7th October 2021

Jewel and Jewelled Buttons

The trouble with the term ‘jewel’ in terms of buttons is that it has been used for everything from precious gems to semi-precious to glass and imitations; in fact anything that sparkles.  Very few buttons of gold and precious stone exist, except in museums, as the materials were repurposed after their day as a button passed.

Collectors use the term ‘jewel buttons’ to refer to buttons with ‘stone’  centres mounted in metal, as with many waistcoat buttons, or for the larger ‘Gay 90s”. The term “jewelled buttons” refers to any buttons  set with one or more real or imitation gem stones.

In print, the term was mostly used indiscriminately to glass and imitation stone.

The Bendigo Independent (Vic), 15th February 1902 page 2.

Report on Tariff Commission in The Argus (Melbourne), 24th June 1905 page 17.

The Macleay Chronicle (NSW), 19th February 1913 page 2.

The Daily Telegraph (Brisbane), 23rd June 1927 page 24.

The Brisbane Courier, 15th December 1927 page 21.

The Australian Women’s Weekly, 30th April 1952 page 51.

Daily Mercury (Mackay. Qld), 13th May 1953 page 5.


The Sun-Herald (Sydney), 8 November 1953 page 29. Shorts with “star shaped jewel buttons”.