I have a strong attraction to medieval jewelry, I like the regal and solid heavy feel, the marks of handcrafted work, and the creativity of set stones. You could tell a lot about a person by the jewelry they wore... their social significance and wealth, their faith and superstitions, allegiances and even literacy. It was worn by men and children, just as much as women, in all levels of society. People with money usually wore silver and gold, while those with less cash-aroony wore base metals, copper or pewter, sometimes set with imitation gems, like colored glass. I really like that gems were usually just polished and not cut.
I am strongly inspired by the book "Medieval Jewelry" by Marian Campbell. This book focuses on an important collection at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. It's an amazing collection and has a lot of great pictures and descriptions of the jewelry. It's not really a how-to book, but it's great for inspiration. If you have some jewelry making-experience, it's not a far reach to look at the pictures and figure out how to make a lot of the pieces.
Ring brooches were quite popular and were used to fasten tunics up until the late 14th century, when clothing became more tailored and buttons came into use.
These two brooches are part of a series on romance. Romance comes from the French 'roman' meaning a tale, and were stories about lovers or heroes and courtly love read by people of the court, and by townspeople, as well. A major theme was gift giving, where men and women exchanged love tokens. Affection was commonly expressed with inscriptions, usually in Latin or French. The round brooch is stamped with the words 'pense de moy' or 'think of me.'