18 Rare & Valuable Antique Buttons Worth (Guide 2023)

Do you know that buttons were ornamental items that symbolized status and wealth before the1900s? And as time passed, they became everyday items. But every avid collector knows those tiny everyday items can cost more than $5000 today!

That’s right! Antique buttons are a valuable collectible for antique freaks for their age, design, and texture. But you don’t need to study an entire book to pick a valuable button; this little guide will show you the most valuable buttons available and how you can identify them! Let’s start!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Luxury buttons made from diamond, ruby, and gold may cost up to $15,000 or more. 
  • Special features like micro mosaics made of stone or shell pieces or colorful enamel increase the button’s value. 
  • Antique buttons created by early manufacturers like Firmin, Gaunt, and Armfield are worth a lot of money.   
  • Buttons with historical context and significance are precious as they were likely manufactured in limited numbers. 

What Makes Antique Buttons Valuable?

Antique Shank Buttons with Royal Stamped Crown

There are some easy yet significant ways to tell whether an antique button is worth your money or not. Check them out below.

  • Crafted before the 1920s
  • Hand-made without mold lines (indicating machine work)
  • Exhibits styles like Art Deco or Art Nouveau 
  • No signs of uniform back texture 
  • Made from non-plastic materials like porcelain, wood, bone, gemstone, jet, glass, metal, mother of pearl and shell, etc. 
  • Back stamps and hallmarks on the backside 
  • Hand-painted pieces displaying countryside, flowers, animals, faces, etc. 
  • Hand-carved pieces lacking uniformity and dissimilarity in texture

18 Rare Antique Buttons That Are Worth Money

There is an ocean of antique buttons available in the market. So make sure to buy or sell only the ones that are worth good money, like those mentioned in this list.

1. Georgian Unique Button with Rose-Cut Diamond 

You cannot unsee the beauty of this jewel-like button, for its splendor is defined by lavish rose-cut diamonds. The design comprises authentic natural diamonds assembled in flower shapes. The little diamonds shine in hues of several colors when set in certain positions.

Key Features to Spot: 

  • Rose cuts set on the foil technique
  • Two loops at the back 
  • 3 table cut and 22 rose cut diamonds
  • Ornate design outlined by intricate motifs
Estimated Price$14,000 – $15,000
Manufacturing Year18th Century 
Style Georgian Era 
Material Diamond, Silver 
Total Weight 4.50 gram (2,89 dwt)
Place of OriginBerlin (supposedly)

2. Plique – A – Jour Enamel Button 

This exquisite Plique -a-jour masterpiece is easily distinguishable with a high domed frame, shiny gray edges, and translucent enamel glass with a unique display of round silver dots and green, leaf-like shapes. Plique -a-jour enameling may be difficult to spot, making this button valuable.

Special Features: 

  • Made from silver, brass, and enamel glass
  • Rod at the back curved like a shank
  • Resembles a mistletoe
  • Zig-zag lines running on the edges
Estimated Price$1,800 – $2,000
Manufacturing Year19th century 
Item Height 3/8 inch
Color Silver and Green 

3. Pair of Enamel and 18K Gold Cuff Buttons

These 18k gold cuff buttons boast intricate hand-painted florals on a vibrant enamel. The gold frames exhibit hand-crafted leafy scrolls and fine ball details. Each button has a ram’s head facing the left side and unsigned hallmarks at the back.

Special Features to Spot: 

  • Gold and enamel construction
  • Rectangular shape
  • Solid yellow gold frames
Estimated Price$5,000 – $6,000
Manufacturing YearCirca 1819 – 38 
Style Georgian Era 
Weight3.89 gm
Material Purity 18K/750 
Color Multi-colored on Black 
Place of Origin France (Paris)

4. Pair of Masquerade Enamel Buttons

A swanky pair of antique buttons showcasing hand-painted faces adorning black masquerades. You can find the pair in the original vintage box all the way from the 18th century, making it valuable.

Identifying Features:

  • Hand Paintings outlined in blue with white hair
  • Brass construction with enamel painting 
  • Metallic gold surface
  • Small round shank on the back
Estimated Price$3,500 – $4,000 
Manufacturing YearPre-1930
Style Georgian Era 
Color Multi-colored 
Length 0.98 inches
Place of Origin United Kingdom 

5. 14K Gold Men’s Equestrian Fox Buttons with Ruby Eyes Set 

Gleaming in 14K gold, these antique buttons feature stunning embossed fox art on the front with circular-cut Ruby eyes that seem to glow in the dark! The set of six equestrian buttons is pretty rare and valuable.

