Perfect for a special occasion as well as everyday wear, brooches are both stunning pieces of jewellery and ever-popular fashion accessories.

Art Deco diamond brooch

An Art Deco diamond brooch with an open centre surrounded by 24 diamonds (the two largest centre diamonds approximately 0.45cts). It sold for £1600 at an auction in Cardiff held by Rogers Jones.

In essence, a brooch is a jewellery item designed to be attached to garments, often to hold them closed, although in practice they are commonly used as decorative pieces intended to light up your outfit.

A wide variety of brooches are available to buy at auctions on Items range across different price levels and they can be much more affordable compared with buying new brooches in shops.

In recent times, the resurgence of the brooch has been a welcome trend in the jewellery market. Who can forget all the attention given to the brooch worn by Baroness Brenda Hales in October 2019 when she delivered her verdict in the UK’s Supreme Court on Boris Johnson’s ‘unlawful’ prorogation of Parliament? Across social media users were asking: ‘Where did she get that spider brooch?’

Once regarded as ‘old fashioned’, brooches are now being recognised by a new generation of buyers as an accessory bursting with personality.

Many brooches also find favour today for their versatility: they can be hung from a chain as a pendant as well as being attached to clothes.

What to look for

On you can look for brooches that you can wear to work or at weekends. You can also search for something unique to wear for an event, birthday or special occasion.

Brooches come in many shapes and sizes, some of the most striking are novelty examples formed as animals such as butterflies, caterpillars, peacocks and many others.

An abundance of styles is available to suit all tastes – from Victorian brooches to Arts & Crafts and Art Deco examples.

You can also refine your search to certain brands such as Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels and Garrard, or individual makers like Andrew Grima (1921-2007) whose daring organic sculptural designs re-energised the British jewellery scene in 1960s and 70s Britain.

Brooches can be made from all sorts of materials – especially precious metals like gold and silver – and often feature diamonds or gemstones like emeralds, sapphires or pearls that add sparkle to the brooch’s design.

Remember that the value of gemstones is primarily based on the four ‘Cs’ – carat (weight), colour, clarity and cut. An additional factor with coloured gemstones is the origin of the stone and any evidence of colour enhancement.

Quality, condition, provenance and rarity also play a key role in determining values when it comes to brooches and you can always ask a specialist at an auction house for further information regarding these factors before deciding how much to bid.

Don’t be shy – after all you’re looking for something that’s chic and unique…

What to do next

Decide how much you’d like to spend and use the search facility on to find brooches coming up for sale.

You can filter your search by, among other things, price and by location of the auction house to narrow down your selection.

To research recent prices at auction to see how much different types of brooches sold for you can also try out’s Price Guide.

If you are new to bidding check out our guides to buying at auction – it’s easy once you know how.

Send feedback on this article