Trifari Jewelry Value: History and Worth of an American Costume Jewelry Icon

From the 1910s to the 2000s, the jewelry company Trifari produced fine, eye-catching costume accessories. Although the brand evolved many times over nearly a century of operation, its prestige and legacy endured. Present-day collectors and auctioneers across the world covet vintage Trifari jewelry. They regard these pieces as both high-value works of art and artifacts of the Trifari business itself. 

Keep reading to learn about the history of Trifari jewelry. We’ll examine the value of Trifari jewelry, as well as Trifari’s beginnings and metamorphosis over the decades. 

The Value of Trifari Jewelry Pieces

Jewelry enthusiasts and vintage collectors alike value Trifari pieces for their fine craftsmanship, unique designs, and likeness to genuine metals and stones. From the company’s very inception — and especially during the Great Depression, when money was tight for most buyers — it prioritized affordable pieces. The accessibility of Trifari jewelry, along with its rich history, makes it stand out in modern collections.

Although Trifari’s pieces were considered relatively affordable to a middle class audience when initially produced and sold, they’re now considered vintage goods and thus often reach high prices at present-day auctions. The following are some examples of notable vintage Trifari jewelry that has sold at auction in the past 10 years.

KTF “Fruit Salad” (1930)

In 1925, Trifari founder, goldsmith Gustavo Trifari, joined forces with sales managers Leo Krussman and Carl Fishel, and the hybrid brand KTF was born. From then until approximately 1930, the KTF mark was imprinted on all Trifari jewelry, including the “fruit salad” line. During the KTF era and beyond, fruit salad jewelry, featuring colored stones in vibrant hues, was prominent in the Trifari collection.

Alfred Philippe’s “Tree of Life” Fur Clip (1942)

Created in 1942 by Alfred Philippe, Trifari’s lead designer from 1930 to 1968, this “Tree of Life” fur clip features striking aquamarine crystals. Against the diamante backdrop, the hues of blue and green are all the more striking. 

Throughout Philippe’s tenure at Trifari, the tree of life was a common motif in his designs. It can be found in many iterations throughout the Trifari collection, from enamel accessories to faux-pearl adornments. In April 2018, an undisclosed patron bought the 1942 aquamarine fur clip pictured above for $2,600 via Ripley Auctions.

Diane Love’s “Sekhmet” Collar Necklace (ca. 1970)

Beginning in 1970, designer Diane Love made a splash as a Trifari collaborator. Her goal was to incorporate the aesthetics of antique objects into her Trifari designs. 

The collar necklace, which Love designed circa the 1970s, depicts Sekhmet, the powerful ancient Egyptian goddess of war and healing. In February 2022, Rago Arts and Auction Center sold this Trifari gold necklace for $1,600.

Trifari Through the Years

The story of Trifari began in 1910 when Gustavo Trifari, a recent immigrant from Italy, arrived in the United States. Driven by a passion for jewelry design and a dream of making it big in America, he laid the foundation for what was to become an iconic brand.

In the early days, Gustavo partnered with his uncle, and for a brief period, the brand operated under the name “Trifari and Trifari.” However, this collaboration was relatively short-lived, and it soon became apparent that Gustavo’s vision required the right collaborators to flourish.

Trifari underwent several metamorphoses as it adapted to changing times and tastes. In 1925, the brand merged with Krussman and Fishel, giving rise to the name “KTF.” This partnership, too, proved to be short, and by the 1930s, the brand reverted to its singular identity as Trifari.

As the decades rolled on, Gustavo Trifari’s commitment to innovation remained unshaken. He sought to protect the intellectual property of his designs by marking his creations with “TRIFARI PAT. PEND.” This dedication to quality and authenticity continued into the mid-20th century, where a copyright symbol began to grace Trifari pieces in 1955. During these eras, the iconic crown motif, which had become synonymous with Trifari jewelry, was prominently featured.

The 1970s marked another significant change for Trifari, as it bid farewell to its crown symbol, symbolizing a shift in design direction. From the late 1980s until the year 2000, the brand adopted a “TRIFARI™” stamp, further highlighting its enduring commitment to quality craftsmanship.

However, with the acquisition of Trifari by Liz Claiborne in 2000, the brand underwent its most profound transformation. Trifari marks gradually disappeared from their jewelry, and the brand effectively ceased to exist. Despite this, the impact of Trifari on the world of costume jewelry endures, leaving behind a rich legacy of innovation, style, and timeless design.

Notable styles of Trifari jewelry

The following are some of the most prominent styles of Trifari jewelry.

Patriotic designs

From American flag designs to subtler red, white, and blue color schemes, Trifari jewelry often featured patriotic imagery, especially during World War II.

Alt text: trifari jelly belly sail fish brooch, trifari jewelry value

Trifari – Jelly Belly Sail Fish Brooch. Sold for $350 USD via Greenwich Auction (February 2020).

Jelly Belly animals

These Trifari pieces were modeled after animals of all types, such as chickens, frogs, and fish. At the center of each of these creations is a stone made of lucite — an acrylic plastic with a jelly-like appearance.



Faux pearl embellishments on Trifari jewelry were highly common. These reached their peak of popularity when First Lady Mamie Eisenhower wore a piece to her husband’s presidential inauguration.


These are among the more elaborate Trifari pieces. They’re made of materials resembling precious stones and metals.


These versatile Trifari brooches could be separated into two distinct pieces. Women of fashion could clip one of them to their dresses or wear them together as a larger pendant.

trifari vintage crown pin, trifari jewelry value

Trifari – Crown Pin. Sold for $160 USD via Cordier Auctions & Appraisals (August 2015).


A common motif in Trifari jewelry is the crown, often represented through ornate, colorful diamante. Crown Trifari jewelry became so popular that it ultimately began to represent the Trifari brand itself.

Alt text: trifari demi lune floral wisteria branch

Trifari – Demi Lune Floral Wisteria Branch. Sold for $1,500 USD via Ripley Auctions (November 2017).


Gustavo Trifari, along with the brand’s guest designers, frequently played with floral patterns in a swath of eye-catching colors from pale yellows to deep blues.

Where to Buy and Sell Trifari Jewelry

If you’re looking to sell Trifari jewelry, consider selling at auction. Auction houses that sell through marketplaces like Invaluable are able to reach the widest audiences of collectors.

Similarly, if you’re interested in collecting Trifari jewelry, browse online auctions. There are plenty of antique jewelry auctions every day, and you’re likely to encounter both rare items and more affordable pieces

Buying (and Selling) Trifari Jewelry is Only the Start

Whether you intend to wear Trifari pieces, sell them at auction, or admire them from afar, understanding the history behind these often rare collectibles is important. If learning about Trifari has piqued your interest in other kinds of collectibles, learn about the most exciting items to collect across America