A money clip is an accessory used to compactly store cash and credit cards for men who don't wish to carry a wallet.
Clips are seen to provide a classy and organized look, keeping cash neatly folded where it might otherwise become creased and crumpled inside a wallet.
History of money clips
Money clips were first used at the advent of non-coin currency, which can be traced back to Ancient China. Lightweight, leather bank notes were introduced during the Han Dynasty in around 118 BC, and paper money was also created in China in the seventh century.
Clips had been used centuries earlier to hold notes detailing the storage of grain, and when they began to be used in Europe for holding bank notes they actually clipped directly onto clothing.
The accessory came into fashion for wealthy men in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, normally made of precious metals such as gold and silver.
Modern day money clips
Modern clips are normally made of copper, gold, silver or platinum, and many feature personalized engravings.
In rarer cases, titanium is used as a lighter and antiallergic alternative. Carbon fiber is also starting to become popular, providing strong and durable clips which allow the wearer to pass through a metal detector without having to remove cash and cards.
Money clips sometimes use magnets to create a greater carrying capacity. They are found on the market decorated with materials such as genuine alligator leather, gold, various wood types, mother of pearl and abalone.
The accessories are increasingly fashionable with men who wish to display precision, clarity and flawless social graces – but they're also popular with practically-minded men. Businesses have latched onto the growing trend as a means of advertising a store’s logo or brand name, while some men choose to use branded clips to show support for a military unit or sports team.
Money clips are now an affordable luxury. They appeal to both the practical and fashionable, offering men a lightweight and minimal alternative (or supplement) to a wallet.
The option of engravings and other customization has led to money clips becoming popular as both corporate and personal gifts, because they can easily be branded or personalized as required.