Fig. 1, North American cufflink, c.1876.
This example of masonic handicraft represents a time when masonic jewellerynot to be confused with masonic regaliawas hard to come by in the North American West. It was not uncommon for freemasons of a creative bent to design their own regalia, lodge furnishings and such items of personal jewellery or ornamentation. The artist may have used this piece to be recognized as a freemason, or simply for his own amusement. The back [not shown] looks more like a shirt stud than a cufflink, although its a little large for that purpose and one would expect there to be three or four of them. The two items are very regular and uniform to each other.
Source: Edward Theis, email@example.com : "I have in my possession two pins that look like cufflinks or coat buttons. The attached pictures show the pins the size of a 50 cent coin dated 1876 with the masonic logo. The back of the button is a half-dime dated 1875." [Fri Mar 03 13:28:35 2006]