Crafts from Voss - Norwegian Bunad silver
Heart brooches - Beloved children have many names

Heart brooches - Beloved children have many names

Heart brooch, Mary brooch and Crown brooch - Beloved children have many names and this type of brooch has exciting symbolism attached to it from ancient times.

As the name suggests, the heart brooch is a heart-shaped brooch originating from the small heart pins that hold the bunad shirt together. They are available in different sizes, both with and without pendants.


Heart brooch from Heddal in Telemark

Heart pins shaped like a heart with a crown at the top. These hold the bunad shirt together.
Old heart pins from Heddal in Telemark. Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfelt / Norsk Folkemuseum


Heart brooches have been found as far back as the 1300s but it was not until the 1700-1800s that its use escalated throughout the country. In the settlements on the flat plains of Eastern Norway, in Østerdalen, Gudbrandsdalen and Sør-Trøndelag it has lasted longer, so there are more national costumes from these areas that still use the heart brooch to this day.


Sylvsmidja heart brooches

From left: Oxidised heart brooch that is widely used in areas including Gudbrandsalen, Graffer and Dovre. Heart brooch in silver with gilded leaves for Agder and oxidised heart brooch for Østfold.


Find beautiful heart brooches here.


Religious symbol

There was a lot of superstition linked to the brooches. Silver had a power that could bring happiness and protect against evil powers. Quarter of a century after Christianity arrived in Norway, symbols were given religious meanings.

Despite there being several variants of the heart brooch, the symbolism remains the same. It's about the interaction between opposites: Between light and dark, life and death, the divine and the worldly. But fundamentally, it is all about love. The one thing that conquers all. No wonder silver was a popular gift to a partner.


Sylvsmidja heart brooch Crown brooch



  1. Five-pointed crown - crown of victory The divine winner of love with the 5 sacred wounds of Jesus.
  2. Heart-shape - symbol of the Love of Christ but is also associated with the crowned immaculate heart of the Virgin Mary. 
  3. Almond-shaped leaf - "Mandorla Mistica", symbol of the immaculate conception by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Rhombus-shaped leaf - symbol of the Creation and new life
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Nothing is more special than wearing inherited silver.


Have you inherited a heart brooch?

For several hundred years, this type of brooch has been common throughout the country and there are therefore many people who have inherited an old heart brooch. Maybe you are one of them? Many people wonder whether heart brooches can be used with a bunad that should originally have a different type of brooch. The answer is: Yes!

And not only that, it can also be worn as a brooch on a dress or jacket lapel. And why not as jewellery on a simple shirt? In other words, you can wear the brooch more often than just with the bunad. Because there is nothing more special than inherited jewellery! Memories and stories associated with it surpass everything. Wear the brooch with pride.