I am often asked the same question. “What’s up with the coins?” People want to know why or how I got started making my jewelry with coins.
The short answer is that coins are cool! They are little works of art in miniature, and often the images have beautiful symbolism.
I prefer to use circulated coins whenever I can. That is coins that have been carried around in pockets, coins that have been used to purchase treasures, pay for meals, or been flipped to make a decision. Heads or tails?
These coins have stories. They’ve traveled around and have been in contact with many people. The wear and tear on them is part of their charm so I leave the patina alone and polish just the design.
I will admit, I am a total coin geek. I get way too excited when a shipment of 10 pounds of random world coins shows up on my doorstep. I get to spend hours sifting through them separating them by country, design, age, and color.
There is always a surprise in the box. Like that time I found a subway token from Denmark that had the image of a mermaid sitting on a rock. They don’t make or use these anymore so they are hard to come by. I turned it into a necklace and posted a photo on Instagram, and within a few hours, it was sold to a woman buying it for her mother who was born in Denmark and lives in the states now. She was so excited!
When I decide to use a coin, I research the imagery on it and use it as part of the packaging of the piece. If people know the symbolism of the jewelry they are buying or wearing, it makes it so much more meaningful.
One of my favorites is this butterfly coin from the Philippines. When I came across this coin, it was love at first sight. I mean, look at this beauty! Rich, gold color with a perfect butterfly spanning the entire front of the coin. The butterfly is a symbol for many things; change, joy and transformation to name a few.
The quote I picked to go with these earrings, though really spoke to me.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
I LOVED this. Isn’t it true that things we go through in life that seem hard and even impossible to endure, in the end, make us better, stronger and more beautiful?
Last week, I received this email:
I have been searching for the perfect piece of jewelry for a dear friend of mine who suffers from Lupus. She was only diagnosed 2 years ago (shortly after she married) and has since been struggling with constant flare-ups and infertility.
She is a greek goddess (her parents descend from Greece) and I stumbled upon your Athena necklace (which I LOVE!)
I was wondering if the jewels on the necklace were purple/had a purple hue because as you may know, that is the color for Lupus awareness. I was also wondering if the necklace came with the print-out of the description because that message would really touch her heart.
I love this. The Athena Necklace she mentions is one of my favorites. It has a beautiful Greek coin with Goddess Athena ready for battle on the front. Athena is the Goddess of Strength and Courage.
Getting an email like this is better than a payday. I mean, yes it is a business. And, I like to make money. Honestly, though. If my jewelry can help remind someone that she has strength enough to endure her struggle and that her friend loves her and wants to help her remember that strength, then that is more than icing on the cake. That IS THE CAKE.
And cake is sweet.