Here's something I received in the mail today that I'm pleased to be able to post to a public forum like this. The gold star lapel pin is one of those rather significant items that is rich in meaning and profound sacrifice, that is often mistaken by the general public as mere jewelry, sometimes met with a "I love that! Where can I get one?" kind of response. I didn't know about these myself, until I found one for sale and had the privilege of researching it. The general information listed on the pin is as follows:
The Gold Star Lapel Button was designed and created in 1947 for family members of those who died in combat. It is a gold star on a field of purple surrounded by laurel leaves. Gold Star Lapel Buttons are awarded to surviving family members of service members who have been killed in the specific conflicts listed in the "Information" section on the back of DD Form 3. The award authority is retroactive to World War I, and includes most subsequent conflicts. The law stipulates that only one button is furnished to each recipient, but a request for replacement of the Gold Star Lapel Button (lost, destroyed, or unserviceable) can be submitted on DD Form 3 (Application for Gold Star Lapel Button) to NPRC, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO 63138.
The gold star lapel pin is still issued today to surviving relatives of US service members who have given their lives in the service of their country. The one pictured below I believe is a WW2 era issue. However, the design hasn't changed to today, and if anyone sees someone wearing one of these, may we all recognize the significance of it (and hopefully not mistake it for jewelry, especially in conversation with the one wearing it).