Full Member
Oct 31, 2018
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
I recovered this button locally at a site that has produced relics dating from 1810 to present. I believe it is a Virginia State Seal button, probably Civil War, but the backmark is very odd.

The button is brass, but not too corroded for having been in the ground over 150 years. It has been damaged included elongation that makes measurements unsure. It appears to be Albert VA20. It has a higher dome than typical and is missing the shank. In its current condition it is almost an inch long.

This version has 13 stars in the upper field rather than “VIRGINIA” and is more like an officers button with a high dome and wide rim.

The unique thing about this button is the backmark features *RICHMOND VA*W.WILDT & SON. However, ALL the “D”s in the words are backwards.

I can find very little information about it and am having a hard time finding a few for sale. Any additional information on this button would be great.


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Full Member
May 7, 2005
Detector(s) used
GPX 5000, ORX, White's XLT, AT Gold for Fresh Water
Your button is one of three locals, made by Confederates, and considered rare compared to Northern manufactured ones. This variant, high dome 3 piece is also referred to as a Staff Officers button.

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Gold Member
Feb 24, 2006
Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
Detector(s) used
White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
Primary Interest:
Relic Hunting
You found an EXTREMELY rare version of Virginia State Militia button, made during the civil war. The Southern States lacked the machinery needed to produce 3-piece "Staff Officer" type buttons. The firm of W. Wildt & Son somehow manufactured a few -- and I mean a VERY-VERY few.

How rare? Well... if your "Confederate Local" Viginia Militia Staff Officer's button was in undamaged condition it would bring in the neighborhood of $800-$1,000 at any relic-show in Virginia.

It's worth mentioning that Wildt & Son moved to Columbia SC during the war... but did not change the "Richmond VA" part of its backmark. We know this for certain because a good number of Wildt-backmarked Confederate Military buttons have been dug at the site of his button-making shop in Columbia.

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