A thoughtful gift

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday! He turned 31. And although we’ve been married nearly 4 years, and together for 7, yesterday was the first time I gave him a thoughtful, unique gift. I’ve always been a practical gift giver. Gift cards or functional/daily use types of gifts are fantastic and easy, but I’ve now seen how much more fun it is to give a thoughtful gift.

My husband was in the Air Force for about 4 years, and during that time he got some coins. Each coin represents different things/achievements. 

They used to be stored on top his dresser, before we were married, but as soon as I moved in they were pushed toward the back. And every time we would move, he would wonder where those coins were, since we never kept them in a special place. 

So, I started thinking about getting him a frame or something for the coins. And I wanted something that was unique. I searched Pinterest and came up with nothing. I searched on Etsy, and after clicking through a few pages, I came across this shop

And I saw this coin holder:

I loved it. I thought it was even better than a frame since the coins can be picked up and moved around. Plus, there is room for more if he ever wanted to get more. 

Mike, the shop owner, was fantastic to work with. His communication is great, and shipping is quick. 

I gave it to Justin last night, and he really liked it. He placed the coins in it and then placed it on our mantle. I asked him where he was going to actually keep it, and he mentioned that he might bring it to work.

That was the best answer I could have imagined! I was so happy that he liked it, and finally had a specific place to store and show off his coins. 

It was a simply low key birthday, but inspired me to be a little bit more creative with my gift giving. 


  1. says

    What a nice gift, Kate! I work at the Naval Academy and so have a drawerful of “command coins”. I keep saying I should get a way to display them but always forget about it until the next time I open the drawer. I’ll look into this one!


  2. says

    This is such a thoughtful idea! I love it! I always tend to buy practicial gifts for bdays, but it’s always nice to come up with something extra special and memorable. BTW…my husband’s name is Justin too! :)

  3. says

    Thank you Kate, every year right about this time, I start thinking about what I’m going to get my Brother for his birthday. He spent 8 years in the Air Force which took him all over the globe. This would be a wonderful gift to give him. Although now that I think about it, what am I going to do for his next birthday, how am I going to top this one.

  4. says

    Aww! I love seeing people get such well thought out gifts! And that’s always the most rewarding thing to do in my book! It looks really awesome!

  5. says

    My husband is in the Air Force and has collected a few coins so far, and I have been wondering about a place to keep them too! Thanks for sharing this Kate. This may be the perfect gift for my hubby!!!

  6. says

    Kate, I’ve been reading your blog daily for the past few months, but this is the first time I’ve had to comment. I can tell why I like you so much now: even though you weren’t married to your husband while he was in the Air Force you’re still a military wife! Thanks for the recommendation. My husband is also a Navy Chief (like the commenter above) and he would love a gift like this. Love reading your blog. Keep up the good (and thoughtful) work!

  7. says

    I’m so excited to see this post! I’ve been looking for a great challenge coin holder for my husband for awhile now. This is perfect!

  8. says

    Thanks so much for sharing! My boyfriend is a retired Army WO with 20+ years of coins that aren’t properly displayed. And I’ve been looking for something a little more personalized for him than the generic coin holders he already has filled. This is a great gift!! Glad your husband loved it!!

  9. says

    What a great idea! My husband was in the Air Force for 22 years. He has a lot of memorabilia in his office, but I’ve never seen any coins. I’ll have to ask him about them.

  10. says

    Kate, this is wonderful!! My husband is an army vet and has several coins/pins–I never thought of doing something like this to display them! I think I may order one too! Thanks so much for sharing–love the blog :)

  11. says

    I gave a set of coins to my dad for his birthday this year. He is also Air Force, served in Iraq, and needs to be recognized, just like your husband. I LOVE the display. Unique and simply classic. Nicely done. :)

  12. says

    Awesome gift. So funny, my husbands birthday was yesterday and he turned 31…and we have been married four year…twinsies!

  13. says

    Such a good idea! My husband is in the Army and has a ton of these coins, they are just sitting in a bowl on our coffee table but I keep thinking we should do something to display them…never even thought of a coin holder like that! I’m gonna have to get one.

  14. says

    Thanks Kate! I have been trying to find a nice coin holder for two years now, and haven’t been able to find one! These are perfect! I can’t wait to give this to my fiance for his birthday.

  15. says

    Love this! Thoughtful gifts are awesome! My fiancé always gets practical gifts, usually involving clothes because he hates to go shopping! This year I bought him tickets to a car museum so we can spend quality time together!

  16. says

    This is so cool! My sister is in the Air Force and has a bunch of coins so this would be a really neat gift for her!! Thanks for sharing and Happy belated to your hubby! :)

  17. says

    Would your husband be interested in a coin from law enforcement? I know a Iowa State Trooper 😉 (my husband) husband has many different coins as well. Anyway he just designed a coin for his district. I could probably get one for your husband :)

  18. says

    I bet this guy’s order invoices are going to explode. This is FANTASTIC! I have a brother in the Navy & another in the Coast Guard, and this is an awesome gift. Much better than another video game. LOL

  19. says

    OMG Kate, you made my day. First and foremost, thanks to you hubs for his service to our country!! Second, that is EXACTLY what I need for my father, who will be retiring next year with 32 years of service. What to you get a man who has everything?? This is perfect. Again, thanks for your blog and your time, I love reading and following! :)

  20. says

    Thanks so much for sharing this post! My husband will be retiring from the USAF next year and this will make a great gift (if I can hold out that long). Anybody who has been in the military knows how important the coins are to the collector, as well as for keeping on the self to keep from having to buy the drink rounds! I keep one in my purse, as well. Thanks, again!

  21. says

    What a perfect idea! My husband is in the Marines and over the 8 years he has acquired so many of them. Right now they are just placed in a frame where his golf ball collection is – I think i might head on over and give it to him as a gift :) thanks for the link to the site.

  22. says

    Well I know what I’m getting my husband for his birthday this year! Those coins are all over our bedroom too ha! Plus since he is still in the Air Force and is “supposed” to keep one on him, this would be much better than a frame so he can grab them any time he wants! Awesome, thanks!!

  23. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My husband just retired from the Navy and has made what he calls his “I used to be in the Navy” display. The only thing we didn’t have was a holder for all of his coins. I think the Navy one will be a perfect birthday gift for him!

  24. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! My husband just retired from the Navy and has made what he calls his “I used to be in the Navy” display. The only thing we didn’t have was a holder for all of his coins. I think the Navy one will be a perfect birthday gift for him!

  25. says

    This is great! My dad actually got one of these from the guys when he retired after 30+ years as an officer in the USAF. I have been wanting to get one for my husband for a long time. I meant to get one when he got into the USAF and never could find a stand I liked. He finished up his 6 years with the USAF two years ago and now all his coins just sit in a box. I might have to get one of these for his 32 birthday this year too. Thanks for the post!

    Bonnie Rose | a Compass Rose

  26. says

    This is wonderful! My husband is in the Air National Guard and I think he’d really appreciate a gift like this! Thank you for sharing :)

  27. says

    These are some great small gift ideas. Last year we got some clothes and cool cell phone cases for our daughter. She is older now so my wife is trying to find appropriate Sexy Dresses she can wear when she goes out with her friends. There are dresses that she can wear all year around so I think my wife is going to look for styles like that.

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