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A brooch is a decorative jewellery item designed to be attached to garments, often to hold them closed. It is usually made of metal, often silver or gold but sometimes bronze or some other material. Brooches are frequently decorated with enamel or with gemstones and may be solely for ornament (as in the stomacher) or sometimes serve a practical function as a fastening, perhaps for a cloak.
The earliest known brooches are from the Bronze Age. As fashions in brooches changed rather quickly, they are important chronological indicators. Many sorts of European brooches found in archaeology are usually referred to by the Latin term fibula.