Two new old brooches
I've been leaning more and more towards a midcentury style in recent years, and the branch-shaped one grabbed me instantly. There's no manufacturer's mark, but it's good quality and I'm pretty sure the stones really are carnelian and amethyst. I've already worn it on a green cardigan and it looked great. I usually default to my green atomic diamante brooch with my favourite green dress, and this will make a brilliant alternative.
The circle brooch was a popular shape in the midcentury period, though you normally see that sort of faceted 'fake marcasite' design in silver - because marcasites are dark grey. I'm pretty sure the dark red stone is paste. That one's also had its outing, on one of my old favourites, a purple tweed dress. Weirdly, it didn't work. I've had that dress since 2011 and it's usually a brooch's best friend because the pleated neckline pulls people's eyes to the jewellery, but it didn't sing on the purple tweed. It seemed perfect on paper: gold against mulberry purple, nice dark red stone. However, I think perhaps it was a tad too small and polite. It might be better on a jumper.
So, thanks, Nan!
Ooh, and an update: I will be driving the steam train on the 7th of March. All aboard!