Bits and Spurs With Coins
Antique Bits and Vintage Spurs with Coins either mounted on them or used as rowels, button, or conchas were very popular with cowboys in the old west. After all, why did they put up with the dust, the muck and the hard life of a cowboy, if not for the money? One of the reasons coins were so popular as decorative elements on bits and spurs are because they were made of silver and it was tough to get plain silver out to many of the makers who were producing bits and spurs. What they did have were plenty of silver coins, either Mexican Pesos coins or US Silver coins be they Peace Dollars, Morgan Dollars, Nickels, Dimes or other coins. Makers were happy to use coins as decorative elements because the silver was easy to work, already made into circles, and already had a nice design on it so that they would not have to engrave or stamp designs on. Cowboys loved coins because there’s a certain appeal to using money as a decorative element, it’s like saying I’m rich enough that I don’t care about this much money. The fun thing about coin spurs and bits as a collector is that they have a date on them, which while it doesn’t date the bits and spurs does show them to be of a certain age.
Coins are predominantly seen on Texas Style Bits and Spurs and were commonly used by makers like Bianchi, Bass, the Boones, and many others. Coin spurs and bits were typically custom ordered and were not standard patterns in a maker’s catalog, so almost all coin spurs are unique or close to it.
Coins are most commonly used on spurs where they are frequently seen on spur buttons in the case of smaller coins like dimes and nickels. Larger coins can sometimes be found as rowels on spurs as well. Finally, it’s not uncommon to see coins mounted along the heel band as a decorative element. It’s not as common to see coins used on bits but they are most frequently seen over the cheek where the mouthpiece connects through. Sometimes smaller coins will be mounted on the cheek as decoration as well.