The Silver State Foundry Creates Magnificent Jewelry from American History
Several years ago, when I founded Hook & Barrel, I was on a trip to visit a friend in Costa Rica just after the release of the very first issue. I was staying at the beautiful, Las Ventanas, owned by Gary Carter, Vice Chairman of the International Game Fish Association, at the time. There, I met one of his friends, Ronnie Wrenn, CEO of 3 Fish Inc. He was a hell of a guy—hilarious, jovial, high on life, and throttling a steady Pura Vida buzz. He encouraged me about my new venture (Hook & Barrel Magazine) and filled me with confidence about the direction we were headed, and at that time, I needed those words. We had just stroked the largest check I have ever signed to fund our first issue. It was uncertain but exciting times to say the least.
The morning Ronnie departed for the airport, we met briefly to say goodbye when he placed a Morgan Silver Dollar in my hand. He explained that it was his good luck charm, he had carried it throughout his career in his pocket and when he was in the hospital, battling cancer, he had held it during his treatments. It was polished clean by his thumb as he rubbed the face of the coin for luck. He said, “I want you to have this coin, it served me well. Good luck to you.” And with that, he left.
I carried that silver dollar every day for years. It traveled the world in my pocket and passed through countless American cities until one heartbreaking day at the Dallas airport when the TSA was rushing travelers through. As I was gathering my belongings at the checkpoint, a brief moment of distraction allowed the coin to slip away when a TSA agent grabbed my bin, the silver coin blending in to the gray plastic. As I walked away, I realized I had inadvertently left the coin behind, but it was too late, it was gone, never to be turned in to lost and found. I paused for a moment and prayed that whoever found it, would be blessed with the good fortune it gave to me—“It served me well.”
Silver dollars, specifically Morgan silver dollars, embody the adventurous spirit that made America what it is today. When gamblers anted up at the poker table, they threw in a silver dollar. When cowboys came in from a cattle drive, they were paid in Morgan dollars. Morgan dollars are truly coins of the West. Today, many, like Ronnie and I, consider them good luck and carry them in their pockets. They contain 90 percent silver, 10 percent copper, and were struck from 1878 to 1904, then a final time in 1921.
When I discovered the Silver State Foundry was creating rings from Morgans, I just had to have one. Not only did I appreciate their craftmanship, the Morgan silver dollar held a special place in my heart. Not to mention, I can always glance down at my index finger and be reminded of the good fortune they bring. Best part for me though, visible in the design of the ring, are the words “In God we trust.” A reminder that, it is truly not the coin that brings good luck, but instead, it is God who blesses us all.
Veteran owned and operated by Terry Ladd in Reno, Nevada, the Silver State Foundry creates a gamut of coin designs from rings, to dog tag necklaces, to even Mercury Dime earrings for women. Terry starts with high-quality coins and pays meticulous attention to details during the forging process. Extreme care is taken to preserve the coin’s ornamentation both inside and out, fully displaying the beauty of the coin’s original design.
Since I received Terry’s design, I have not taken it off. It too will travel the world with me, and God willing, I will pass it on to someone someday that needs a bit of luck and encouragement.
Find your good luck charm at silverstatefoundry.com.