Used Money Clip Buying Guide

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Used Money Clip Buying Guide

Designed as a more compact alternative to the wallet,, the money clip has long been a favored accessory of many men and women. This small device gives owners the option of safely storing money, ID cards, and credit cards in a pocket or bag without having to deal with the cumbersome bulk and size of a traditional wallet.

Money clips come in a variety of styles, including used and vintage varieties. In fact, given the quality and detail used to create many money clips of the past, used money clips have become a valued accessory that can add a unique touch of style to carrying and leveraging money. Used money clips can be found to a limited degree at vintage shops, but the largest resource for this type of collectible is by far the extensive listings accessible on online auction sites such as eBay.

Types of Used Money Clips

There are several designs of money clip that leverage different techniques for clipping and containing money and other items. These vary from the highly refined metal money clip to the more sizable money clip wallet. All these options have their own advantages and individual features, all of which can help those interested in purchasing a used money clip make their decision.

Metal Money Clips

Metal money clips are one solid piece of metal that has been bent into a narrow U shape to create a clamp with which to contain folded bills. The metals used in these clips vary from stainless steel to silver and gold, and can even be made with titanium or platinum. These types of money clips are extremely rigid and, therefore, cannot usually accommodate a large number of bills or cards. They are, however, one of the most classic versions of the money clip and are, as a result, still coveted as an accessory.

Magnetic Money Clips

Magnetic money clips are devices that usually feature a single leather strip with opposing magnets placed in either end. When folded over, these magnets attract one another to create a "clip" effect. Magnetic money clips deliver the minimal and classic aesthetic of a metal money clip, while also giving users enhanced functionality and the ability to hold a larger number of items. While magnetic money clips can clamp down on a greater number of bills than a metal money clip, they are still limited by the amount they can clamp down on, due to the fact that the two magnets in a clip must be close enough to create a magnetic force.

Money Clip Wallets

Money clip wallets, also known as hybrid money clips,, are devices that seek to leverage the minimal and streamlined design of a money clip while still delivering the containment factor of a wallet. Money clip wallets are particularly effective for holding both credit cards and bills. Money clip wallets feature either a magnet clip or a plastic clip surrounded by leather squares that mimic the look and coverage of a wallet. This extra space also provides additional room for logo and design work, making money clip wallets some of the most ornate and style-conscious of all money clips.

Carbon Fiber Money Clips

While less common on the used market, carbon fiber money clips can, on occasion, be found secondhand. These highly durable devices leverage both the flexibility and extreme strength of carbon fiber to deliver a product that can bend easily to accommodate a large number of items without compromising the integrity of the money clip's structure. Yet another advantage of carbon fiber money clips is that they will not set off metal detectors, allowing users to pass through security areas without having to unclip their money and credit cards.

The Look and Style of Money Clips

The aesthetic of used money clips can change widely from one to the next, but there are some general categories that define the overall look and style of money clips. In the following section, this buying guide will take a detailed look at the different style categories of money clips and elucidate the aesthetic value these items can bring to a consumer.

Fashion-oriented Clips

Many money clips are associated with a particular fashion house or brand. In a money clip wallet, this can involve leveraging the leather panels of the clip to display a fashion brand's logo. Sometimes, metal clips will feature a small etching of a logo or brand name. These fashion-oriented money clips can imbue a user with status and add a stylish touch to the purely functional practice of pocketing money. Vintage options in this category are particularly coveted for their one-of-a-kind provenance or their association with a legendary fashion house of old.

Engraved Money Clips

Metal clips are often fashioned with engravings or etchings that create a unique design on the device. The designs involved can vary widely, from abstract graphics to true-to-life representations of an animal or person. Sometimes, stones are used as accents in these designs, adding to the weight and value of the money clip. A particularly interesting subset of this engraved type of clip is one created in the Native American tradition. These will feature turquoise insets and etched patterns that reflect a particular tribe's tradition.

Cloisonné Money Clips

Cloisonné clips feature an artisanal technique in which different colors of enamel are inlaid in a mold to create a distinct design. These money clips are usually very carefully made, and vintage items of this type can be particularly rare in their beauty and provenance. The cloisonné design on these money clips is usually raised and placed centrally on one side of a metal money clip. In rarer cases, the entire clip is itself a cloisonné piece with an ornate pattern of cloisons covering both sides of a metal-style clip.

Historical Money Clips

Certain vintage money clips have a historical provenance that links them with a significant era or event from the past. These clips will usually feature the insignia of a historical organization, club, or military division, and can have raised shields and plates on them as well that may feature cloisonné work or basic metal work. Many consumers seek these items out to supplement a collection that relates to a particular historical era or event.

Coin-embossed Money Clips

Yet another style of money clip are those that have been embossed with a coin. These money clips are usually of the metal clip type, with the coin affixed to one side of the clip. An ornate border is sometimes included, encircling the coin. These coins can be rare, collectible items that enhance the value and appeal of the money clip. One of the most popular types of coin money clips are ones embossed with a silver dollar. Sometimes, the coin used will not have been actual currency, but is just used for its decorative appeal.

Advertising Money Clips

Many used money clips feature brand name logos and designs. These vintage clips were created at some point as promotional items and have since become collectibles. The style of these vary widely, with some featuring a small engraved logo and others leveraging ornate, embossed designs. Advertising money clips are by and large traditional metal clips and may feature both engraving and cloisonne techniques.

Buying Used Money Clips on eBay

The auction listings on eBay offer you a wide selection of used money clips of every type. To begin your search for a money clip, you can start off by running a keyword search for the term "used money clip.." A search bar is available on every page on eBay.

If you already have a particular style in mind, use this information in your search; for example, you might want to search for a "used magnet money clip.." To confirm that you are only viewing used items, you can select the "Used" checkbox that will appear when you run your search. You can also look through specific categories that will also appear to help further narrow your choices.

Getting to Know the Seller

When making a purchase on eBay, especially of vintage items, it is important to get to know your vendors. Look through a seller's past auctions and review any feedback given by previous customers. You can also request a Certificate of Authenticity for items that are said to have a vintage or historical provenance.


Used money clips can be a stylish, unique, and highly useful accessory. With the wide range of styles and types available, a consumer can easily find a used money clip that adequately addresses his or her needs. Those who are interested in used money clips as a fashion accessory can choose from an array of clips associated with prominent fashion house and brands. Buyers who are interested in more esoteric and vintage items have a plethora of options, especially when leveraging an online auction site such as eBay in their purchasing process. With its extensive listings of used and vintage money clips, a solution like eBay can deliver all the options a purchaser needs to come to an informed, quality decision in his or her search for a used money clip.

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