It’s fair to say that with new generations, there are evolving styles that people like to get in on: “fashionable” shoes, shirts, pants and even accessories. And on the subject of accessories, there is one thing we find while metal detecting that connects back to different generations, depending on type, and that’s blazer buttons.

Blazer buttons are those small-yet-significant accessories with a rich history that spans centuries and embodies timeless style and sophistication. From their origins as functional fasteners to their status as fashion statements, blazer buttons have evolved into iconic symbols of elegance and refinement.

The history of blazer buttons traces back to the early 1800s, when they were primarily used on military uniforms and jackets. These buttons, often made of brass or metal, served a practical purpose in fastening garments and distinguishing ranks or regiments.

Over time, blazer buttons transitioned from military attire to civilian fashion, becoming synonymous with tailored jackets and blazers worn in both formal and casual settings. Their design and material varied, ranging from traditional gold- or silver-toned buttons to more ornate options featuring crests, initials or decorative motifs. Some of my favorite blazer buttons to find are the gold-gilded ones. It gets me every time and makes my heart drop seeing that beautiful color.

Today, blazer buttons continue to be essential elements of sartorial elegance, adorning blazers, sports coats and even suits. Their presence adds a touch of individuality and flair to outfits, allowing wearers to express their personal style while paying homage to tradition.

The craftsmanship and attention to detail in creating blazer buttons are also noteworthy. Many buttons are still crafted using traditional methods, such as die-striking or casting, to achieve intricate designs and durable finishes. This dedication to quality ensures that blazer buttons not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of garments, but also withstand the test of time.

Outside of the history, you might be wondering what these pieces sound like on a metal detector. It can vary. But what we consistently hear is a mid- to low-high tone, 60-75 VDI (Visual Discriminator Indicator) range. They can be found at different depths as well and, the fun part, in many varieties. It’s interesting to learn of, or wonder about, the deeper meaning behind these buttons.

They definitely aren’t any George Washington Inaugural buttons, or Revolutionary War pewter buttons. But they are a fun category of button to find, and also have an intriguing history.


Methuen father/son treasure hunters Steve and Jonathan Stewart were the August 2019 MethuenLife cover story. They run YouTube, Facebook and Instagram accounts called Mass Metal Detecting and have followers around the globe. They love to save history and enjoy talking about it. If you’d like to invite them to your property for a hunt, you may be included in a future article! Please drop them a note via MethuenLife@msn.com

 

Here are some blazer buttons, with different designs and sizes, that the Metal Detectives have dug up. Courtesy photo