Please see all 10 images. This is a great old 4X Stetson.
Generally speaking the older the hat the better the quality. At some point hat companies kept increasing their X ratings to compete with each other. A good older hat is worth a 10X easily in todays standards. Early in Cowboy hat history, the X designation was used as a pricing point.
In fact, the three X hat was one of Stetsons better products back in the late 1800s and into the 30s. And by the 20s the 7X became one of the companys most expensive hatsin fact one of the worlds most expensive. But an X designation wasnt Stetsons only quality notation. There were many others like the name of the hat, etc. But the Xs still hung around causing confusion for collectors and customers alike.Worse, as the years moved into the future, those Xs meant less and less as a marking of quality until today they seem practically meaningless with modern Stetsons having absurd things like a 100 X and 500 X. So, how much beaver makes an X? The fact is, no matter what era your hat is from, we just dont exactly know how much beaver fur is in there. The fact is, we dont really have a sure-fire way to know what the Xs mean. Sadly, Stetson did not keep records for posterity on how much beaver to rabbit fur mix was contained in its products. It was an industry secret, in any case, and one that Stetson would not have made public during the hat heyday, anyway. So, the fact is we dont know at all how much beaver fur was in Stetsons hats. We dont know with precision what the Xs mean. Sadly, there is no way at all to ever ascertain just how much beaver is in any particular X quality hat. Further, that formula changed as the decades moved on. Triple X hats in the 1910s were of better felt quality that the XXX hats of the 1950s and the XXX hats of the 50s were far superior to those of the 1970s.
It is patently obvious that the fur content and finishing process was radically different from era to era, so a three X hat from 1920 and one from 1970 are in no way at all similar in quality. Cost cutting in manufacturing and costs for materials were major reasons for this disparate quality. But saying that a XXX hat from 1922 was as high as 50% is just a guesstimate.In fact, we are only pretty sure that a Stetson 100 is 100% beaver (but made of the most delicate part of the beaver, the belly fur) or that a Stetson 50 is 50% beaver, a Stetson 25 is 25% well that is, at least, what Stetson used to say in advertising once in a while. As to the other X hats, a old 7X is likely also 100% beaver (but not of that special belly fur) but even that is more or less a guess by collectors. Also, there are fur felt hats made of vicuna fur, nutria fur and chinchilla, too. Stetson even had a line of hats made of buffalo fur. As to todays Stetson Xs, most collectors just ignore the whole scheme as they dont seem to make any sense at all. Most collectors feel that the Xs lost all meaning before the year 1970s dawned. The item "4X Stetson Clint Eastwood John Wayne Vintage Cowboy Hat 7 3/8 Western Cavalry" is in sale since Sunday, July 25, 2021. This item is in the category "Clothing, Shoes & Accessories\Men\Men's Accessories\Hats". The seller is "texasmovieantiques" and is located in Austin, Texas. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Colombia, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Uruguay, Russian federation.