Old Money Corp: Giving History New Life
If You Only Have 60 Seconds…
- Betsy Eager and Amy Dickerson are local artists who create unique men’s and women’s jewelry
- Each piece is handmade and one of a kind
- Jewelry is made from recycled leather, European and U.S. coins, and Indian trade beads
Sisters, Betsy Eager and Amy Dickerson, are local artists with a passion for creating new life out of old treasures in the form of jewelry. So, they created the Old Money Corp and today are bringing uniquely bold and beautiful pieces to the Upstate that are instantly craveable.
When I stepped into Betsy’s house, the first thing that greeted me was the smell of leather wafting from her corner office. She welcomed me with a warm smile and led me through her living room which was chock-full of instruments, courtesy of her husband, a composer. We ended up inside her office where every available surface was covered in bits of leather, coins, and tools. Betsy looked around the room, a nostalgic gleam in her eye, as she began to tell her story.
Family and History at the Heart
Betsy used to work for the Greenville Junior League, and one day a lady with a stunning cuff caught her eye. Upon further inspection, she noticed that there was a silver dollar melted into the leather and was instantly intrigued. She later decided to try her hand at creating something similar, but she needed some help. “My daddy helped me put a coin into leather,” Betsy explained, reminiscing in the memory.
That was the beginning of a passion that has evolved into Old Money Corp. She and her sister take mainly old and unusable coins from Europe, the United States, and beyond to craft pieces that have a piece of history for each customer. When asked whether it was illegal to alter US money, Betsy assured me that as long as there is no intent of fraud, you can work with the coins. In fact, the United States Mint has even bought some of her items for their gift shop. She says, “I consider it to be more borrowing artwork than anything else.”
“I consider it to be more borrowing artwork than anything else.”
Handmade and Eco-Friendly
Not only is Old Money Corp’s jewelry giving items that once had value a new life, but most of the leather that she uses to create her jewelry are scraps from two local purse manufacturers. The manufacturers get their leather as a byproduct of the food industry, using what’s left over for their own business. All of the leather is recycled from start to finish, which fits perfectly into their desire to recycle and reuse. Even the Italian word on their logo, “nos redivivus” roughly translates to “we recycle.”
To craft each piece, the leather is dyed and painted by hand. “It’s actually all handmade,” Betsy confirmed. The smoldering, pounding and imprinting of the coins are also done by hand, giving each piece a different look and feel for each customer. For those looking for additional personalization, Betsy often uses coins with symbols that resonate with the person that will wear the jewelry – giving the customer a piece that speaks to them perfectly.
I experienced that first hand. While oohing and ahhing over the collection, Betsy noticed I was drawn to their gorgeous statement cuffs and began to make a custom one for me while she was talking. That’s just who Betsy is; she’s genuinely excited to make her art and to give it to people who will enjoy it.
A Statement Piece to Call Your Own
The Old Money Corp makes everything from cuffs and rings to earrings and necklaces in both men’s and women’s styles. Betsy’s husband showed off his cuff, a thicker and more masculine version with worn, black leather that fit perfectly around his wrist. He told me, “When I put it on, I feel stronger and emboldened.”
In addition to the stunning cuffs, Old Money Corp also produces rings (made with sterling silver bands), necklaces, and earrings. The earrings, which come in many forms including feathers, are made from the same leather as the cuffs and are light as a feather. They also use Indian trade beads from a collector in New Mexico to make beaded bracelets.
When walking out the door, Betsy invited me back warmly and offered to make another piece for me on my next visit. The excitement and joy of making a story for each customer come through not just in person, but in the shape and fold of the coins and the fit of the leather. My cuff has become something I love to wrap on, and I love telling the story even more to the many people that ask about it. If you’re looking for jewelry that will do the same, Old Money Corp is waiting to help you craft your wearable story.
Find Old Money Corp jewelry at three local stores: Just Sew Alterations, Goose Feathers in TR, and Southern Threader in Greer and online at the website here.