History of Badges

For a long time collecting of badges has been one of the most popular hobbies. It combines numerous clubs and single collectors. Plenty of people for sure have tried this in childhood and are proud of their collection today.

Often there is a certain division according to the themes inside the countless family of badges collectors. One is collecting badges devoted to the ‘World Cultures’, another prefers pets or pop musicians. There are plenty of examples. Since no special permission is needed for this hobby, the world of badges is simply immense.

Historical documents and excavations indicate that badges existed in ancient Greece. They were used to specify the family and army. After the family coat of arms town emblems had appeared. This heraldry with its symbols is still recognized even nowadays. Classical heraldry counts seven colors -  gold, silver and enamel (black, purple, blue, green and dark red), which express the range of qualities. For example, gold is a symbol of wealth and generosity, blue – softness and greatness, and red – fearlessness. The interesting fact is that in heraldry without enamel hatching was used to separate colors. It is a method used in monochromatic heraldic representations to indicate what the tincture of a “full-color” emblazon would be. Today in many countries the arms of the the coins are implemented in ‘heraldic colors’ using the hatching.


In England and France XII century was the beginning of the mass production of so-called ‘pilgrim’ badges. Disease, wars and troubles caused people to seek solace in religion. Thousands of pilgrims were wandering across Europe to visit holy places. Specially for such ‘tourists’ church produced tin and lead badges. Pilgrims wore them on their necks, sometimes forming the entire necklace.