OBV: Embossed dollar sign. REV: Shank.
Fiscal conservatives defended the gold standard, which based the value of U.S. currency on the price of gold. The election of 1896 saw the two parties bitterly divided over the issue, with Democrats led by Bryan insisting that gold be replaced with silver, and Republicans standing just as fervently in favor of gold.
This button would have been worn by a Republican partisan, probably on a parade jacket.