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To be or not to be: The Coin Pocket in the 21st century

Your jeans, you might have given them a nickname, but they are commonly referred to as the five pocket jean. Pretty simple; two in front, and two at the back. Then there’s the little pocket inside the right front pocket. This is one of the original pockets and it was featured on the first ever jean produced, back in 1873, when the waist overalls just had four pockets. In 1901, the left back pocket was added.

Back 1873, in the gold rush era, the miners used it for carrying small items like golden nuggets. It was also ideal for carrying your pocket watch, if you couldn’t find any gold. In 1902, the watch pocket was re-baptized coin pocket.

Like many a dear child, this little functional pocket has been given many names over the years. Frontier pocket, condom pocket, match pocket and fob. Fob is by far the most interesting name since it means “Small pocket for valuables”. I probably derived from the Low German “Fobke” and High German “Fuppe” which means pocket; it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

For the denim head, the coin pocket still have lots of significance since it’s yet another part of the jeans that will break in and fade beautifully.

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