Ocean in view! O! The joy!

by on June 6, 2011


an Ocean in view! O! The joy! nickelWhen the “Ocean in view! O! The joy” nickels commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition’s reaching the Pacific Ocean came out in 2005, both the sentiment and the beauty of the image really appealed to me, and I picked up a roll of them at the bank with the idea of using them to make bracelets. Here’s what I had posted about this to LiveJournal at the time:

“I’d been admiring the California quarters and new “Ocean in view! O! The joy!” nickels and wanted to use some to make beaded bracelets or the like. I figured there must be some cheap jewelry findings for snapping coins into, with little loops (whatever they’re called) for connecting to other things, but the only ones I’ve been able to find online so far are very expensive ones of real gold and silver intended for showing off valuable old gold and silver coins. Looking at two coin bracelets (mercury dimes and buffalo nickels) I’d picked up at a garage sale a while back, one does use snap-in findings somewhat reminiscent of pie pans, whereas with the other the coins are apparently glued onto flat metal linking pieces. I’ll do some more searching on this later — I don’t want to just drill holes in them because I think it would look crappy.”

a photo of my Ocean in view! O! The joy! nickel braceletMax Meredith Vasilatos suggested using key identification rings to hold the nickels, so after picking up some purple ones at the local hardware store, and some sterling silver star beads and stretchy cord at the local bead store, I made my first Ocean in view! O! The joy! bracelet as shown here (click the image to see a larger photo of the bracelet with my cat).

Ever since I was very young I’ve always had a love for coins — beautiful, detailed little metal sculptures that cost a fraction of a dollar, that you can easily trade for other things and just as easily get back later in change. Old coins and coins from other lands are very solid things you can hold in your hand and imagine the lives their previous owners must have had, and how these humble, commonplace objects will continue on long after you are gone. Coins also have a very long history of being used as jewelry, whether to flaunt your wealth and carry it around with you, to jingle while dancing, or just to create beautiful designs.

In my SEE a Bully – STOP a Bully posting I had described how my family had moved to a “suburban hell” area of Colorado where I was bullied all the way from sixth grade through high school. One of the main things that got me through that time was my plan to move to California once I got out of school, which may not have been as historic and momentous an undertaking as the Lewis and Clark expedition, but which definitely took a lot longer, and it’s good to have this badge in bracelet form commemorating not only the survival but also the joy.

Here’s another thing I had said about the bracelet on LiveJournal, immediately after making it:

“Though because the key identification rings completely cover all the *non*-”Ocean in view! O! The joy!” text, the coins don’t even look like nickels any more but just little medallions expressing appreciation of the ocean.”

“I live about six blocks from the Pacific Ocean and definitely see it quite often.”

I haven’t made any other kinds of Ocean in view! O! The joy! bracelets yet, though I did find out that the jewelry-finding part I was looking for in the first quoted LiveJournal posting above was not “coin bezels”, which were expensive and seemed to just be for pendants anyway, but rather “cabochon/cab bracelet settings”. And so I got some on eBay, and I do have the rest of the roll of shiny nickels waiting for me whenever I get the inspiration, so … one of these days …

updated August 4, 2013


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