During the 18th and early 19th centuries, crescent-shaped metal gorgets were worn by officers in most European armies as a badge of rank.These last survivals of armor were much smaller (usually 3"-4" wide) than their Medieval predecessors. In the British service they carried the Royal coat of arms until 1796 and thereafter the “Royal Cypher”. Gorgets ceased to be worn by British army officers in 1830. This article explores the earliest use of shell and copper gorgets by Native Americans for thousands of years, and their subsequent replacement (for the most part) by the metal European gorgets.
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Early American Gorgets
Nickel Silver or Brass Gorgets
Originally presented to Indian leaders as a sign of rank during the fur trade era, gorgets gradually lost their official status and became a standard trade item. Some were plain while others bore a royal animal or motif. Our gorgets, made from nickel silver or brass, follow that standard and are offered in a plain style or with a royal crest on the front. These gorget styles are of the French and Indian War Period. (read more below)