Sentimental tokens / good luck charms?
March 23, 2010 3:24 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a fun or sentimental token / good luck charm to give as a gift. Something that is in Hebrew, or relates to Judaism would be cool, too, but is not necessary.

So my guy travels a lot and I thought it would be fun to give him a sentimental little token that could be tucked into his pocket when he's away. (He's sort of sappy like that).

I considered a pocket knife, but that's not really his deal and he has no interest in a pocket watch. I think a personalized good luck coin of some sort would be cool, but I haven't had much luck finding one. I'm considering getting him a key chain like this, which I can slip messages into from time to time. I also thought about some kind of special guitar pick, since he's a musician, but haven't seen anything that looked spectacular. I would love more suggestions.

He's Jewish and, while he's not practicing, he's pretty proud of that heritage and speaks Hebrew. Something that ties into that might be nice, though it's absolutely not a requirement.

I'm really open to any kind of small portable token-type of thing. I'm receptive to sweet, cheap tokens, but am also willing to spend up to $100 for something that seems like it would be something he'd have for years. Thanks for your help!
posted by diamondsky to Shopping (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Once upon a time, I was given a heart from the Build-a-Bear store. Just a little, satin, slightly plush heart. I carried it in my pocket all the time.
posted by chatongriffes at 3:36 PM on March 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My boyfriend has a small sterling pill box with the word Mensch engraved on it, given to him by a very dear friend. He seldom uses it for pills, but has used it for guitar picks occasionally. You could also slip messages into it.
posted by kimdog at 3:41 PM on March 23, 2010

Best answer: What about something with the Traveler's Prayer (Tefilat HaDerech)?

There are lots of keychains (including one with a space for a picture!) available.

Or a ring. Or a (manly) pendant.

This one is intended for a car but could be carried in a pocket or on a keychain.

I would avoid a knife given airline security these days.

Now I want to this for my Jewish boyfriend!
posted by charmcityblues at 3:44 PM on March 23, 2010

Maybe this money clip with "L'Chaim" on it would fit the bill (ha ha).


Anyway, there's lots of cheesy stuff out there with this Hebrew toast on it, but maybe some of the many L'Chaim gifts out there would be to his taste.
posted by Rain Man at 3:45 PM on March 23, 2010

A Hamsa is a traditional Jewish/Arabic good-luck charm.
posted by katrielalex at 3:45 PM on March 23, 2010

An Orthodox friend once brought me a dove carved from olive wood as a token from his trip to Israel. I hang mine on my Christmas tree but your boyfriend could easily slip it into his pocket.
posted by headnsouth at 4:01 PM on March 23, 2010

Etsy is great for this kind of thing, on either end of your price range. There's plenty of Jewish-themed items as well, and a lot of sellers will do custom Hebrew engraving.

If you have an idea but can't find it, there's always their Alchemy as well. Last year, I decided I wanted a spinning ring (I'm a fidgeter) with "This too shall pass" engraved in Hebrew, and Alchemy came through for me -- I wear the ring every day.
posted by natabat at 4:03 PM on March 23, 2010

I came here to recommend a Hamsa with the Tefilat HaDerech (travelers prayer) inscribed on it. But I see both have been mentioned!
posted by strixus at 4:22 PM on March 23, 2010

It's not Jewish, and it's probably too girly, but I've given a significant other a rose quartz heart, and they kept it in their pocket, as sort of a worry stone, and sort of a "i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart) i am never without it" kind of thing. I've never shopped there, but these look nice - . You might be able to find one in his birthstone or something close, possibly.
posted by lemniskate at 4:30 PM on March 23, 2010

The Hamsa is definitely the way to go for good luck. My mother (artist, calligrapher) made me a laminated wallet sized traveller's prayer that I carry with me everywhere, even though I've long since lapsed.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:43 PM on March 23, 2010

"When You Hold This Remember Me" from the Sundance Catalog is kinda sweet. OK it's very sweet but you said you wanted something sentimental. They have other charms and tokens, some of which can be inscribed.

My hubby and I have this small stuffed animal that we hide in each other's bag whenever we travel alone. The animal itself is something of a private joke between us, and it's small enough to fit in an overnight bag, yet not so tiny that it could easily get lost like one of the above charms. Maybe there's some small plush item that would have some meaning for the two of you that you could consider instead if you decide a charm is too little.
posted by Kangaroo at 4:53 PM on March 23, 2010

How about a Mizpah coin?
posted by ottereroticist at 4:58 PM on March 23, 2010

I ordered a charm with my son's name in Hebrew on it from this etsy store as a gift for his (Jewish) godmother. Very pleased with the result.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:53 PM on March 23, 2010

I am not Jewish, but I live in an old apartment building that used to be majority Jewish.

I noticed that many of the doorways were decorated with pretty, antique-appearing ornaments called mezuzah. Some of them were kind of kitschy, but my doorway had this cool looking brass one. I thought it would make a nice gift. Of course it's meant to be on a doorway, but it could certainly be made into a keychain, and when you are a traveler, the road is home.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:23 PM on March 23, 2010

Pressed pennies from those machines you see at zoos and stuff. has lists of them. Looks like there are quite a few near you. If you click on the little camera they have pictures of the images that press into your penny.
Also, new age crystal type shops usually have a lot of tokens like that.
posted by BoscosMom at 8:11 PM on March 23, 2010

Response by poster: Oh wow. Thank you all so much! There were so many good ideas here, it was hard to pick one, but I just bought him a Hamsa keychain with the Traveler's Prayer on it. I think I'm going to get him a pillbox with Mensch on it, too, at some point, cause that's such a cute idea and I can already see the grin on his face when he gets it.

Mezuza's are super cool. We actually have one up and it was him telling me about how much he loved getting that as a present that made me think it would be neat to incorporate Judaism into this present.

That Penny site is fantastic. I can't believe I've never seen that before. I have a nephew who collects those and he's going to go crazy for that.

I bookmarked some of the Etsy & other sites mentioned here, too. I knew this would be the perfect place to find help with this.
posted by diamondsky at 1:10 PM on March 24, 2010

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