The circle pin is a classic piece of jewelry that was particularly popular in the 1950's and 60's and often worn on a cardigan or blouse. There were apparently different stories about the pins and their significance. It was said that they had different meanings depending on the pin style and where it was worn. Here are some examples of what wearing a circle pin might mean in the 50's and how they were used.
"Circle Pins mean you're a virgin." The story is that a circle pin was given by a guy to a girl in the 50's to show that they were dating. It was also a symbol of ones state of virginity. Supposedly once the deed was done the pin couldn't be worn again. Some sources say that if the pin was worn on the left side it meant you hadn't "done it" yet. Afterwords, you would switch the pin to the right side. The musical Grease has a famous part involving the iconic pin: In one scene, Frenchie uses a "virgin" pin to pierce Sandy's ear.
"Circle Pins symbolize undying love." The circle symbolizes eternity. Wearing a circle pin was a way to get "pinned" and show that you are going seriously steady without The Ring. A pin with a pearl meant one true love. Other gems and shiny additions on a pin would often have made up personal meanings by high school lovebirds. For example, a pin with a bow might mean "we're tying the knot."
"Circle Pins are for friendship." Girls would exchange matching pins to show friendship. Sometimes if they were all in the same sorority, club or school group, girls would all wear matching pins to show membership and belonging.
"Circle Pins are scarf holders." Some people say that round pins were originally designed as holders to help keep a scarf neat and positioned perfectly. It actually works wonders and looks really great! When you pull one end of a sheer scarf through the center of the pin and then fasten the pin, it will help keep your scarf in place and complete the look. This actually makes sense since sheer scarves can be so slippery.
Do you attach meanings to your circle pins? Whether they are nostalgic for you, or you are just now getting into the trend, they are a great accessory with a cute and kitschy past. I'd love to hear back from anyone who might know other stories about Circle Pins - collecting them is a hobby of mine.