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It may seem odd to some, but there has been an ongoing fascination with collecting and wearing old or vintage Levi's jeans and jackets for more than 20 years now.
Here at we're always getting inquiries about an old pair that's been sitting in a box in the garage for the last 20 or 30 years. The truth is vintage Levi's are super collectable. Individual pairs have been known to sell for anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Here at, not only do we offer the best prices of anyone we know for your grandfather's old pair of jeans, but we want to provide you with all of the information necessary to figure out whether you have a rare treasure or a pair that's best suited for the next Salvation Army donation box.

As with any collectable, condition is an important factor. New with tags is always considered the best. Worn with holes and stains is probably not going to be worth as much, but it always depends on the overall look of the piece and it's age. Good dark color with a couple of small holes will be better than super faded with the same small holes. The other key issue in determining the value of a pair of vintage jeans is size. People want to collect the size that they actually wear. So often, we'll come across a great pair of vintage Big E jeans, but the size is waist 44 inches, and the length 34 inches, or waist 28 inches and length 29 inches. Pairs, such as these, are going to be far less valuable than waists 32-36 and lengths 30-32 inches. In other words, if you can imagine a bell shaped curve, the best sizes are going to be the sizes that the majority of people wear, and they're going to be worth the most money.

Here are some of the long kept secrets of the vintage Levi's collector, to help you to determine if your jeans are truly collectable.

1. Are they "Redlines?"
2. Are they "Big Es?"
3. Are they "Double X?"
4. Other considerations.
5. Final thoughts.

1. Are they "Redlines?" The most basic question that needs to be answered is, are they Redlines? In other words, do they have a selvage edge when you turn the cuff up at the bottom of the leg? Levi Strauss began manufacturing 501s in the 19th century. Every pair manufactured from the very beginning through to 1980 will have a selvage edge or a finished edge, instead of a stitched up edge.

vintage levi selvage example image

On the left is redline selvage on the right is the newer stitched edge.

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2. Are they "Big Es?" Unfortunately, just because they have the selvage edge, or Redline, that doesn't mean you have a national treasure. Although redlines are now fetching some respectable money too, the way it works with vintage Levi's and value is, the older the better. Obviously, the jeans manufactured in the late 70s aren't going to be worth as much as jeans manufactured in the early 70s or 60s or 50s. In 1971 Levi Strauss switched the logo on their little red tab that is sewn onto the side of every right hip pocket. 501s (and other garments, for that matter) manufactured from 1971 on back will have a Capital E or big E. If your jeans are sporting a big E, they're going to be worth more than the jeans that have a little e. The same is true for the jackets.

jeans redtabs example image

Here is an illustration of the two types of lettering on the redtabs.

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3. Are they "Double X?" From 1965 on back Levi's 501s had rivets in the back pockets. Really old 501s from the 30s actually had rivets that looked exactly like the ones you see on the front pockets. In 1936 Levi Strauss introduced the "concealed rivet." you can only see them if you look on the inside of the seat of a pair of these jeans. These rivets are a good thing when it comes to value. Collectors love them, and they are known as "Double X."

hidden levis rivets example

If your 501s have concealed rivets like the ones above they're "Double X".

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Really, that's about all you need to know to date your jeans back to the early 60s and determine if they're worth trying to sell for big bucks. As you go further back in the pantheon of Levi's history, if your jeans have a leather patch instead of a paper patch, they're older, and probably worth more money. If your jeans have a little belt, or cinch on the back to adjust the waist size, they're even older still. If you're seeing suspender buttons at the waist, instead of belt loops, that's really old and they probably date from the 1920s or earlier.

lether patch examples

Here's nice pic of an early 50s leather patch and a Levi's cinch or belt.

Back to top. is always looking to buy not only Levi's vintage products, but other classic American manufacturer's vintage clothing. Vintage Lee jeans and jackets are in some cases worth as much or more than vintage Levi's. Vintage Wrangler, Headlight, Carhart, Carters, JC Penney and really the list just goes on and on, literally any of the authentic American made denim and work wear clothing of the first half of the 20th century on back is considered collectable today. We would love to discuss buying these vintage items with you.

vintage levi jacket examples

A few examples of other vintage items we're always looking for.

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