Date Nail Cuff Links

Celebrate a favorite number or birth year with these cuff links that are hand-milled from authentic date nails, used by the railroad industry for record-keeping purposes. For example, a nail with "41" meant the track was installed or renovated in 1941.

Sale price$115.00
In stock

Product Details

The shank of each date nail 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.

Measures 5/8" in diameter and 3/4" long


Tokens & Icons receives date nails from a trusted source who is an avid collector and date nail aficionado. Tokens & Icons only purchases nails that have never been cleaned and whose numbers are raised. The shaft of each nail is cut off and milled into a post style cuff link that is 100% nail.

History of Date Nails

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 maintenance 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.

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