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When I was younger and out and about grocery shopping with my parents, they always carried a small zippered coin pouch with them. Often times, it was filled to the brim with quarters, what we used in coin laundry. All of this was part of the experience growing up under a generation that was not used to using credit cards or loans. Instead, every other weekend or so, my parents would withdraw cash from the ATM and allocate that towards for groceries and expenses. That way, we would know how much money we were spending and not go over budget.
Living in Los Angeles for the past few years, I’ve noticed lower income families often pay with cash at the store. I reminisce of the time I watched my parents do the same. In fact, I try to have some cash on me at all times, but I use the card for most purchases where they accept credit cards. I save cash for the situations that don’t (Asian boba shops, some parking meters, Taco stands).
Since I became engrossed in menswear, I’ve always wanted a solid coin pouch. My requirements weren’t really exact – I just wanted something made of quality leather and could store coins. Living in the US, most people rarely utilize coins because 95% of the time they don’t have to. People often leave their loose change in the car or toss them into a coin jar. In foreign countries, some don’t have bills as currency but only coins.
Around 2012-2013, Horween Leather was the thing. In fact, it still is. I stumbled upon the etsy shop “One Star Leather Goods” and found that Keegan, the owner, stocked leather coin pouches with a single button flap closure. While many of his listings were made to order, I found a coin pouch listing that wasn’t. It was one made of Horween Forest Green Cavalier, one of his first prototypes, he mentioned in the listing.
One Star Leather Goods Coin Pouch / Business Card Case
Purchasable from One Star Leather Goods’ Etsy Site
- “A small, compact pouch for coins or business cards, or even to use as a wallet. A wide mouth means its easy to find the change you’re looking for. A subtle curve on top means its easy to extract business cards. Solid brass snap closure. When closed your stuff is secure, even small coins will not fall out. It will easily hold over a dozen credit cards or more as it breaks in.”
- Dimensions: about 6cm x 10.5cm closed
- Price $40 USD not including shipping
This was actually the first time I heard of “Horween Cavalier” leather, and I had to look up what difference the leather had versus Horween Chromexcel leather. From what I can remember, Horween Cavalier basically is tanned very similarly to CXL, but the tannage allows the leather to be dyed in more vibrant colors such as Red, Forest Green, Navy Blue, etc.
The pouch came in a vibrant Forest Green and smelled freshly of leather. The stitching around the sides was not aligned straight, but there was no loose or missed threads. I quickly noticed that the leather’s edges were not burnished (a process of smoothing out the edges of leather) and was “fuzzy”. I later applied a flame stick to the edges to help burn away the rough edges.
The only logo present on the case was a stamped Star underneath the flap. I love that the opening is very wide and allows me to see most of the coins when opened. My mum complimented the pouch saying she liked the wide mouth for practicality.
I’m surprised to this day I haven’t misplaced the pouch (purchased 12/25/2013), so I’ve owned it more than 4 years. I can say that it’ll last many, many more, and the leather still remains vibrant green. Perhaps it has darkened ever so slightly, but the sheen of Horween leather still remains.
There was one point where I was very certain I had misplaced it. Because I loved the design so much, I purchased another pouch from One Star Leather Goods within a few weeks. I purchased a Natural CXL pouch on the listing (I own a natural CXL exterior Park Sloper wallet and love the patina), but in a mixup, I was sent a Brown Latigo one instead (long story short, the leather felt really lightweight/thin and did not smell of luxurious leather – my GF and I admitted it looked like pleather). The design of the pouch changed slightly since my first one with the flap being longer. After messaging Keegan about the error, he promptly sent me a Brown CXL one which I was OK with since he would not be restocking the Natural CXL anytime soon.
When the Brown CXL one arrived, I could definitely tell it was CXL leather. It was thick, smelled strongly, and had pull-up quality. A few days later I actually found my Forest Green Coin Pouch, so now I have three in possession. I took calipers to each of them to show you the differences in thickness between the Horween Cavalier, Horween Chromexcel, and Latigo (Wickett & Craig?).
So it’s more than 4 years later since I purchased the first coin pouch, and I feel that no other leathermaker has created an alternative. Maybe it’s because coins are rarely used in the United States. But I still follow the tradition of my parents and carry a coin pouch with me or at least in the car. I would highly recommend the One Star Leather Goods Coin Pouch for its price, quality, and practicality. I’m sure the Latigo Pouch would hold up just fine, but having the leather side by side, the Horween Pouches are a lot more robust.