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Copper and Bronze Vintage Brooches - Ancient materials updated for our modern style

Copper and Bronze Vintage Brooches - Ancient materials updated for our modern style

Did you know that copper was one of the first metals widely used by humans? It also symbolises love and believed to be medicinally effective. 

Used for jewellery making since 8700 BC, copper is prized for its durability and rich, warm colour. The oldest piece of copper jewellery is a pendant found in norther Iraq.

The metal itself is the second most used in the world. Both brass and bronze contain copper and are very popular materials for jewellery, art and industrial items.

Through the practice of ancient alchemy Copper, was paired with the planet and the goddess Venus, and by extension love. It is one of four metals that has a unique colour.

Pure copper jewellery worn against the skin is reported to provide benefits to people suffering from joint pain or arthritis. It is also kills harmful microbes making it a suitable surface for kitchens and hospitals. 

Over time, copper will not rust but instead develop a natural green patina. This is because copper oxidises and a chemical reaction turns the metal green. Pure copper jewellery can also turn ones skin green. But don't worry my brooches won't be oxidising or turning you green as they are not pure copper.

My vintage brooches are made of an amalgam or a mixture of metals with copper included to give the colour and tone of the metal. They are very rich and the details of the styles are clearly defined by this rich metallic colour. The addition of enamel adds a depth and texture to some of the pieces.

Some have copper paint or gilt used to give copper tones as well as a light coat of varnish to keep the colour fast preventing oxidation.


In approximately 3300 BC, although some say earlier, ancient bronze was created through melting tin and copper together in a 10% to 90% ratio. This created a very strong material suitable for tools, household items as well as weapons. In Europe, the Bronze Age occurred between 3200 - 600 BC. It was our first metal alloy and it changed our way of living significantly.

My vintage brooches are more bronze coloured than 100% bronze metal. And they are not so ancient having been manufactured only thirty or so years ago.

The Modernist Bronze collection is a fantastic example of simple shapes in a bronze tone metal combined to create stylish and very stark statement pieces. 

My Copper and Modernist Bronze collection of brooches look fabulous on solid colours especially material with texture such as wool or linen. Why not update your look with these ancient tones?

Both collections make excellent coat brooches and will take the weather making you runway ready as you run for the bus.

Shop the entire collection here or click on an image to view.

All errors and omissions are author’s own.

Copyright Audra Daws-Knowles 2023

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