Brooches

Celtic inspired and Scottish style agate glass costume jewellery

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch info

Celtic inspired and Scottish glass agate costume jewellery is very distinctive , with the designs often based on earlier Victorian and pre-antiquity pieces. Made from glass stones (created to imitate the agates) which are set into non-precious mixed metal, they are a beautiful mix of intricate patterns and bold statement features.

Notable makers are Miracle and Heathergems (who ingeniously use compressed real heather found on the Scottish moors to create stones,) though collectors might also come across vintage producers no longer in business, such as Jacobite and Hollywood; look for ‘signatures’ and makers stamps on the back of the jewellery as often (but not always) jewellery might be signed.

Telling the difference between modern Celtic inspired and Scottish costume jewellery and older ‘real’ antique  agate jewellery can be tricky at first. As a general rule, antiques tend to be more delicate and intricate in nature; look for fine etching, flush stone settings and top quality scroll patterns. T-bar pins and long pins are a sign of antique brooches too (see here for my guide to dating antique brooches for more info). Antique Celtic inspired and Scottish jewellery is made from real agates and gemstones.

How to id identify antique vintage scottish agate jewellery and costume jewelry

ABOVE: a real circa 1870s Victorian antique Scottish agate sterling silver brooch. Notice the quality flush settings of the agate stones (each one from a part of the Scottish coastline), intricate scroll work around the sides, and long pin which sticks out from the side of the brooch.

 

More modern Scottish costume jewellery dates from circa 1950s to today, and is usually made from glass, enamel or other imitation ‘stones’. The pieces tend to be much chunkier, and often include thistles and Celtic knot work patterns (surprisingly, real Victorian antique Celtic and Scottish jewellery rarely shows thistles or Celtic knot patterns, instead using popular Victorian era scroll patterns of the time instead).

 

How to id identify real antique vs costume faux Scottish jewelry

ABOVE: a more modern costume jewellery circa 1980s glass agate brooch. Notice the chunky stone settings, Celtic patterns and ‘mottled’ stone colours of the glass (which is trying to imitate agates.

 

Here are some of my favourite Celtic inspired and Scottish costume jewellery designs:

 

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Beautiful simple Celtic cross brooch, with brown banded glass stone, made circa 1980s. A sign of more modern Celtic inspired and Scottish jewellery is the use of the cross in the design, along with Celtic patterns.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Some costume Scottish or Celtic inspired brooches do have gemstones set into them (such as this quartz), though note the metal is still mixed/non-precious, as seen in this lovely modern brooch.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Gorgeous circa 1970s Scottish inspired brooch. Whilst the patterns are intricate, the stones (made from glass) are glued in quite crudely, and not flush set.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Unusual Celtic glass agate brooch, set into imitation gold colour metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Chunky, bold and vivid colourful design – a hallmark of more modern Scottish agate glass inspired brooches.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning circa 1950s glass stone brooch.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Lovely penannular style brooch, made from mixed metal and glass. Genuine penannular brooches are a type of cloak fastener rather than decoration brooch – though note the costume jewellery designs (such as this one) are decoration only, and don’t work!

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Magnificent Scottish glass agate costume jewellery brooch, set in bronze colour metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Whilst brooches are the most popular type of Scottish and Celtic inspired costume jewellery, pendants, bracelets and rings are made too.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Outstanding and rare design huge Celtic costume jewellery brooch, made with orange speckled glass stones and set into pewter tone metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery cross pendant necklace

Lovely glass agate cross pendant

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Unusual black glass agate costume brooch

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery cross bracelet

Whilst brooches are the most popular type of Scottish and Celtic costume jewellery, pendants, bracelets and rings are made too.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery earrings

Gorgeous little Scottish thistle costume jewellery earrings, with glass ‘amber’ flowers.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Lovely Heathergems stone thistle brooch. You can learn more about the amazing way heather flowers are turned into Heathergems jewellery here.

vintage modern Celtic Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning thistle design Scottish glass agate brooch

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Rare fan posy design Scottish and Celtic inspired brooch – note the good quality faux bloodstones, which have been made out of glass

vintage modern Celtic Scottish agate glass costume jewellery pendant cross necklace

Huge Celtic glass agate cross pendant necklace

 

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Very unusual circa 1960s modernist Cetic inspired brooch, with green marble stone. There is a signature to this piece but it’s an unknown maker.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Detail of the above brooch – this is the signature to this piece but it’s an unknown maker.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Vintage circa 1960s Scottish Celtic inspired pendant, made from glass stones, and signed ‘Hollywood’ on the back. Hollywood were a well known costume jewellery makers during the mid 20th Century.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning pre-antiquity-inspired modern Celtic brooch made with brown glass stones in bronze tone metal.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Gorgeous Scottish style thistle brooch, detailed with blue and purple glass banded stones.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery brooch

Stunning Celtic pattern green glass stone costume jewelry brooch – top quality, and signed ‘Jacobite’ on the back.

vintage modern Scottish agate glass costume jewellery ring

Whilst brooches are the most popular type of Scottish and Celtic costume jewellery, pendants, bracelets and rings are made too.