Notable Features: 

  • Made from 14k yellow gold
  • Made exclusively for men
  • Fox face protruding out of the gold base
  • Finely detailed patterns 
Estimated Price$2,000
Manufacturing Year20th century 
Material Purity 14K
MaterialGold, Ruby Stones
Total Weight 24.1 gms 
Size12 to 16 millimeters

6. Vintage Hand-Painted Crystal Glass Buttons 

An Art Nouveau delight, this pair of buttons boast hand-painted images of children or young people courting. The entire setting is blackish silver, with a small loop at the back. And the painting is crystal glass protected which gives it a shiny rich texture.

Key Things to Look For:

  • Use of vivid colors in the painting
  • Drum-type buttons with high sides
  • Round shape with rusty edges and back
Estimated Price$1,200 – $1,300 
Manufacturing Year18th Century 
Style Art Nouveau 
Diameter 11/4 inch 
Color Silver Paint, Crystal Glass 

7. Meiji Era Hand-Painted Geisha Satsuma Button Set

This button set features a stunning portrait of Japanese ladies conversing in a group of two or four on each button. The highlight of this hand-painted Satsuma button collection is the gilded kimono adorned by beautiful geishas.

Collectible Features: 

  • Black edges decorated with golden dots
  • Golden rim inside the edges
  • Creamy white background with small golden pecks
Estimated Price$700 – $800
Manufacturing Year1890 
Style Late Meiji Era 
Material Ceramic 
Color Multi-colored (Mostly White and Golden)
Height 0.3 inch
Place of Origin Japan 

8. William Spratling Sterling Silver Buttons Set  

The set of 7 William Spratling Sterling Silver buttons is a one-of-a-kind addition to your antique allure. The maker of the buttons, William Spratling, is known as the father of contemporary Mexican silver. Besides, these buttons are unique for their rare flat head screw and aesthetically pleasing patina, thus rare.

Main Features to Spot: 

  • Single-screw slot design 
  • Glossy appearance
  • Handmade pieces
  • ‘Spratling Made In Mexico’ engraved in the back
  • Small loop at the back
Estimated Price$600 – $700
Manufacturing Year1920s 
Brand William Spratling 
Material Used Silver 
Color Grayish Silver 

9. Antique Enamel Hand-Painted Butterflies Button

Featuring ornate hand-painted butterflies, this beautiful set of 6 Sterling silver buttons is the perfect collector’s item. Each piece is flanked by a unique, deeply colored butterfly image protected by an edge glass from the front.

Special Features to Identify: 

  • Round buttons with rusty silver edges
  • ‘Sterling Silver’ engraved at the back
  • Small loop at the back
  • Aesthetic patina on silver settings
Estimated Price$650 – $750
Manufacturing Year1900s
Style Edwardian Era
Material Used Sterling Silver, Glass
Color Multi-colored

10. Daniel O’Connell Repeal of the Union Button 

This button is a memoir of the Mayor of Dublin, Ireland, Daniel O’Connell’s plan of Repeal of the Union (overturning the Act of Union after Catholic Emancipation). It has a simple round body with a loop at the back.

Identifying Features: 

  • “Ireland As She Ought To Be” engraved around the hook at the back
  • “Daniel O’Connell Repeal of the Union” engraved on the front 
  • Beautiful metal patina
Estimated Price$400
Manufacturing YearLate 18th and Early 19th Century
Style Figurial
Material Used Metal 
Color Dull Golden 
Place of Origin Chester, England 

11. Royal Hawaiian King Kalakaua Firmin & Sons Military Button

This royal antique button can be spotted with this lavish golden color and the intricate embossment of the crowned monogram of King Kalakaua I (the last monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi).

Key Features to Spot: 

  • Gold-colored brass construction
  • “Firmin & Sons, London” marked at the back
  • Tarnishing on the surface around the embossment
  • A small loop at the back
Estimated Price$300 – $400
Brand/MakerFirmin & Sons
Manufacturing YearPre-1930s
Button Size (Diameter)27.27mm
Material Used Brass
Color Golden
Place of Origin London

12. Bone Jockey Jiggler Stud Button 

It is a very rare bone-cased juggler stud button displaying a man riding his horse. This painting is inside a circular, white hollow bone frame, truly exhibiting a unique design.

