Paperweight buttons refer to glass buttons that resemble glass desk paperweights, only smaller. These were first made in Europe in the mid 1800's. Most have a base with a preformed design & a cap of clear glass that covers from the top to the base. Some glass blowers would make these by building on the wire shank, adding the design & then the clear glass all while working over a flame to fuse them into a single piece of glass. Other glass blowers would insert the shank at the end of the process while the glass was still malleable & hot.
The buttons shown here all have wire loop shanks. While they look large, the biggest is 3/8", about the size of a pinkie fingernail, & the smalls are flirting with 1/4". They are darling but none are big enough to hold down a piece of paper as a desk paperweight might.
To view a bracelet with paperweight buttons, click here.