 

 

References and further reading:

Miracle Jewellery shop: https://www.miraclejewellery.co.uk/

Vintage Miracle and Jacobite costume jewellery info: https://www.vintageandhandmadejewels.com/signed-uk-jewellery-439-c.asp

Vintage Hollywood costume jewellery info: https://www.vintageandhandmadejewels.com/signed-uk-jewellery-439-c.asp

Heathegems shop: https://www.heathergems.com/

Guide to Victorian Scottish jewellery: https://jewellerymuse.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/vintage-and-antique-scottish-agate-jewellery-info-guide/

How to date vintage and antique brooches: https://jewellerymuse.wordpress.com/2013/05/11/tips-on-how-to-date-a-vintage-brooch/

 

I sometimes have Scottish and Celtic jewellery in my shop – please check here to see there is any in stock.

 

 

 

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Tartan clothes and Scottish agate jewellery – a perfect combination ♥

There are things in modern life that are certainties; death, taxes, and of course the autumn/ winter fashion designers rule which states that either army fatigues, the ‘Gothic look’ or head to toe tartan will be the next big thing (oh, and that some colour other than black will be the new ‘black’).

This year it’s tartans turn back on the runways (you can see some stunning Saint Laurent, Mulberry, Givenchy, Versace collections here).  And if you happen to love tartan then why not finish your look with some rather gorgeous pieces of Scottish jewellery?  Here are some beauties to wet the apatite…

Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch jewelry

This Scottish agate brooch is a real genuine antique, and dates from around the 1880s. Jewellery made from agate and quartz gemstones found in Scotland has been around for hundreds of years.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch jewelry

Another antique Scottish agate brooch from around the late 19th to early 20th Century. Old Scottish jewellery has a big following around the world, and many experts can even tell what part of Scotland the agate came from just by looking at at.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate brooch jewelry axe silver

An antique Scottish agate axe brooch, circa 1880s. Most antique Scottish agate jewellery was set into either base metals, gilt, un-hallmarked silver, or occasionally gold. A simple ‘925’ stamp on Scottish jewellery is generally only found on post 1950s silver tone pieces.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate cross pendant jewelry

In times gone by, Scottish agates were used to make brooches, necklaces, bangles and pendants, like this tiny Victorian cross charm.

A collection of old Scottish agate jewellery. From top: a vintage 1970s brooch with huge yellow centre stone, a 1920s silver dirk pin in the shape of a tiny dagger, and a tiny early Victorian cross brooch.

A collection of old Scottish agate jewellery. From top: a vintage 1970s brooch with huge yellow centre stone, a 1920s silver dirk pin in the shape of a tiny dagger, and a tiny early Victorian cross brooch.

Antique Victorian Scottish agate plaid brooch silver jewellery

A stunning example of an antique Scottish agate brooch, made from a variety of agates found around Scotland’s coastline. Note the perfectly flush settings – found in only the best examples of the genre.

Vintage 70s costume jewelry Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch

Scottish jewellery has never gone out of fashion. The real stuff can be expensive, but fear not – there are some gorgeous costume jewellery imitations available. This vintage modernist style brooch was made in the 1970s, and uses a real agate set into base metal.

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch Hollywood Exquisite

Even the famous vintage costume jewellery designers of the 1950s and 60s brought out collections that imitated Scottish agate jewellery, including ‘Exquisite’ and ‘Hollywood’. The stones were made from colourful glass, and set into base metal.

Vintage costume jewelry Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch

A circa 1980s imitation Scottish agate brooch, set into bronze tone metal

Vintage costume jewelry Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch iona Celtic

Celtic knot work (as seen on this stunning circa 1980s brooch) is a sign that the brooch was made post 1960s – older Scottish agate jewellery was decorated with non-Celtic scroll work and typical Victorian flourishes.

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch

Iona stone from Scotland is a popular choice for Scottish agate lovers (as seen in these lovely earrings)

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch bracelet

Real Scottish agate bracelets and bangles are rare and cost hundreds of pounds, so if you’re on a budget why not treat yourself to a costume jewellery imitation? Prices start from about a tenner.

Vintage costume jewellery Scottish agate glass paste stone brooch signed Miracle

One of the most famous modern makers of Scottish agate jewellery is the ‘Miracle’ company, who make both costume jewellery pieces and high quality fine silver reproductions.

vintage scottish agate earrings citrine thistle clip ons

Thistles are the emblem of Scotland, and when seen in jewellery the flower part often made of quartz from the country.

Scottish Celtic Heathergems thistle stone brooch jewelry
This beautiful Scottish thistle brooch is made by another famous jewellery company called Heathergems. The stone isn’t a real ‘stone’ at all – learn more here!

Antique Victorian Scottish agate buckle carnelian brooch jewelry

Buckle motiffs never date. This fabulous vintage Scottish agate brooch is fully articulated, and was made in the Victorian period circa 1870s. Love it!