I decided to wear my navy blue suit to the State of the University speech last week and found my long-owned circle pin pinned to the left lapel of the jacket. I wondered: Who gave me the pin? When did I receive it? Are circle pins around (no pun intended) anymore? Do they have a history? What about other jewelry pieces in the velvet-lined music box? I have not seen circle pins, tie clasps, cuff links, or cameos for a while.
Today’s lapel pins tend to be much larger than the “circles” or the Celtic-knots of yore but they are interesting, too, and undoubtedly have tales to tell. I was fascinated with the beautiful pins that our first female United States Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, wore. She wrote a book, Read My Pins (2005?) that I hope to read sometime. Mrs. Albright said that in her collection of over 200 pins, many were not necessarily expensive. However, one special pin, presented to her by a gentleman whose wife had perished in the floods spawned by Katrina, moved her to tears. The man told Ms. Albright that he thought that his wife would have wanted her to have it.