If you know me well enough, then you’ve probably seen me wearing my “coin chain” on multiple occasions. Aside from watches, I really don’t rock jewelry of any kind, but this chain is about the only other thing I wear. A lot of people ask me about the story behind this chain and while it’s not that amazing, because it ties into “Travel Tuesday”, I figured I’d share it.
I was about 27 or 28 when I first started traveling… for real. Passport in hand, headed to far-off places in search of adventure, culture, and partying; you know, real traveling. My first trip, which was to England, was epic and I immediately knew I wanted more. I wanted to just keep traveling. I’d work just to support my desire to keep picking countries and just going to them (and I still do). Now people call this “Wanderlust” (I hate that word), but back then I just called it my addiction.
Anyway, as I started to realize that I was going to spend the rest of my life exploring the world, I decided that I needed to come up with a “thing” that I could bring back from every country I visited. It had to be cool and unique (so no postcards or t-shirts), but it still had to be something obvious enough that any country around the world would have it. The answer wasn’t immediately clear, but slowly I realized I had an idea.
While in Vegas on a trip with some buddies, I won a few grand on my first day at the tables. As I looked around for any potential way to blow through the money (you know bottle service, dinners, and clothes), I came across this 3 coin necklace at some store. The chain was thin, and the coins were old and beat up and it just generally had a really cool look to it, but it was $400 for 3 coins that were mass produced and had absolutely no meaning. It just seemed stupid. Ever since I came back from England, I used to carry around this £1 coin. I don’t have a particular reason that I used to keep it in my wallet, but it was thicker and more substantial than american coinage so I guess I just thought it was cool. It was at this point that it dawned on me what my “thing” would be. When I got back to NYC, I grabbed my drill and put a hole in that £1 coin… right through the center. I then got a simple metal bead chain and through the coin right on it. My “thing” would be to add a coin to this chain from each country I visited in the future. It seemed like a cool memento and also a cool style piece that has a story (girls seem to dig the story and the chain). My only rule would be there would always be an odd number of coins on the chain (some weird superstitious thing that I’ve held onto).
5 Years later I’ve now been to 20 or so countries, and from every one I have a coin with a hole in it. I usually have 3 or 5 coins on the chain and every few months I rotate them out. Other people may not find it as cool or as interesting, but to me it’s definitely a unique bring a piece of every country home with me. My most recent additions, an Icelandic Kroner and a Brazilian Real can be seen below.
So that’s the story behind the chain. Feel free to rip my idea if you dig it, or as just about anyone is more creative than me – feel free to improve upon the idea.