Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Coin Pocket

Have you ever noticed that jeans often come with a secure coin pocket stitched into the right front pocket?

I've never used the secure coin pocket for normal change (pennies, nickels and dimes). Coin pockets were designed for securely holding coins and are too awkward to use such small change like pennies and dimes.

To tell you the truth. I had forgotten that my jeans even had a coin pocket.

The Utah Legal Tender Act has people talking about a return to a day when people carried around real coins made of something valuable like silver or gold.

Two months ago, I bought two silver dollars. I wanted to test to see what it would feel like to wander around with real coins.

As mentioned, I had forgotten about the coin pocket. Even worse, there are holes in my front pockets; So, I slipped the large silver dollars in my back pocket. If you were wondering about that inch and a half circular object in my back pocket ... it was a silver dollar.

I felt stupid carrying a silver dollar in the back pocket, and forgot about the experiment.

While mending my jeans, I remembered the coin pocket that I never use. I went and grabbed my two silver dollars, and slipped them into the coin pocket. I discovered that the pocket and coins were a perfect fit. While it is an effort to dig pennies out of the pocket, the silver dollar roles smoothly in and out of the pocket and I appreciate the secure design of the coin pocket.

It finally dawned on me that jeans were designed in a day when people routinely wandered around with large silver coins in their pockets for use in commerce.

Imagine a hundred years ago when people were paid a dollar a day (back then, a dollar had the purchasing power of $100.00).

Workers would be paid in silver coins that they would stuff in the coin pocket of their jeans and head out for a night on the town. They most likely used the coin pocket for the dollars, and front pocket for change.

By stuffing an 1879 Morgan Dollar into the jeans, I felt connected to the past.

I checked the price of silver. Silver dollars are worth just about $30 per coin today. The two coins in my coin pocket are valued at $60. That is a lot more than I dare carry in my wallet. Of course, it is alot easier for pick pockets to get at the back pocket than the coin pocket.

This idea of returning to the day when people used silver coins may not be as awkward as it first seems. The very clothes we wear were designed for such an idea.

Two coins feel great. I wonder how three coins would feel in the coin pocket? eBay is the place I would buy the coin; so I will shamelessly end this post with an eBay ad for Morgan Dollars.

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