Evidence exists that gold sequins were being used as decoration on clothing or paraphernalia in the Indus Valley as early as 2500BC, during the Kot Diji phase.
The name "sequin" originates from the Venetian colloquial noun zecchino, meaning a Venetian Ducat coin, rendered into French as sequin. The Ducat stopped being minted after the Napoleonic invasion of Italy, and the name sequin was falling out of use in its original sense. It was then that the name was taken up in France to designate what it means today. The 19th century sequins were made of shiny metal.
Large spangles, fastened only at the top, have been used on billboards and other signage, particularly prior to the development of lighted and neon signs.