A customer asked me what was the difference between a brooch and a pin. I gave her an answer but then I thought I’d look it up. For all who are like minded, here is some of what I found. (There was a lot.)
A brooch is an ornamental piece of jewelry that can be affixed to clothing, cloaks or hats by means of a pin with or without a clasp. However, “pins” are the general category for such pieces of jewelry, and “brooches” are a specific type of pin. So all brooches are pins, but all pins are not brooches. Brooches were first worn in a functional capacity to fasten or secure articles of clothing. They evolved from simple pins to elaborate and decorative during the Middle Ages. Brooches have been constructed out of every conceivable jewelry material from precious metals to plastic. Every motif, theme, fad and fashion has been construed as appropriate for brooch design. All manner of jewelry techniques have been applied from enamel, gem-setting, animation, engraving, etc. allowing brooches to become badges that make a statement. We must have a statement for you.
These definitions are loose, and one person may call a piece a brooch, while another calls the same piece a pin. Both brooches and pins are meant to adorn clothing. We use ours to adorn the bags.
So, there you have it; a pin is a category, a brooch is a pin in the category.