Posting for a buddy on Team New Jersey (Wheat Penny Posse) that dug this possible slave badge/tag yesterday in NEW JERSEY of all places. Obviously the fertilizers up here in the North are a lot nastier than the sugar sand of South Carolina, BUT do you guys see the same things we are seeing? Did a rare Charleston Slave Badge get brought up to Yankee land and lost / found 150 years later?
The material is very thin and right now the finder has listened to advise and has not attempted to clean it any further until he gets some more profession thoughts. Leonard, hopefully you are seeing this post and can offer your advise (or services considering this is something pretty damn special).
Comments on how to verify it is actually a slave badge are welcome, but as you can see in my "comparison photos" I think there's a pretty damn good chance that it is. The "font" of the 5 is dead on, and the spacing of the "servant" stamp-bar are pretty close to the right position / length / height. So either a free-man came north with his old ID badge (but why??) OR here's my personal opinion, i.e. that a Union soldier brought it back as a souvenier after the war.
Congrats to my teammate Jason,
Dan in SJ
Comparison photos of known tags from the web;
My interpretations of potential lettering "seen" thru the corrosion;