Monday, June 14

Trifari Vintage Jewelry Through the Years - Part 2

Those you have been collecting Trifari Vintage Jewelry for a while are familiar with jewelry from the various eras. For newer collectors, it's helpful to have an overview of Trifari Vintage Jewelry over the years.

In my last post I began a discussion of Trifari during the 1930's and 1940's, and provided a link to design patents filed by Alfred Philippe, which are available on Google Patents. In this post I'll continue with the 1940's and move into the 1950's.

During the 1940's, metals were needed for the war effort, so Trifari, like other costume jewelry manufacturers, produced Sterling Silver pieces. Many of these were ornate fur clips, and figural brooches, like the crown brooch pictured here.

Trifari Pat Pend Sterling Vermeil Crown Brooch

The brooch was produced in three different sizes. This is the largest of the three, at 1 7/8 inch wide by 1 7/8 inch high (4.7 by 4.7cm). The design appears in several popular books, such as "Signed Beauties of Costume Jewelry," by Marcia "Sparkles" Brown and "Warman's Costume Jewelry Figurals," by Kathy Flood. It is also featured in at least one Trifari print ad from the 1940's.

The Sterling is covered with a Gold Vermeil finish, which was quite common during that time. The stones and colored glass cabochons are also typical of designs of the period. In fact, ornate Gold Vermeil or Gold Plated jewelry with colorful rhinestones produced during this time is known as "Retro" Style. Later on this same crown brooch design was produced in non-silver, gold plated metal. Trifari liked to re-use popular designs and often produced multiple variations of the same design.

The back of the brooch shows the Trifari Signature and Patent Number.

Trifari Pat Pend Sterling Vermeil Crown Brooch, Back

Patent Information: The patent for this design was filed by Alfred Philippe on February 12, 1944 and issued on March 28, 1944. The patent document (courtesy of the U.S. Patent Office) can be viewed on this page: Trifari Crown Brooch Patent 137542

Here is another example of Trifari re-using their older designs. This drawing of a Zebra Brooch was submitted with Patent 131242 in 1942:

Trifari Zebra Brooch Drawing, Patent 131242

The same design, with minor variations was produced in later years.

This one in the 1960's:

Crown Trifari Black Enamel Zebra Brooch

And another version in the 1990's:

Trifari TM Black Enamel Zebra Brooch

This Shell Pin was patented in 1944, # 137545:

Trifari Swirled Shell Brooch Drawing, Patent 137545

Here is a pin of the same design produced in the late 1950's:

Crown Trifari Swirled Shell Brooch, late 1950s

One way to identify the approximate age of Vintage Trifari Jewelry is by the signature. Vintage Trifari Jewelry was always signed - there is no such thing as "unsigned Vintage Trifari Jewelry." For more information about the signatures, view my Guide: Vintage Trifari Jewelry Marks.

There are so many wonderful Trifari designs - I've only had time to upload to my gallery a handful of all of the photos I have. I plan to add more pages to my online gallery as time allows. Here is the link: Collectible Trifari Vintage Jewelry Online Gallery.

Most of the jewelry currently pictured in the gallery is available for sale in my stores:
My Classic Jewelry Etsy Shop
My Classic Jewelry eBay Store

Thank you, and have a nice day!


  1. You haven’t posted since June so I hope this blog is still active—it’s very informative! Do you happen to know if Trifari manufactured jewelry for other companies (like Sarah Coventry)? Thank you.

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