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Site: 18FR575 Birely Tannery

Context: Lot 60, S 150, E 155, Level 2, Sample unit below 19th-century deposits

Context Date Range: c. 1750-1780

Material: Copper alloy

Diameter: 0.59” (15 mm)

Link Length: 0.7” (17.8 mm)

Description:
Linked copper alloy buttons with the molded pattern of a Mexico City pillar dollar coin. The lettering reads, “UTRAQUE UNUM” and “.M.1769.M.” The buttons are cast as one piece, and do not represent coins that has been converted into a button. It is less than half the size of the coin it mimics. Although most copper alloys form green corrosion in the ground, this button looked gold when it was found. The brassy color was preserved by the unique soil chemistry of the tannery; leather and wood also survived.