Unique Features to Verify: 

  • Rider in red shirt and yellow pants
  • Circular, hollow button
  • Rounded shank at the back
  • White base
Estimated Price$300 – $400 
Manufacturing Year1900s  
Material Bone 
Color Off-white (Bone color)
Length 1.18 inches or 30 mm

13. A Rare Stuart Crystal Antique Button 

It is a tested square-cut rock crystal whose beauty is enhanced by the gold wirework cipher gracing the center. This antique button resembles a sparkling diamond ring at first glance and is difficult to find today!

Key Features to Verify: 

  • Made of sterling silver and stone
  • Quartz gemstone used
  • Small hook at the back in silver
  • Silver surface and base
Estimated Price$300 – $400
Manufacturing YearPre-1700s 
Style Gothic Era 
Total Height12 millimeters
ColorSilver 
Place of OriginUnited Kingdom 

14. Antique Sterling Charles Horner Flower Button 

This beautiful antique English pierced button can easily grab attention with its unique flowers-on-flower design. Besides, it’s made of pure Sterling silver and is hallmarked, which makes it invaluable!

Notable Features to Find: 

  • Flower-shaped button with mini versions of the main flower design carved on the whole body
  • Hallmarks on the shank: lion for metal (silver) purity, the letter “a” for the year 1901, and a shield for the city of Chester 
  • “C.H.” (for Charles Horner) marked in cartouche on the shank 
Estimated Price$200 – $300
Brand/MakerCharles Horner
Manufacturing YearPre-1930s
Button Size (Diameter)27.27mm
Material Used Brass
Color Golden
Place of Origin London

15. English Silver Maiden Figural Button Set (With Original Case)

A finely designed set of 6 English Sterling Silver maiden figural buttons that have stood the test of time! All buttons have the same maiden design displaying side faces with uniquely curled hair, all silver.

Attractive Features: 

  • Original presentation case 
  • Fully hallmarked ‘T&S’ (English Silversmiths E J Trevitt & Sons)
  • Floral patterns on the edges
  • Small loop at the back
Estimated Price$100 – $200
Manufacturing Year1907
Style Art Nouveau 
Material Used Sterling Silver, 925 Sterling Silver, Silver, etc. 
Color Silver
Place of Origin Chester, England 

16. Jewel Paste Reticulated Silver Button 

A very rare jewel silver button that is subtle on the base but blasts into white, green, and blue stones on the surface. Look closer, and you’ll notice little beads of white and gray amid the finer details of a very Victorian-style button.

Unique Features: 

  • Sparkly silver dots visible on the outline
  • Rusty silver base
  • Decorated with stones and Intricate motifs
Estimated Price$200
Manufacturing Year1800s  
Material Silver, Stones
Color Green, Blue, White
Diameter 1 1/2  inches 

17. 14K Victorian Era Micro Mosaic Button 

This unique antique button boasts a metal base and colorful micro mosaic floral art in the center. The outer display is decorated in small, intricate circles, each holding a white star, which makes this antique piece quite whimsical.

Detailed Features: 

  • Rusty gold surface with detailed rope design border
  • Gold pin attached to the base
Estimated Price$100 – $150 
Manufacturing YearCirca 1860 
Style Victorian 
Material Glass, Metal
Color Multi-colored 
Height 3/4 Inches
Place of Origin United Kingdom 

18. A Rare Metal And Paste Button Art Deco Style 

This one is an exquisite paste button displaying Art Deco study via its ornate designs and vivid colors. The floral design in the center is hand-crafted with crystals/ precious gems. The yellow and blue metallic patterns surround the main design in triangle shapes.

Unique Features: 

  • Geometric patterns exhibiting Art Deco era
  • Golden background with a hanging curve 
  • Octagon shape and rusty gold enamel
Estimated Price$150 – $200
Manufacturing Year1920- 1930s
Style Art Deco 
Size 1.57 inches 
Color Metallics (Blue and Yellow)

All you need is a good eye and a little knowledge to spot the rarest and most valuable antique buttons, and we hope this article helped you with it. So, head to a thrift store soon and grab a pricey button today. If you want to learn about identifying antique buttons and cufflinks, check out my detailed guides now!

Judith Miller
Judith Miller

Judith is an antique expert with nearly 20 years of experience in the field of antique identification and valuation. She has reviewed over 30 thousand vintage items and has worked with numerous antique shops. She enjoys seeing new places, attending antique shows and events, and sharing her knowledge with people! Know more about me

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