Levi Strauss buys very old blue jeans from the 1880s

Levi Strauss & Company historian Tracey Panek holds up a pair of blue jeans dating back to the 1880s on Thursday, May 21, 2015. (KGO-TV)

Wednesday was the 142nd birthday of the blue jean. To celebrate, Levi Strauss bought a very vintage pair of jeans.

The jeans are from the 1880s, putting this pair among the oldest jeans in the Levi's collection.

But what makes this remarkable is its condition. The other "early waist overalls" Levi's owns are torn and rusted. But this pair has all the buttons.

This pair of Levi Strauss blue jeans is one of the oldest jeans in the Levi's collection, dating back to the 1880s.

The rivets are shiny and stamped with the patent date of 1873. Plus, the tag still shows the size of the jeans.

Levi's will study the pants closely. "Our designers are the primary users of the archives. The come and take a look at these pieces and get inspiration. It can come from the rivet and the singe itself, and get inspiration for new pieces," Levi Strauss & Company historian Tracey Panek said.

The jeans were found near a Nevada mining town.

Levi's paid six figures for them, and the company has yet to decide if it will wash the pants.

If you'd like to learn more about the company's heritage, Panek is speaking at the Presidio Officer's Club Thursday at 7 p.m.
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