I found a very nice lot of hidden gems. These are mother-of-pearl with cut steel escutcheons and brass with cut steel facets & escutcheons. The gems were hidden under a lot of rust, but after several hours of scrubbing with a bit of elbow grease, metal polish, steel wool & dish soap, the majority were salvageable.
These were a great find! Cut steel buttons were at the height of men's fashions in the mid 1700's for adding additional brilliance to wealthy gents clothing. Cut steel buttons made a resurgence in the mid 1800's for well-to-do ladies wear, and are highly collectible today.