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Change Coin Purses
– Facts & Tips
As long as there has been coin money,
change purses have been in use. Men were the first to carry
coin purses, as they were the sole family member that controlled the
finances during past centuries.
The Ancient Persians would pin there coin pouches to their
undergarments, hence the term “pin money”. From early times,
coin purses remained on the belt or under the clothing, allowing for
free hands. During the Middle Ages, small pouches to carry coins
hung from massive chains or jeweled belts.
By 1800, the miser purse, also called the stocking
purse, came into fashion and was worn over the belt for safer
traveling. This elongated bag was knit, crocheted or netted
with silk thread and decorated with fringe, tassels and beads, many
of which were steel cut. The opening of the miser is in the
middle of two larger sections of the purse where a narrow section
remained unbeaded. Two metal rings would push down on each of
the sides to secure the purse after coins were deposited. Many
times miser bags were designed with one round end and one square end
so the owner could distinguish what would be carried on each side.
During the 1800’s, little coin purses were
constructed of charming hinged shells, many had vibrant
mother-of-pearl type finishes. Hand painted on the
shells were lovely florals or sentimental inscriptions like “My
heart is Yours”. These souvenir purses remained popular
throughout the Victorian era and into the early 1900’s.