Did you know some antique brooches tucked away in your jewelry box could be worth a small fortune? These timeless treasures, blending artistry and history, often carry an unexpected value that outlives fleeting fashion trends.
From Cartier’s Art Deco brooches to Chanel’s symbolic camellias, there are some special antique brooches that are simply more valuable than the rest. But what makes them so precious? Well, join me as I lay out a list of 15 most valuable brooches and their special features that make them worth thousands of dollars!
- Antique brooches with historical relevance, such as Princess Lobanov-Rostovsky’s Emerald Cameo Brooch and Faberge Gold and Diamond Brooch for Empress Maria Feodorovna, can be worth nearly $100,000!
- Pick brooches with rare and precious natural stones like diamond, Sapphire, Jade, Ruby, and Rhinestones, as these raise the brooch cost sky-high!
- Brooches from vintage-era brands like Cartier, Seaman Schepps, and Van & Cleef are quite expensive, depending on their material and style.
What Makes an Antique Brooch Rare & Valuable?
If you want to add a precious antique brooch to your collection, but don’t know where to start, look for these features in old, vintage brooches to spot a valuable one!
- Expensive metals like Gold (rose, yellow, or white), Silver, Platinum
- Valuable stones such as Diamond, Sapphire, Jade, Azure, Amethyst, Emerald, etc.
- Cameo with human profiles carved on precious stones
- Unique shapes and styles like Marlin Fish, Fairy, Bird of Paradise, etc.
- Limited edition or single-piece brooches
- Historical significance
15 Rare and Valuable Brooches Worth Your Money
Let’s check out the 15 most valuable brooches you must have an eye for! Identification features, age, brand, material, you’ll find everything here!
1. Imperial Jade White Gold Brooch Pin
This precious Art Deco style flower-shaped white gold pin can be identified with its exquisite untreated cabochon Jade stonework. You will also see small round-cut diamonds on the floral curved stem.
Key Identification Features:
- Around 17.2 carats of untreated natural green Jadeite (15 Jade stones)
- Hand chased make with no artificial or machine-made components
- C-clasp single pin back
- Visible metal joint seams on the back
|$80,000 – $82,000
|Jade Stone on 18K White Gold
|1890s – 1930s
2. Princess Lobanov-Rostovsky’s Emerald Cameo Brooch
This antique brooch is really a rare sight! Belonging to the Russian Princess Lobanov-Rostovsky’s collection (who it’s named after), this Cameo brooch displays a huge emerald stone engraved with a detailed face of a woman from ancient times.
- 120-carat emerald stone with intricate carving of features like arching brow, curls, and eyelids
- Finely-detailed engraved design on the frame
|$25,000 – $35,000 (Sold at $125,000)
|Emerald Stone and Diamond on Gold
You can tell what the metal is by looking at the markings on the back of the piece.
3. Cartier London Art Deco Diamond Museum Brooch
Coming from France, this 3-inch long Cartier Art Deco Diamond Brooch is totally worth your investment! It is made of pure platinum and diamonds. You can spot it by its small geometrical shapes connected to each other like a Mahjong pattern.
Rare Features to Identify:
- 25 carats of Baguette and brilliant cut Diamonds
- Geometrically arranged Diamond pieces
- Three European-cut diamonds arranged in a line surrounded by Aztec motifs
|$95,000 – $98,000
|White Diamond on Platinum
4. 1960s Seaman Schepps Brooch Pin
This magnificent vintage gold brooch from the US features a precious and gorgeous turquoise azure stone that makes it one of a kind. It has a basket-shaped frame made of gold with a big octagonal stone in the middle.
You will also find floral decorations with round-cut diamonds resembling buds and water droplets on the gold stems and leaves.
Unique Identification Features:
- Emerald Cut Diamond and Stones
- GIA-certified step-cut natural beryl aquamarine stone
- Double pins and rotating locks
- Brand name carved on the pin joint
|$62,000 – $78,000
|Diamond and Turquoise Stones on 18k Gold and Yellow Gold
5. Imperial Russian Faberge Gold and Diamond Brooch for Empress Maria Feodorovna
Having great historical significance, this gold and diamond brooch was crafted for Empress Maria Feodorovna back in the early 1890s. You can identify it with its personal monogram cipher of Empress Maria Feodorovna, topped with the Romanov crown.
Key Features to Spot:
- Silver-topped 14k gold frame with round-cut diamonds
- Round-cut Ruby stones arranged in a circular pattern
- Single rotating pin attached horizontally at the back with a C-clasp lock
- Morocco leather presentation box with Empress Maria Feodorovna monogram
|$73,000 – $75,000
|5c Diamond with 14K Gold
Always look for the original box for historical brooches, as it hikes the costs.
6. Van Cleef Dancing Fairy Moonstone Sapphire Diamond Brooch
Another Van Cleef brooch to add to your collection! This brooch from the 1980s comes in the shape of a dancing winged fairy with a magic wand in its hand and is made of 18k yellow gold.
Apart from its construction of precious stones, it’s also expensive as it comes in pairs.
Rare Features to Spot:
- Diamonds ornamented at the end of the fairy’s magic wand
- Oval cabochon Moonstone on one fairy’s face and a yellow sapphire on another’s
- Brand name embossed on the back of the wings
- A curved rotating pin with a lock at the bottom
|$40,000 – $46,000
|Van Cleef & Arpels
|Sapphire, Moonstone, and Diamond with 18K Gold and Yellow Gold
7. Van Cleef White Gold Blue Sapphire Diamond Brooch
A piece of craftsmanship, this simple flower-shaped pin with a small stem and two leaves can be a fantastic addition to your expensive collection. Made with 18k pure white gold, you can spot this vintage brooch with its uniform flower petals ornate with diamonds of uneven shapes and the gorgeous sapphire stone at the center (pistil).
