Buttons 101

If you metal detect or just hunt for hidden treasures then post your stories and find here. Everyone enjoys a good lost treasure story or news find and they're welcome here as well.

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2centsal
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Buttons 101

#1 Unread post by 2centsal » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:53 pm

Hello everyone, welcome to Buttons 101. There seems to be some confusion over two buttons, "The Tombac" and the Pewter Variety. This is good for the Novice as well as the experienced Metal Detectorists. The Tombac is grey or sometimes yellowish Button made from a brass alloy, tin and zinc. Some even contain arsenic. It is easily spotted by the mostly Greyish dull look with a dome on the back and the shank which is usually brass and soldered to the dome. It also has the hallmark swirls on the back. Some are plain, flower patterned or some other design.
Pewter Buttons are made of tin with lead and obviously have some weight to them. I usually find the real old ones and they are "Flakey" on the edges and fragile. You need to be careful with these because they will fall apart once they hit the air. Keep them in something that is airtight and not free from moving around. I've seen alot of these buttons from the Revolutionary War era. These usually have a number representitive of the regiment during the War. So far I've only found plain ones.
One other fact, back in the 1800's usually Men wore buttons to fasten things like shirts and pants. Women mostly wore buttons for fashion not for practical items.
Tombac an Pewter Buttons.jpg
Pewter on Tombac.jpg
After a while manufaturer's used the backs as advertisement or sometimes to commemerate something. I have found a few like that. One say's " Waterloo 1815" with an ornate picture below the shank. I'll post that one when i can find the picture, but here are the Tombac and pewter buttons.
Tombac an Pewter Buttons.jpg
Pewter on Tombac.jpg



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Daniel
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Re: Buttons 101

#2 Unread post by Daniel » Fri Aug 24, 2012 3:17 pm

Interesting and thanks for sharing. I think I have found a pewter button before but never thought much of it. I don't have it either since it was a long time ago. This did jog my memory some. I can remember finding and old cap gun that was completely rusted. At first I didn't know if it was a real gun or cap gun until I dug it all out.

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