Erica Weiner

NY Transit Token Necklaces

Do you know how hard it is to get permission to sell New York City Subway memorabilia? Let's just say that we've been wanting to make these necklaces for a LONG time, and finally the MTA agreed to let us go for it. We bought pounds and pounds of old NYC transit tokens from their vaults, searching specially for ones with the iconic cut-out "Y". The smaller token, measuring 5/8" in diameter, was introduced in 1953. At that time, train fare was 15 cents. We've put this tiny coin on a vintage brass 20" chain. In 1970, the price to ride rose to 30 cents, and a new, bigger token was introduced. This 7/8" wide coin hangs from a sturdier 26" brass chain, and is suitable for wear by men as well as women. Metrocards replaced brass subway tokens for good in 2003. Now, these pieces of NYC history are mostly melted down for scrap metal, but we see their nostalgic value. I still remember when my dad carried a roll of them in his coat pocket.