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kkg_lau 05-08-2016 09:39 PM

Vintage Pin Identification Help Needed
Hello! My mother recently uncovered this pin belonging to her grandfather. I have done what I could to try to uncover any information about it but I keep hitting dead ends. She does not know much about him except he was born in the 1880s and died in the 1960s and lived in upstate NY. We are unable to ask her parents as they are deceased as well. I have unsuccessfully tried to translate the inscription and I have come here to see if anyone knows anything about this pin or even be able translate the inscription? It is smaller than a penny and 14k gold with a pearl adorning the Phi in the center. Thank you!

sissyintexas 05-08-2016 09:56 PM

I tried doing a match in google images with no luck.

honeychile 05-08-2016 11:41 PM

Are you sure that it's fraternal? Are you either Scots or Irish? I ask because it's somewhat similar to my clan pin.

kkg_lau 05-08-2016 11:50 PM


Originally Posted by sissyintexas (Post 2410209)
I tried doing a match in google images with no luck.

Thank you for trying!


Originally Posted by honeychile (Post 2410210)
Are you sure that it's fraternal? Are you either Scots or Irish? I ask because it's somewhat similar to my clan pin.

I am not sure at all of its origin. I know we have Irish and Scottish ancestry so that is possible, I had no clue though that clan pins existed but I will look into that. Thank you so much for that possibility!!

edit; looked into that side of the family, looks like he was a Scot but that is not what the clan pin looks like for the family, but I see where the style looks like one. Going to continue to explore that possibility, thank you!

navane 05-09-2016 10:56 PM

What a beautiful pin! I'm not sure what it may be; but, I immediately recognized the badge to be in the same shape as the Oxford University logo.

navane 05-10-2016 12:00 AM I was up for a challenge. I have no knowledge of Greek; but, hey, why not?

I read the inscription as: Μετ αγωνα Τα αθγα.

My Google-fu skills came up with variations of the following: "Round the struggle ______"

"Μετ" = Round or " Μετ’ " (with the accent mark) = Return

"αγωνα" = I found through trial and error that the word "αγωνα" can mean: struggle, fight, race, match, challenge, bout, etc.

"Τα" = the

"αθγα" = athga (I don't know what this is)


University of Trinity College in Toronto has the motto "Μετ’ Ἀγῶνα Στέφανος" or "Met' agona stephanos", which means "After Struggle, There is a Crown". That's the same way the inscription on the pin is spelling the first two words. Also, if I take the inscription on the badge and move that first "a" letter over to spell "Μετα γωνα..." that also translates as "After struggle...." uneducated guess is that the inscription reads "After struggle, the ______". I don't know what that last word is. :cool:

Edited to add: The second to last letter could also be an "N" and not a "G". If so, it's one letter off from spelling the word "Athens". In that case, "After the race to Athens" might also be a workable motto.

PKT4LIFE 05-10-2016 12:52 AM

Could it be an athletic badge? Such as track team? I am guessing this if the motto "After the race to Athens" is correct and the fact I see wings incorporated at the bottom. Wings in greek myths represented Hermes and speed. Just a guess.

History1776 05-12-2016 12:31 AM

This pin is from a literary society. I do not know for sure what the actual name is, but I'm guessing its either Philomathean, or Philantrophic or something to that effect. There is a pin like this in the University of North Carolina archives, but the name of the group is unknown at this time. Its possibly that this pin may be from a society located in New York and somehow one ended up at UNC by a member who attended that school.

Do you have any information about a possible college your relative attended, if any? There were also literary societies in the prep schools of that age as well.

is there a name on the back of the pin? If you have the name you can cross reference it with schools as many schools now have their old yearbooks and catalogues digitalized.

Hope this helps.

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