Money clips have been around for a lot longer than you probably imagine. The Silver Money clips are the ultimate in storing your cash. Of course paper money had to be invented before a money clip would become useful. The first record of paper money in circulation was in China in The 7th Century. This was due to the shortage of copper so they produce money to save on their valuable resources.
The Tang Dynasty were in power in China in the 7th Century and remained in power until the 10th Century. Even though they started producing the paper money. The old copper coins that were so ingrained into their lives that the paper money symbolised the coins that they loved. Eventually the paper money disappeared and did mot reappear until the 15th century. It made sense to keep the money organised with money clips. It would have been more akin to the paper clips of today.
Paper Money And Silver Money Clips
It wasn’t until the 19th Century that paper money was properly introduced in Europe. There are references going back to the 13th Century and Marco Polo. Furthermore it is said that Napoleon paid his troops with paper money in the 18th Century.
The first bank to start issuing permanent notes was the Bank Of England in 1694. This was to start raising money for the war against France. Those original notes had printed upon them the same phrase that is still on the modern day notes still today.
the promise to pay the bearer the value of the note on demandBank Of England
In these early days these were usually hand written and made out to a specific person. Much like the modern day cheques are today.
The Money Clip
Originally the Money clip as we know today probably did not start its life intending to secure money. More than likely someone applied the same use of a paper clip to banknotes. A simple solution to keeping the notes all together and un-crumpled. A much more gentlemanly way to present payment for goods and services with a crisp banknote, rather a scrunched up ball of paper.
Can you image back in the day a sophisticated gent pulling out his wad of cash in a paper clip and proudly naming it a money clip. It must have spread like a viral Instagram post off today. Spreading like wildfire through the city streets the must have businessman accessory. Of course once the idea and the fashion of a money clip took hold there was money to be made.
Which Came First The Wallet Or The Money Clip
Difficult to be sure which actually came first but as the first reports of paper money was the 7th century. I would say the Money clip came first. How can I say this you ask, because wallets were no really invented until the 1600’s. Originally currency/ money was kept in a simple purse, A piece of material with drawstrings. This was later know as a beggars purse as it was primitive and the first of its kind.
The Wallet originally was used to keep other personal belongings (even food) inside and then later adapted to store paper. Eventually over time it progressed and the design changed so that its primary function was to hold paper. Yes that paper was banknotes neatly stacked inside the wallet. So still I say the money clip came first.
The Commercialisation of the Money Clip
If something is popular amongst society then there is money to be made. There can be no better symbolism of producing custom money clips to make more money. Originally it would have been people from the arts and crafts that started to produce money clips from other materials. Brass, stainless steel would have been a popular choice and of course silver would be the perfect medium for a silver money clip.
The silver money became a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Silver Money clips lend themselves to being highly personalised from simple engraving to monograms. They would also be embellished with symbols or animals.
Famous People Who Preferred Money Clips
Cecil B. DeMille carried his cash in a clip bearing the figure of an Oscar. The notoriously parsimonious Jack Benny gave a gold money clip to his pal George Burns, featuring caricatures of them both. John F. Kennedy’s money clip was a first-anniversary gift from his wife: it bore an image of St. Christopher, and he had it in his pocket when he was killed in Dallas.
Frank Sinatra ”went nowhere without his money clip,” said Bill Zehme, the author of ”The Way You Wear Your Hat: Sinatra favored a gold triangular paper-clip design from Tiffany’s
Edinburgh Silver Silver Money Clips
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