A Back-Side Story: The Backs of Oscar Heyman’s Fish Brooches



It’s not a side that many consumers think to look at when selecting a piece of jewelry, but the back of styles can be as telling as the front. Enter a pair of Oscar Heyman’s fish brooches, one circa 1950 and another made more recently. The backs are engraved in gold and tell different stories than the front, both of which feature opals and diamonds. Lifelike scales are carved into the back of a vintage swordfish while swimming schools of fish populate the back of the newer piece—both a nice surprise that only the owners will see (kind of like hidden diamonds below engagement center stones in some styles). And when brands take the time to create hidden features of beauty, it’s a sign of craftsmanship that’s not easy to find. 

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A vintage swordfish brooch features opalized squid

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The back is covered in lifelike golden fish scales

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A newly made brooch also features opal and diamonds

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It also features a hand-engraved back as beautiful as the front

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