the pin is one single piece see Fig.

Vintage jewelry hardware refers to the various types of clasps, pins, earring backs, rings, and other elements used to create jewelry. These are also called "findings." Techniques and elements have evolved over time, so knowing the types of hardware used during various eras will help you to properly date your vintage and antique jewelry. Oct 24, 5 Easy Clues for Dating Antique or Vintage Jewelry. ated on October 24, karMALZEKE. this drawing shows the different types of clasps used on brooches or pins with the approximate date as to when they first appeared. I'm so glad to have found this site! I began seriously researching vintage jewelry a few years ago. Dec 31, Sometime around the turn of the 20th century, the locking C clasp was invented. These clasps have a spinning locking mechanism that hold the brooch securely in place. Early locking C clasps opened downwards, and more modern ones open upwards. The locking C-Clasp was patented in It was widely used for jewelry designs in and remains.

Pins for tube hinges, remember, are made of two pieces: the pin and a separate tube soldered to the pin. The pin was kept within the C with tension created by the pin against the fabric to which it was attached. Some pins were held in place by pressure of a bend in the pin which pressed against the C. This type of catch was not very secure because the pin could slip out of the C.

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C catches are generally always hand made. A C catch of some type was in use from about to These hand made efforts are the first so called "safety catches".

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They are not called 'safety because they prevented being poked with the pin. Oh no. They provided safety against loosing your brooch! Saving blood, although noble, was a secondary consideration to protecting a valuable piece of jewelry. Early safety catches, like tube hinges, are hand made.

Generally, the same person who made the brooch also made the early safety catches. Because they are hand made, the early safety catches show lots of variation. Some are simple like the lever safety in Fig.

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Common examples are made of brass, enameled or painted base metal, or silver-plated base metal. This type of simple "C" clasp or catch can be found on brooches dating primarily to the s although some carryover designs in the early s incorporate this finding as well. It was used on everything ranging from small Victorian bar pins to large sash pins see above. The most common early version of the "C" clasp used prior to the s looks more like a curled wire. Pieces incorporating the earlier style also have a tube-shaped hinge for the pin stem, and sometimes the point of the pin stem will extend beyond the edge of the brooch.

Some pieces of inexpensive jewelry made during the s and through the decades since then have used a variation of the "C" clasp that is more square looking than rounded. Be sure to look at the overall style and materials when dating pieces using "C" catches. A collar pin is a metal fastener that connects the two sides of a shirt collar by passing underneath the tie.

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It can take the form of a large safety pin, or be shaped like a bar, either with clasps on either end or two spheres or cubes on either end, that unscrew and pass-through holes in the collar similar to a bar cufflink.

This type of pin was developed in the early s as a means of holding the ends of the newly fashionable turn-down collar in place and could be simple or adorned with jewels. They grew increasingly ornamental as opposed to functional as the 20th century wore on. They were primarily used by men, though when first introduced, women used them as well when wearing collared blouses.

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It was worn similarly to a brooch, but with a clip mechanism instead of a pin stem to attach it to clothing. The underside of the clip usually contains prongs to hold it securely in place. Dress clips were made of popular materials of the day including Bakelite like the example shown here and pot metal. Larger versions were sold singly. Smaller examples were often sold in pairs or sometimes as part of a "duette" see below.

The more petite clip duos were worn in various ways including at the bottom corners of square necklines. They can sometimes be confused with shoe clips. The first branded Duettes were designed and manufactured by Coro in in Art Deco styles. Thank You for all Your Research Efforts.

Thank you for your kind comments, Tammie. I thought your article was very informative. It was interesting to learn about all the different closures, and I will try to keep that in mind next time I go antique shopping. However I was hoping to learn about unique closures. Christina, I too have a bracelet with a heart and rod closure. It large pale gold pearls and i purchased it from China close to 10 years ago.

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Hope this helps! I started collecting bracelets that had these kind of closures, but did not know why. I guess, my guesses have been paying off for me, if I ever sell the collection, that isoh, and something is only worth what some one else is willing to pay for it.

In the crest CM and bottom HR. Any idea or a good reference to further research? Thank u! How have I not found your blog before. So far I am loving it. Wish I could stay longer buy I have to go for now. I promise I will be back.

Once I get back to see more, I would like to post a blog reviewing and linking and singing praises to you for a job well done. I have been in the vintage jewelry collecting, admiring, selling, buying, wearing world for at least ten years. This is put together very well. Very informative!

Sep 20, Part 1: Vintage Jewelry Marks: Help for Dating Your Vintage Jewelry Part 2: Silver Jewelry Marks: Learn to Identify and Date Silver Jewelry Part 3: Vintage Jewelry Patents: Find and Use them to Date Vintage Jewelry. So let's get started learning about vintage jewelry hardware. Vintage and Antique Brooch Clasps. Dating vintage jewelry clasps - Rich man looking for older woman & younger woman. I'm laid back and get along with everyone. Looking for an old soul like myself. I'm a lady. My interests include staying up late and taking naps. How to get a good man. It is not easy for women to find a good man, and to be honest it is not easy for a man to find a good woman. Mar 24, It can be hard to date antique jewellery if it is not hallmarked. As it was not compulsory in most countries to hallmark jewellery, with some exceptions, more often than not we have to ascertain the date of a piece by examining the style, construction, and materials used to manufacture it. In this post, I.

I especially am impressed with the depth of the posts. Thank You!

Dating Jewelry - Art Deco & Retro Era

Does anyone know a resource for using the engraved patterns on the back of brooches to id the maker? Can you tell me when the bracelet in the picture for the Wide Bracelet Pin Clasp dates from? My parents bought a silver bracelet for me in an antique shop in a small town in Germany. It looks super old and I am really wondering when it could be from. Your picture was the only one I have been able to find that looks like the clasp on my bracelet!

I collect and sale antique cameo brooches and pendants. I am always researching clasps and found your blog very informative, thank you so much! Looking forward to more post! I have a ring that I cannot place the circa it was made. Do have any information on rings. The ring- saw tooth setting, in a collet, red stone-with a R, and the band looks like someone rolled a pattern on it. Also the band looks like one side is gold attached, curled around to the other side of bottom of collet, and attached.

There are no hallmarks. It came in a purple paper box. I have done some research. I have books on jewelry. Its very fragile. I think the gold is 24 K. I had originally come to this site to find out if necklaces that have lobster claw clasps are vintage? I mean, what year did that clasp arrive upon scene? It does matter.

All about collectible vintage jewelry and accessories

She back pedaled and changed her site rather quicklyI guess she looked it up. Thanks so much for your information, and I signed up for your newsletter. Lobster claw clasps can be a tricky one. Sometimes the original clasp may have got broken and been replaced at a later date, or of course, the whole necklace could have been re-strung at some time, which confuses the issue of dating.

I just wish there was more info available on dating jewellery. Cool article, thanks. By the way here is the link to the article if anyone is interested She back pedaled and changed her site rather quicklyI guess she looked it up.

Dating vintage jewelry clasps

Thanks so much for your information. I am back to square one. Thank you so very much for posting this information. I have been collecting and exhibiting love token jewelry for over 25 years and a member of the Love Token Society.

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I am in the process of writing a article for our newsletter Love Letter discussing how to determine if a item of jewelry is original or if it has been modified or ated.

May I have permission to quote information from your articles? I will include your articles in the bibliography. Thank you for sharing, I really liked this article so loaded with information. Q: I have a lovely faux pearl necklace with a silver fish hook clasp. I am wondering if you know how old the clasp could be? Thanks again!

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