Standing in line at a local grocery store, an elderly fellow in front of the cashier reached into his pocket for payment. What he pulled out of his pocket was a blast from the past, a paper money clip. For those too young to remember these classy money organizers, the money clip was a standard way men used to carry money.
The Purpose of a Money Clip
Money clips became fashionable when money moved into the paper format. Prior to paper currency, most gentlemen carried a money pouch that was often held inside their clothing. Women, on the other hand, wore a coin purse often tied around their waists and tucked into their aprons.
When currency became popular in the paper medium, a pouch or purse was often too small to hold the bills. Therefore, the paper money clip was developed to hold folded paper money together and not let any bills slip out.
Money Clip Design
Initially, money clips were fashioned out of a sturdy metal substance and folded in half to make what appeared to be a pocket fold. These first clips were often made from silver or gold. The paper money was then folded in half and slipped between the ends of the clip until they rested neatly against the fold. The entire clip was then placed in trouser pockets or jacket pockets. This kept the hands free and the money in a safe location.
As time went on, wallets or billfolds became the new fashion rage. Money clips were tossed into desks, dressers, and other places that collect dust and stylish leather wallets took hold. Men could get a larger variety of designs, from breast pocket wallets, tri-fold wallets, bi-fold, and many others. As wallets gained popularity within pop culture, the money clip slowly disappeared from polite society only to show up in a rare grocery store every now and then.
The Money Clip as a Collector’s Item
Because paper money clips were once so popular, they became an easy collector’s item. The avid collector went to estate sales, yard sales, and scavenger sales to find the old metal clips of the past. As more people began selling these old paper money clips, they found that different metals and clips from different eras provided a variety of opportunities for a sale.
With the only limitations on money clips being the design and metal used, there are now websites dedicated to silver-only or platinum-only money clips. There are also money clips that were made for special occasions or specific companies. Harley Davidson has several unique clips made with their famous motorcycles on them. Even Willie Nelson had a money clip made for his own special collection.
While money clips may be a blast from the past, they are still useful tools that can make a nice gift for the person who seemingly has everything. Plus, being collectible, they can even bring in a profit.
This article was supplied by the freelance writer Blizzerand.