Monday, October 5, 2009

Today's Vintage Jewelry Word - Figural

Figural is a word used to describe thematic jewelry made into the shape of small figures - normally animals. The term doesn't describe just animals though - many other shapes are possible, such as pieces of fruit, musical instruments, ballerinas, etc.

Generally, the term is used to describe brooches or pins, but it really can be used for any type of jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or miscellaneous jewelry. Figurals are very collectible by both vintage jewelry collectors and collectors of the theme itself.

Most of the major vintage jewelry designers made figural jewelry. Often the pieces are very intricate and detailed with accents of rhinestones or glass. At other times, they are simple goldtone or silvertone creations.

The main feature of a figural is the shape of the animal or figure.The most well known and collectible vintage jewelry figurals are the very collectible "jelly belly" pins by Coro and Trifari, but collectors will often purchase figurals because of the theme, for instance, they only collect cats, or dogs, etc. One of my favorite company noted for the manufacture of figural jewelry is the Jonette Jewelry Company, also known and marked as JJ. Their figural pins are fabulous and very detailed.

Figurals can be worn alone or in small groups clustered together, as in a group of small scatter figural pins. Here are some examples:

My online store Vintage jewely Mall has an emphasis on figural jewelry and other thematic jewelry with most of the popular themes being featured.


  1. Hi! I just stumbled upon your blog - LOVE, LOVE, LOVE old/unusual jewelry! Any info on sweater clips that you could share would be Muchly appreciated! (I have a collection, and it is hard to find any history/info on them) THANKS! S-

  2. Hi and welcome to the blog. I'll do some research and see what I can come up with for info about sweater guards and clips. Look for a posting soon about it.




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