At Guinness World Records we are always excited about Christmas. 

Year after year, our best-selling book confirms itself as one of the most coveted presents under the Christmas tree, and we are always looking for extraordinary people who are just as excited as us about the festive season!

Amazing individuals like Adam Wide (UK), who recently set a new record for the largest collection of Christmas brooches.  

Adam has smashed his previous record with a total number of 7,921 bejeweled pins. He started assembling brooches in 1984 and first set this record in 2008 with 542 items. 

Since then, he has broken his own record five times to reach his staggering new total. 

He even got a few more pieces after he broke the record!

"I encourage everyone to go out there and find a bizarre hobby they can thoroughly enjoy." - Adam Wide

Adam with certificate and broaches

The joy of finding little treasures amidst a box of brooches is clearly painted on Adam's face as he describes the feeling of finding an unexpected gem.  

Even though he has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds during the forty-ish years of his hobby, Adam estimates that his collection is worth way more than that now: a whopping £350,000.

But how, one may ask, did Adam discover a passion for exquisite festive brooches? 

 "Why brooches? There is really no simple answer to that."

It happened almost by chance when Adam was looking around the Christmas department of a shop one day. He found a tiny, shiny brooch and decided to buy it. 

A seemingly inconsequential action, just another festive purchase, that changed his life. 

As soon as he started getting involved, the hobby "became absolutely obsessive," Adam declares. 

Golden brooch with pearls detail

After four decades of collecting, Adam has assembled brooches from every decade and provenance, with many shapes and colours. 

The most expensive item in his collection is an art-nouveau inspired, translucent plique a jour made between 1920 and 1930: a precious treasure of minute artistry made of platinum, diamond and rubies. 

The delicate shape represents a Christmas tree, as made obvious by the green details, but in the slightly abstract art-nouveau style. 

Adam holding up his most expensive brooch

Some of the brooches hold an emotional value, and some are made by renowned brands or famous designers (like Stuart Freeman, to name one). 

The oldest brooch in Adam's gargantuan collection is a colourful Christmas tree from the 1920s, enameled in sterling silver and with vivid details in black, yellow, red, blue and green.

The designer and exact date for this particular jewel are unknown, but Adam cherishes this brooch for its shapes and long, fascinating history. 

brooch in sterling silver from the 20s

Adam even owns pieces created by New York’s Stanley Hadley, one of his favourite designers and the mastermind behind jewellery for stars such as Liza Minelli and Bette Midler, as well as the New York’s Met. 

"What’s sad is that most of the big American and European brooch-makers are gone now, they have been overtaken by big production in China. Which is brilliant, but the problem is that you can't really compete with that. A lot of the home-owned brooch manufacturers have gone by the wayside."

details of the Christmas trees brooches

Why should people get invested in brooches?

According to Adam, brooches represent a versatile hobby with lots of possibilities: they can be easily found everywhere, with various prices to suit different pockets. 

Collecting Christmas brooches is "a wonderful hobby that anyone can start", Adam says, and encourages everyone to consider it. "You start small like me and, before you know it, you have 8,000 brooches." 

Adam with brooches and certificate

 But, this Christmas, Adam has also another important secret to share: "I think growing up and being an adult is a trap," he says with a laugh. "Don't do it!"

"Christmas in an amazing time that allows you to unleash your inner child. I think one of the secrets in life is to never grow up!"

From shiny representations of Christmas trees (the best ones are from Swarovski!) to minute snowflakes, bells and snowmen, one thing remains sure: with its stunning variety and creative interpretation of traditional Christmas themes, Adam’s collection is a real feast for the eyes.

Adam with christmas glasses