Key Visible Features:
- 18k White gold frame
- Fixed straight pins with a socket at the bottom
- Brand initials “V. C. A” engraved on the pinhead
|$30,000 – $35,000
|Van Cleef & Arpels
|Sapphire and Diamond on 18K White Gold
8. Victorian French 15c Diamond Flower En Tremblant Brooch
Dating back to the 1870s, this French brooch looks rustic and aesthetic with its gold and silver frame with 15 carats of diamond embellishments. It features the unique French jewelry-making technique “en tremblant,” a trembling flower with a stem to reflect that flowers have motion.
Notable Identification Features:
- Three flowers with stems
- Old mine cut diamonds at the center of the flowers and on leaves
- Rose cut diamonds on the flower petals
- Rotating pin at the back with a simple C-clasp lock
|$23,000 – $25,000
|Unknown French Maker
|Diamonds on Rose/Yellow Gold and Silver
9. Yellow Gold Shell Ruby Tourmaline Cameo Pendant Brooch
This antique 14K Yellow Gold brooch, Coming from the 1930s, is a must-have for serious antique freaks. Standing out for its big oval carved orange-white shell stone, this piece showcases fine carving craftsmanship back in the 30s with its highly detailed Cameo stone.
Notable Precious Features:
- Displays a scenic image with human figures on the shell
- Round-cut ruby stones arranged around the main shell tone
- Three Emerald-cut Tourmaline stones arranged triangularly on the top
- Double pin back and a small loop on the top for easy transformation of brooch into a pendant
|$12,000 – $15,000
|Shell, Ruby, and Tourmaline on Yellow Gold
10. Chanel 18k White Gold Amethyst Diamond Miami Marlin Fish Brooch
This vintage brooch in the shape of Marlin fish is a perfect blend of modernity and chic style. You will see three Amethyst stones arranged in decreasing order of size (from head to tail) with an ornate white gold head, tail, and movable fins.
Key Identification Features:
- 4 Cabochon-cut Amethyst stones
- Sapphire stone eye and Diamonds on the fins and the tail
- Rotating curved C-clasp (along the shape of the brooch) with a solid lock
|$9,000 – $10,000
|Amethyst and Diamond with 18K White Gold
|1900s – 1980s
11. Gold And Hardstone Cameo Brooch, By Castellani
A true piece of art from Castellani, this brooch features a finely corded yellow-gold frame with an Agate hardstone. You can spot this with the Cameos-shaped Agate stone carved to depict a profile of a woman wearing jewels.
Notable Precious Features:
- A necklace and diadem on the lady carved in the stone
- possibly Empress Marie Louise, second wife of Napoleon I
- Wirework detailing on the gold frame
- Maker “Castellani” mark on the back of the frame
- “Xaveria” signed on the back of the cameo stone
|$15,000 – $20,000
|Hardstone on Gold
12. Bissinger Signed Yellow Gold Agate Cameo Pendant Brooch
This unique Cameo pendant brooch from the 1870s showcases intricate carving skills on a precious Carnelian Agate Cameo stone with a plain yellow gold frame. On the stone, you will see a side profile of a lady with curly hair wearing a scarf, a high collar coat, and a cross pendant.
Notable Features to Look For:
- Four pearls and eight diamonds decorated on the gold frame around the Cameo stone
- “Isabella 1760” and “Brown + Rogers” carved on the back
- Maker’s name engraved on the left side of the main stone
- Simple C-clasp back pin and a chained pin
|$14,000 – $15000
|Carnelian Agate Stone and Pearl on 18K Yellow Gold
13. Antique Queen Anne Paste Portrait Brooch Pendant
This special 18th-century silver brooch has a detailed hand-painted portrait of Queen Anne secured with glass on the top. This brooch is also ornamented with several round-cut Paste stones arranged on the silver frame, which forms a crown on the top.
Notable Features Worth Money:
- Scrolling and foliate metalwork
- Double-sided brooch
- A loop on the top and a pin with a locking clasp at the back
- Original red leather box with gold-colored floral patterns
|$6,000 – $7,000
|Paste Stones on Silver
14. Trifari Alfred Philippe Jelly Belly Pekingese Dog Brooch
Now this is a really unique one! This 1940s Pekingese brooch looks like a dog with a body made of Lucite Jelly Belly stone and its head and legs made of silver-tone metal and black enamel.
Notable Features to Look For:
- Clear Rhinestones on metalwork and red Rhinestones in the eyes
- Rotating pin with c-clasp lock at the back
- “PAT PEND TRIFARI” marked at the back of the brooch
|$7,000 – $8,000
|Lucite and Rhinestones on Silver
15. Georgian 18th Century Diamond Enamel Bird of Paradise Brooch
This stylish brooch comes from the 18th century and showcases a Georgian “bird of paradise” made of fine white gold. You’ll find this brooch decorated with diamonds along with colored enamel, making it look chic and antique!
Important Features to Look For:
- Rose cut diamonds on the body, head, tail, and red & green translucent enamel, and opaque blue enamel on the wings and tail
- Rustic and old single pin and c-clasp lock at the back
|$6,000 – $8,500
|Diamond and Enamel on Gold
If you like brooches, you must definitely go for one of the aforementioned models for sure. You can wear these pricey pieces to adorn your outfit or simply preserve them to make your antique collection worth a king’s ransom!