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Trifari Jewelry Pin Review: Rhinestone, Gems, Crown,
Trifari Vintage Pins
Trifari pins employ the same materials and explore the same themes found in the brooches – indeed many consider both types of jewelry to form a single department. Pins can be smaller, and can perform clothing functions on top of their decorative utility. Silver and gold tone alloys make up the metallic base on which glass, rhinestones, gems, cabochons, pearls, and other colorful inclusions spread to produce a familiar figurative shape.
When Alphred Philippe contributed several designs to Trifari more than sixty years ago, pins became the company's most popular pieces. Today their renown endures thanks both to his legendary status – but that alone wouldn't have been enough – and the undeniable charm of the jewelry itself.
In addition to the wide range of themes (discussed in the brooches review), there are several lines that exhibit common features, and gradually garnered the admiration of connoisseurs and collectors.
Crowns incorporate faux moonstones and rhinestones of various colors on a miniature replica of a crown – a surprisingly powerful design considering the generally obsolete status of monarchy in western society. The pins come in various sizes, and generally follow the rules of sound aesthetic composition: one bright red piece near the top draws the attention as a focal point, the other gems keep it there.
“Jelly Belly:” A series of animal and insect pins that consist of a large glass, rhinestone, or other translucent or transparent bead reminiscent in color and texture of jelly – hence the term. Jelly Belly pins limit the number and color of additional gems, or exclude them at all, as the alloy completes the pieces by adding peripheral parts. Among Trifari's most solid, coherent designs.
“Fruit Salad” series takes the opposite approach, introducing a mix of smaller beads and cabochons that combine to create a sprinkled look (not unlike jelly beans). Usually the beads come in single color.
Enamel coating provides an important surface alternative: flat instead of the bulging gemstones. Enamel most often appears on floral pins; it continues to play a role in other Trifari jewelry.