No matter if you're here to find a pair of 501's® or if you're just interested in finding out more about them, there is probably something on this page that will interest you.
How to Identify Vintage Levis
By Maggie Hira, eHow Editor
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Levi's are a popular brand of jeans created by Levi Strauss and his partner, Jacob Davis, in the early 1870s. Originally worn by miners, the blue jeans quickly became a popular fashion item throughout the 20th century. Today, blue jeans are worn by people of all ages, and from all walks of life. Vintage Levi's are coveted and pricey items of clothing due to their age and historical significance. The term "vintage" refers to articles of clothing that are at least 25 to 30 years old. Levi's manufactured prior to the 1980s would be considered vintage.
About Levis 501® Button-Fly Jeans
Levis 501's are still the favorites of many people today (including myself), and even though they have lasting power and are very comfortable they are quite reasonably pri
As a rule, jeans with a single stamped digit (2, 5, 6, W) for example are older than jeans with a 3 digit stamping on the top
of the button. Common 3 digit stampings are 524, 558, 555,554.
- Jeans with single digit or no digit stamping are made from mid 70's back, and are possibly big E
- Authentic Big E non-reproduction jeans will have either no or a single stamped digit.
- Reproductions will normally be stamped '555'
- Newer Levis and fakes will be stamped '501'
- Japanese Made Levis will have a 'J' followed by a couple of digits '21'
Era: 1870 ~ 1873 period. The hand stitched top-buttons used in the duck cloth work overalls.
Era: 1873 ~ 1890 period.
The most basic type of metal buttons used in the Levis 125 model waist overall in 1873.
note the recessed button center which differs from more modern jeans.
Era: 1930 ~ 1941 period, 1945-Modern Peroid.
The donut core was filled and molded into a solid heart top button for the 501XX series. Levis decided to include it's country of origin, and thus, " * S . F CAL * " was inserted in together with the other characters. This button is the father of the modern button used currently.
Era: 1987 ~ Current
There are two versions of this top button. Available in both Silver and Copper, the " * " which was used as a spacer was replaced with " . " instead. The silver color top button were use mainly on jeans while the copper version appeared on 505 series of jeans and jackets. Copper buttons never appear on 501 model jeans.