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Convention Badge

Convention Badge.  A medallic item, often of fraternal nature, bestowed upon delegates of a convention or meeting. Usually attached to ribbons and headers, convention badges were often designed with several components:  bars, drops, pendants and such. All are intended to be worn, thus they have some method of fixing to a garment. Most convention badges were made by emblematic jewelry manufacturers but even the most traditional medal manufacturers produced these. The annual conclaves or encampments of the G.A.R. in the late 19th and early 20th century were the pinnacle of convention badge design for elaborateness (with many elements) and exotic components (even such components as sea shells, tree nuts, and lumps of coal!).

A later development was the lady's or auxiliary badge. Often of miniature size, approximately half size of the regular badge and ribbon, the ladies badge was designed to

be more dainty, sometimes pierced, but always lighter in weight. For collectors, the American Numismatic Association carried convention badges even further in the mid 20th century. By omitting the loop and striking both the large regular and small lady's size in conventional (table) medals in several compositions, they created matched sets for numismatists. (Credit for this development was William T. Louth, president of Medallic Art Company, which then produced these for a number of years, and other medal makers followed suit.)

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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