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jewelry glossary

Antieke juwelen glossarium
(verklarende woordenlijst)

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Safety pin

A type of metal fastener in the form of a pin that originally was bent 180 so that the point was held in a catch-plate, but later was bent, first in a complete turn and then 180, which resulted in a small spring that, by tension, more securely held the point in the catch-plate. Such pieces were the precursor of the fibula and of the modern safety pin.

Modern examples have a guard over the catch-plate, which protects the user from being pricked.

The safety pin has four parts:

  • The acus (the pin)
  • The spring (or a springless joint)
  • The bow (the part that joins the springs with the catch)
  • The catch-plate

Some modern examples are made of gold, to be used as a collar pin or, in larger size, to fasten a Scottish kilt.

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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