106 - Rare Badges of the Archives

Today’s badge options vary only slightly when members order them, having the choice between gold or silver and diamonds or pearls. But prior to 1906, regulations around badges were practically nonexistent! At the 1906 Convention, it was voted on that the Chi Omega badges were to be one standard size and jeweled only with white stones, pearls or diamonds.

Written in the 1906 issue of The Eleusis, it stated, “This badge may be used on no novelties or stationery. It is to be worn above the heart, and only by initiated Chi Omegas.”

Before this decision was made, widely practiced, and before Chi Omega ever had an official jeweler to standardize the production of the badge, Sisters and jewelers often got creative with their designs and embellishments of our beloved badge!

The Rare Badges of the Archives

This combined pin belonged to Cecil & Grace Irby Garrett who were sweethearts in the 1940s and shared a marriage of over 50 years together. Cecil was a Kappa Sigma at Davidson College, and Grace was an initiate of Sigma/Randolph-Macon who transferred to Epsilon Beta/UNC Chapel Hill where she served as G.T.B.
This pearl badge holds a miniature Sigma Alpha Epsilon guard and is from 1922. It belonged to Helen R. Davis of Iota Chapter at Texas
This emerald badge is from 1904 and belonged to Lucille Gibson Hopkins of Chi Chapter at Transylvania
This pearl badge with black enamel is form 1905 from an unknown Sister and chapter
This alternate version of the Friendship Pin was received from the estate of Elizabeth Orman, but the date made or given is unknown.
This opal badge with the black enamel Omega is from c. 1905-1935 and belonged to Mary Frances Martin Rogers Fisher of Lambda Chapter at Kansas. She traded her pearl badge for this pin which belonged to the mother of one of her Pledge Sisters.
Rare badges displayed in the Archives at the Executive Headquarters
  1. Pledge/New Member Pin, Designed in 1904 – Belonging to a 1919 Zeta Alpha Charter Member
  2. Miniature Badge
  3. Miniature Badge – 1902 Pi Chapter, Laura Thunburg
  4. Flat Badge, no stones and Sigma stick pin guard – 1902 Sigma Chapter, Emmie Lela Gramling
  5. Flat badge with pearls – 1901 Pi Chapter, Mary Moore Keller
  6. Diamond and pearl badge – 1922 Upsilon Alpha Chapter, Winifred Hughes
  7. Flat badge with pearl Psi guard – 1895 Psi Chapter, Katherine Watson #14 initiate
  8. Turquoise badge – 1900 Pi CHapter, Annie Beach Hall
  9. Emerald badge – 1904 Chi Chapter, Lucille Gibson Hopkins
  10. Opal badge with black enamel Omega – c. 1905, in 1935, Mary Frances Martin Rogers Fisher, Lambda Chapter, traded her pearl badge for this pin which belonged to the mother of one of her Pledge Sisters
  11. Pearl badge with black enamel Omega – c. 1905, unknown owner
  12. Pearl badge with black enamel Omega – c. 1905, unknown owner
  13. Flat badge, pearls – c. 1905, unknown owner
  14. Diamond badge with pearl Iota guard – 1904 Iota Chapter, Elise Brown Lane #1 Initiate
  15. Pearl badge with large pearl Phi Alpha guard – 1924 Phi Alpha Chapter, Winifred W. White
  16. Narrow pearl badge with W guard – c. 1905, unknown owner
  17. Pearl badge with miniature SAE guard – 1922 Iota Chapter, Helen R. Davis
  18. Horsehoe pearl lapel pin – c. 1920s, Dr. Charles Richardson
  19. Ruby Psi stick pin guard – 1896 Psi Chapter, Ida Pace Purdue
  20. Diamond Theta Gamma guard – 1977 gift to S.H. Elizabeth Orman from the Governing Council
  21. Alternate version of the Friendship Pin – date unknown, received from the estate of Elizabeth Orman
  22. Ruby and pearl Friendship Pin – c. 1970s, given to Robert Manley, attorney for Chi Omega 1972-2006
  23. Supreme Governing Council Model Initiate Pin – given to Sister selected for Initiation at Convention to wear the semester prior to her Initiation
  24. 25-Year Member Pin, sterling silver
  25. 50-Year Member Pin, yellow gold

The Rarest of All

And the rarest badge of all is our most beloved. The original badge, crafted by Dr. Charles Richardson from dental gold, is displayed proudly in at the Executive Headquarters. In the reflections of this hammered dental gold we see 125 years of history, Sisterhood, and service. From this badge over 362,000 Sisters have joined hands in Chi Omega.

The original badge, created by Dr. Charles Richardson from dental gold

If you have a rare badge (or any special Chi Omega archive) that you think may be a quality submission to the Archives at the Executive Headquarters, please email Lyn.Harris@ChiOmega.com with a picture and description for her to review.