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If it isn't original, you know when it was added to an older jewel.
Look further for signs of a snipped pinstem; it should be extra-long or snipped.
However, it's still used occasionally (these days usually on inexpensive jewelry).
Evaluating it in concert with the hinge and pinstem is essential.
If you see a "safety pin" type clasp, the jewel could conceivably be as old as its invention (mid-19th c., but general use of this clasp in jewelry wasn't made until the 1880s, continuing in the 1890s as the form of a small extra pin on a chain).
Start by searching each piece closely for markings and make careful note of them (before you forget and must keep looking over and over, which gets to be a bore.Hinges of this type have been in use since the 1890s, so you'll have to rely on other clues to get a more precise dating than 1890s to now.If you're looking such a hinge and it isn't original, congratulations; the jewel is at least somewhat older than the 1890s.It was all in a good cause -- making them more secure and comfortable in use -- but the result has been, in most people's minds, mass confusion.PINSTEMS If you're looking at a pinstem long enough to stick you when the brooch is worn, extending beyond the jewel's edges, congratulations. If you're looking at a pinstem that appears to have been snipped, you're probably looking at a piece of antique jewelry.
In most cases, though, a great deal more investigation is involved -- and it takes a 10X loupe or at least a good magnifying glass to get started.