Brass or copper button

Blackfoot58

Silver Member
Jan 11, 2023
4,271
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Iowa
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I found my first non-riveted button today. It is 11/16” diameter. Front appears plain w/ a nice green color (patina?). The back has writing. I want to clean it without damaging it. It probably isn’t valuable, but to me it is. Rub toothpaste into it dry, soak in white distilled vinegar, other? What is recommended to clean without damage? It appears to say: “WARR” and possibly “WARRANTY”. Also an “OK”. Any help appreciated
 

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KSDirtfisher77

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Jun 26, 2022
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I found my first non-riveted button today. It is 11/16” diameter. Front appears plain w/ a nice green color (patina?). The back has writing. I want to clean it without damaging it. It probably isn’t valuable, but to me it is. Rub toothpaste into it dry, soak in white distilled vinegar, other? What is recommended to clean without damage? It appears to say: “WARR” and possibly “WARRANTY”. Also an “OK”. Any help appreciated
Congrats!! That's likely a pretty old button. If you want to keep the patina, maybe try some renaissance wax or conservators wax. I have never used any, but read good things about it. Congrats again. Awesome find.
 

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Blackfoot58

Blackfoot58

Silver Member
Jan 11, 2023
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Iowa
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Congrats!! That's likely a pretty old button. If you want to keep the patina, maybe try some renaissance wax or conservators wax. I have never used any, but read good things about it. Congrats again. Awesome find.
It possibly says “warranted right okay” on the back. Is the wax for cleaning or just for preserving after cleaning? Thanks
 

pepperj

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Feb 3, 2009
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Congrats on your first flat button.
Warranted-Gilt (some will have a star or a few stars placed on one side or other of the GILT.
Some others will have double/triple Gilt written on the button.
This was for the silver/gold wash that was on the button originally, though the soils have taken it off.

To answer your first query, it is made out of brass.

Hp will take off any organics, though it might darken the button as well.
Have burnt a few coins up over the years soaking in HP

Renaissance wax or conservators wax applied to a soft cloth and if you apply it to the button it will also remove any dirt.
It's a passive way of removing the light crud, but seals in the heavy crud-if that makes any sense.
 

ticndig

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Apr 17, 2009
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Cumberland Va
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you're sure to find many more if you stay with the hobby , some flat buttons are even military buttons as well so look for something on the front other than just a flat surface. if you find any that are convex one piece look them over carefully as many are early military issue . go back where you found that one and search again , I've been on sites that produce many buttons in one little area.
 

pepperj

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Feb 3, 2009
37,382
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you're sure to find many more if you stay with the hobby , some flat buttons are even military buttons as well so look for something on the front other than just a flat surface. if you find any that are convex one piece look them over carefully as many are early military issue . go back where you found that one and search again , I've been on sites that produce many buttons in one little area.
True and have had that happen-then again I have had only one single button from the field.
Kind of thinking it was lost while farming ay one time.
Buttons are always a welcomed recovery, means that there was somebody living on that dirt at one time that could lead to other recoveries.
Lots of buttons means lots of history at the site-decades or a higher number of folks coming and going.
 

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Blackfoot58

Blackfoot58

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Jan 11, 2023
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Iowa
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After some light cleaning it says Warranted Rich Orange. I looked that up. Looks like it referred to the color and style. A few sites say it is copper. Dates from 1700s to late 1890s. I’ll keep looking. I hope to narrow it down and I can’t imagine it being 1700s, in Iowa. Thanks, and please give me any more info on the Warranted Rich Orange flat buttons you all may have.👍🏼
 

pepperj

Gold Member
Feb 3, 2009
37,382
138,580
🥇 Banner finds
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Deus, Deus 2, Minelab 3030, E-Trac,
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After some light cleaning it says Warranted Rich Orange. I looked that up. Looks like it referred to the color and style. A few sites say it is copper. Dates from 1700s to late 1890s. I’ll keep looking. I hope to narrow it down and I can’t imagine it being 1700s, in Iowa. Thanks, and please give me any more info on the Warranted Rich Orange flat buttons you all may have.👍🏼
Now Google the image of how to date a button by is shank. Narrow your search and eliminate the
1700S and 1900s.
 

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Blackfoot58

Blackfoot58

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I’m just absolutely awestruck. I wonder how it got to Louisa County Iowa? It was made before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Maybe in some lady’s button box. Salvaged from an old garment. Thanks to all for the information and comments. That’s what makes this site the greatest. 👍🏼
 

KSDirtfisher77

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Jun 26, 2022
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I’m just absolutely awestruck. I wonder how it got to Louisa County Iowa? It was made before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Maybe in some lady’s button box. Salvaged from an old garment. Thanks to all for the information and comments. That’s what makes this site the greatest. 👍🏼
Maybe it was dropped during the Lewis & Clark expedition, by some of their followers. Maybe the natives traded for it? Idk how it got there, but a swell find.
 

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Blackfoot58

Blackfoot58

Silver Member
Jan 11, 2023
4,271
10,329
Iowa
Detector(s) used
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Maybe it was dropped during the Lewis & Clark expedition, by some of their followers. Maybe the natives traded for it? Idk how it got there, but a swell find.
I went to the area where I found it. I got 3 more similar ID hits. All were showing very deep locations. I’m going to wait until the ground softens up some (If I have the willpower).The ground is like baked clay. Of course the other 3 might be head stamps! 😀
 

Red-Coat

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Dec 23, 2019
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Surrey, UK
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Good button and I would think it’s British.

Terms such as “Warranted Rich Orange” first began to appear in Britain after 1796, as a way to circumvent the legislation introduced that year. The terms “gilt” (and “double/treble gilt”) were defined in legislation to inhibit manufacturers from using these terms on buttons that had little or no gold plating. “Gilt” was defined as having 1/96th of an ounce per gross of 1 inch buttons. Manufacturers using lower gold contents or gold-coloured lacquers then began adopting these other terms (“rich”, “extra-rich”, “extra-fine”, “extra-strong”, “orange” etc) to promote the quality of their buttons without falling foul of the law.

Since the backmark is indented, it will likely be from after 1810 and probably through to the 1830s or thereabouts.
 

Red-Coat

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Dec 23, 2019
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PS: Between about 1810-1813, British makers carried on producing buttons for export at close to their usual output rates, initially hoping for a resumption of normal trade, and then hoping for a short war. The accumulated stockpile of buttons was ultimately dumped on the New York auction market in 1816 and successful bidders then distributed them throughout America. It was openly stated (hopefully) in British Parliament that the dumping might “strangle American industry [button manufacture] in its cradle”. Many of those buttons (and subsequent production after the war ended) intentionally had no origin backmark which would identify them as British, to avoid them being rejected by those with anti-British sentiments. If the word “colour/color” is included as part of the quality indication, the spelling gives them away as British or American origin.
 

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