Pearl Harbor Buttons, ca. 1941
Appraised Value: $700 - $1,000 (1998)
$1,000 - $1,500 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:45)
GUEST: My dad was in Pearl Harbor when they bombed Pearl Harbor at the time, and he was on a ship called the U.S.S. Tern, which was a minesweeper and commonly known as a bird boat. And I believe from the time after that, he had joined into the Pearl Harbor Survivors, the association. And he started picking up these pins and buttons over the amount of years. He passed away about eight years ago, and my mom turned around and gave them to me and said she thought I should have them.
APPRAISER: This material was produced after Pearl Harbor. Of course, it was a traumatic event in our history. To be so unprepared for something. And we turned it around to create an incentive to energize people's interest in the war effort. And these were all produced shortly after that period to a great extent, as incentive pieces. Now, I've had, over the years, several of these pieces through my hands. Some of them are fairly common. Some of the buttons, like "Remember Pearl Harbor," turn up with great regularity. And they sell in the $15 to $20 range. But some of these pieces I've never seen before. This one here, the three bombs, "Remember Pearl Harbor." I think it's just an amazing example of what we call war jewelry. And another interesting piece is this compact, which is a lady's compact. And it's in excellent condition. Some of this jewelry work over here is extremely rare. They were done in Hawaii mostly and didn't even come over to the mainland. So he was quite an avid collector.
APPRAISER: When did he start to talk about this event with you?
GUEST: He didn't talk about Pearl Harbor until the '70s.
GUEST: Yeah. And I'd asked him about it, and he really didn't elaborate on it at all. And later in life he even started talking about what the damages were, what he saw. Because he was on the ship that turned, went over, and it helped the sailors that were killed on the Arizona.
APPRAISER: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: Which is the monument.
GUEST: But you know, it made me think, as I see this picture of this woman right here and I wonder where she is now.
APPRAISER: Yeah, it's so evocative, these old photographs. What happened to those people, and where are they? Well, these were very effective tools in the war effort. Well, this type of thing is always difficult to put a value on because you have to start adding up the individual pieces, which I was doing when you first brought it to my table. And you would have here, in aggregate, a value of something between $700 and $1,000.
GUEST: That much?
APPRAISER: Oh, yeah. Well, some of these pieces just don't appear.
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