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Trifari Jewelry Pin Review: Rhinestone, Gems, Crown,

Updated on March 21, 2011

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.

Trifari Costume Jewelry Pin
Trifari Costume Jewelry Pin


  • 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.


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    • MFB III profile image

      MFB III 

      8 years ago from United States

      Trifari has always made unique and comment sparking jewelry from those you meet daily. I only own one piece, it is a San Fransisco streetcar with a gem set in it, from what time period I don't know, but it is highly detailed and a delight to look at. I have put it in a box frame and have hung it in my studio.....with a view of San Fransisco behind it. Great hub...Thanks for the info~~~MFB III


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