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  1. #1

    Apr 2006
    Middletown, NY
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    tombac buttons - how to identify??/

    I have some buttons that I have uncovered at a site that has given me coins and artifacts from the 1800's. The oldest coin I have is a large cent date 1811. The question I have is about how to identify if some of the buttons I have are tombac buttons or not. Most are flat with no words stamped on them. One has a shiny silver look to it and the shank was not attached but you can see where it used to be.

    ANy help would be appreciated. If pics are needed I can post also.

    Thanks

    Funkman

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    CANE FIELD BANDITS and IRON BRIGADE MEMBER

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    Re: tombac buttons - how to identify??/

    Tombac buttons are shiny and brittle-looking. They are, in fact, brittle. The alloy they're made from (shiny looking, and reads lower than a brass button does on a detector) gives them their name. Here's a photo. Tombacs on the left:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sometimes it takes a thorough cleaning to see the shiny metal underneath all the crud and corrosion. When I found these 2 on the left, they looked like iron.

    Regards,

    Buckleboy
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Colonial House Site Buttons Front.jpg 
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by funkman View Post
    I have some buttons that I have uncovered at a site that has given me coins and artifacts from the 1800's. The oldest coin I have is a large cent date 1811. The question I have is about how to identify if some of the buttons I have are tombac buttons or not. Most are flat with no words stamped on them. One has a shiny silver look to it and the shank was not attached but you can see where it used to be.

    ANy help would be appreciated. If pics are needed I can post also.

    Thanks

    Funkman
    yeah, lets see some pix!!
    2017 CaneField Bandits Totals:
    George Washington Inaugural Button GWI-17B
    1790s French Marine Artillery Button
    Three 1782's, 1786, 1807, 1808, and Three Dateless Half Reales
    Two 1840-O's and a 1854-O Half Dime
    Henry Clay Campaign Button (1844)
    Complete antebellum spur
    Plantation Store Token

 

 

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