What Is Coin Jewelry?

Similar to music, paintings, and sculptures, jewelry as an art form has a long and continuous history. In that same vein, jewelers have a lot of creative freedom thanks to the malleability of precious metals, gemstones, and other materials.  

Most types of jewelry, whether that’s necklaces, bracelets, or rings, tend to differ by the key attraction or component used to adorn them. These can be gemstones, engravings, or other items. 

One such niche that has been around for thousands of years is the ancient practice of integrating coins into jewelry, referred to as “Gemme Numari” by the ancient Romans

Coin jewelry is very easy to distinguish as the head of rings and pendants of necklaces are augmented with actual coins or pieces designed to resemble them. 

Apart from being a timeless fashion piece, coin jewelry has a lot of symbolism and mysticism associated with it, said to bless the wearer with good fortune and material wealth.  

So, let’s talk more about the meanings behind coin jewelry and how to pick the best ones for you. 

The Long History of Coin Jewelry 

coin pendant
Silver coin pendant. See it here. 

Before coins were used as currency, people used the barter system to buy and sell items. But, as time went on, people realized that they needed a more structured approach. As such, the first coins were created by the Lydians (modern-day Turkey) in 650 B.C. 

The coins were small and easy to carry. So, with the authority of different civilizations, coins became an efficient medium for the exchange of wealth, and people around the world started adopting coins as the standard for buying and selling goods and services.  

Different kingdoms and civilizations had their own coins, which feature royal symbols, animals, and sometimes the portraits of famous leaders. As a result, these coins had value in both financial and cultural aspects. 

Traders would often collect coins from different territories as mementos or souvenirs to remind them of their adventures and as amulets to attract wealth and ward off evil. Soon after, jewelers from ancient Rome started including them in jewelry, specifically rings and necklaces. 

It is also said that the practice of embedding coins into jewelry was inspired by the gypsies, who would attach coins to their necklaces and bracelets for safekeeping and ease of use. 

The Symbolism of Coin Jewelry 

Egyptian coin necklace
Egyptian Cut Coin Necklace. See it here.

When considering their primary use, coins were synonymous with wealth, prosperity, and good fortune. However, they are also said to represent love and affection. Although coins from different cultures and time periods are said to have deeper meanings behind them, these fundamental concepts remain the same. 

So even though the symbolism of coins with regard to wealth is understandable, its association with love and affection only came later, during the 1600s. 

During that time period, coins used to be presented as gifts and tokens of love. In England, if a suitor needed to court a woman, he must give her coins as a token of love and appreciation. Hence the origin of the term “love tokens.” 

Also, during WW1 and WW2, soldiers would send coin necklaces to their families, which also “coined” the term “sweetheart jewelry.” 

Modern Take on Coin Jewelry 

Elizabeth II Coin Necklace
Elizabeth II Coin Necklace. Get It Here. 

Thankfully, coin jewelry is not a lost art, and even in the modern day and age, coin jewelry represents wealth, status, love, and power. They can be worn as protective amulets or good luck charms to attract these positive energies. 

During the 1970s, jewelers remastered the practice of Gemme Numari, often using antique coins and incorporating them into necklaces, rings, and even bracelets. However, due to the scarcity of ancient coins, this style didn’t get enough momentum. 

Fast forward to 2010, jewelers and celebrities started introducing coin jewelry as the new trend in fashion. Most people recall that it was Holly Willoughby, a British celebrity, who started this trend.  

After this, it was adopted by many jewelers and celebrities, including the music artist formerly known as Kanye West, who introduced antique coin necklaces in a new fashion line, which eventually solidified the mainstream status of coin jewelry.  

Nowadays, coin jewelry has a stronger foothold, with lots of demand from fashion enthusiasts, history buffs, and casuals alike.  

Our Top Picks for Coin Jewelry 

Hopefully, you’re interested in more than just reading up on the meaning behind coin jewelry. So, if that’s the case, here are some of the best coin jewelry options out there. 

  1. 14K Gold Goddess Pendant Minimalist Style Gold Coin Necklace  
  1. Argentina Sun Coin and Pendant – Authentic Argentina Peso Modified into a Pendant 
  1. Bauhinia Flower Coin Pendant – Authentic Hong Kong Dollar Coin with a Cutout Background 
  1. 14k Gold and Silver Alexander the Great Coin – Gold Embellishment with a Silver Coin as a Centerpiece 
  1. Polish Eagle Pendant – Authentic 100 Zloty Coin with the Background Removed 
  1. Columbia Turtle Coin – Authentic 1000 Pesos Colombian Coin with Cut Background 
  1. Rabbit Hare Coin Ring – Irish 3 Pence Coin Fashioned into a Ring 
  1. Intaglio Roman Coin – Gold Ring with Ancient Signet Embedded into the Band 
  1. Dainty 14K gold Filled Coin – Ancient-Looking Gold Coin Fitted into a Ring Band 
  1. Athena Coin Silver Ring – Dainty Silver Ring with the Face of Athena on the Coin 
  1. Silver Coin Bracelet – Sterling Silver Bracelet with Ancient Roman Coins 

A Few Tips on Wearing Coin Jewelry 

Greek Owl Pendant
Greek Owl Coin Necklace. See it Here. 

There’s no set standard for how you can get the best look with coin jewelry. You can mix and match as you see fit.  

That said, if you’re looking for some pointers, here are some tips: 

  • Try to go with the same colors for your pendant and chain 
  • Try to stick with silver and gold colors only 
  • Low-profile chains, such as beads, mesh, snake, and wheat, are better for coin pendants. 

Wrapping Up 

Although it became a mainstream fashion trend only recently, the art of coin jewelry has been around for thousands of years. As such, coin jewelry will never go out of style.  

Along with its aesthetic appeal, you can always benefit from the spiritual boons that these types of jewelry are said to bring about. These represent material wealth, good fortune, and love, so it’s no wonder many people refer to coin jewelry as good luck charms.  

Jewelry Guide