This is a very lovely pin most likely worn for mourning. It is a heavy weight brass design that has been painted with flat black enamel. Full mourning jewelry was not supposed to be reflective so even though black jewelry was fashionable at the time, this was probably a mourning piece due to the un-reflective finish. The pattern is quite interesting and it resembles black faceted gems in various shapes. The clasp is a C-clasp with an early modern style hinge. Despite its age, it only has a little wear of the paint and a slight curve of the pin stem. Other than that, it is in fabulous shape for an antique pin.
Mourning jewelry has been in use as far back as the 15th century, but was popularized during the reign of Queen Victoria. After she lost her husband Prince Edward at a young age in 1861, she went into a deep mourning period. She wore black for the rest of her life and required the court to wear black for 3 years! The populace followed her example. Here in American, mourning jewelry became popular during the civil war. Strict mourning jewelry was all black colored.