Date Nail Cuff Links

  • These cuff links are hand-milled from authentic date nails, which had a year stamped into their heads for record-keeping purposes.
  • Years 1930-1969 are available. For example, a nail with "41" is from 1941.
  • Measures 5/8" in diameter and 3/4" long. The shank is hand-lathed down to create a post-style cuff link. The date nails have varying degrees of wear. We match nails as closely as possible to create a pair.
  • Each comes gift-boxed with a hand-cut wooden block and a Certificate of Authenticity.

This collection is founded on the premise of giving a loved one their birth year to wear on their sleeve. Due to the nature of this program we cannot guarantee the availability of every year.

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Additional Product Information

Date nails were first used in Europe in the mid-twentieth century and North America towards the end of the century, as timber shortages led to the chemical treatment of railroad ties. Date nails were driven into each newly treated tie so later maintanence crews would know the installation date of each rotted, deteriorated tie. The 1930s saw the peak of date nail use with over one hundred railroads employing them. By the 1970s, the nails' production and use decline as chemical treatment became more advanced and as it became more common for years to be stamped directly into the wood. While date nails were also driven into bridge timbers, utility poles, and mine props, the nails used to make this item are mostly from railroad ties. For more information, please visit Historic Artifacts.