Guest blogger (and my former college freshman roommate!) Kristie is a passionate singer and music teacher who adores her family, enjoys good food and collects vintage pins.
When my college professor said I needed to observe a tree of my choice for six hours, I thought he was crazy! At first time dragged on, but then I started getting curious about this tree, researching it and studying it, which was his whole point to the project. Same goes for pins. The more I study them, the more I learn.
As an eBay newbie, I first typed in “pins and brooches” and got thousands of entries! Now, months later, I am an expert, sort of…I type in “vintage pin brooch lot free shipping” and get a more refined search. I learned that the better quality, more valuable costume pins are usually signed by their designers, such as “Coro, Trifari, Sarah Coventry, JJ, Gerry’s, etc.”
I discovered that many organizations had their own pins of prestige, i.e. red hat society, girl scouts, real estate agents, military, and so forth. I also learned what cloisonné, metal enamel, cabochon, filigree, and other descriptive words meant. Some pins sell for $0.99 and others go as high as $1,000 or more!!! (By the way, “brooch” tends to be more of a European word to describe larger pins and “pin” to describe its smaller American counterpart.) I found out a new trend is to have a bouquet of vintage pins rather than a flower bouquet for the bride.
I now find myself looking for pins not just on eBay and in retail stores, but in antique malls, thrift shops, etc…you get the picture! My study of pins has also gotten me involved with selling them for the sheer joy of it….after all, who better to sell them than someone who has come to love them!
Thank you Kristie for sharing about your study and love of vintage pins!