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These brooches were produced during the great gold rushes of the late 19th century in South Africa, Australia and USA. They were mostly made in Birmingham and shipped out to the gold-mining areas. Gold miners liked to show off their new-found wealth, and one of these brooches for a wife or girl-friend was a must.
This one is made in 9ct gold, as were the great majority. It is 1 7/8 inches: 53 mm across. It has the usual motifs of pick, shovel, rope and 'nuggets'. South Africa is the only country normally seen stamped on the brooches - usually they are un-specific. A few were made in Australia, and these are very valuable. Gold-digger brooches used to be fairly common, but they have now become hard to find, as they make a jokey gift for a girl-friend.