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hobo charms

by Micki Whelan
Community Voted
This item is sold out and no longer available.

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  • the story

Say It With Symbols

Inspired by the iconic code painted on boxcars and train stations or carved on fence posts by traveling hobos during the Great Depression, Micki Whelan created a set of pendants designed to communicate a powerful message to all those you’ll encounter as you make your own trek though life. Carved in wax then cast in sterling silver, the front of these pendants comes in your choice of four messages, and the back features a triangular symbol representing faith, hope and love. Whether given to convey feelings or worn as a personal talisman, each of these wearable sentiments has an incredible history and is sure to resonate with the wearer. Handmade in Rhode Island.

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Unfortunately, this item cannot ship outside of the United States at this time.

  • details
Community Voted
Item ID
22040
Made from
sterling silver, waxed cotton
Measurements
Pendant : .7" L x .8" W; 1 oz. Waxed cotton cord: 18" L.

  • the maker

Micki Whelan

Micki Whelan has been working with metal for more than 25 years. A student of the Rhode Island School of Design, Whelan is influenced by clean and simple organic lines and shapes, as well as negative space. "My latest work takes me full circle, back to a few basic tools: my trusty rolling mill, round silver wire, and my two hands. It is heavily influenced by my Scandinavian heritage, where clean lines, unadorned design, and understatement are revered."

Whelan finds inspiration at her husband's greenhouse. She first sketches her designs of the plants and vegetation that surround her, as well as a few designs she creates herself. Then, Whelan translates each sketch by hand into sterling silver.

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  • reviews
  • q & a
  • voting

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
HOBO CHARMS
 
2.5

(based on 2 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

Reviewed by 2 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

sky's the limit is the WRONG symbol

By 

from New York, NY

Pros

  • Pretty
  • Unique

Cons

  • WRONG symbol

Best Uses

    Comments about HOBO CHARMS:

    I ordered the sky's the limit charm as a present for a friend who is a balloon pilot. When I searched numerous sites to print out a list of hobo symbols to go along with the necklace, I found that the 3 slashes on the charm are actually the symbol for this place is not safe! Sky's the limit should be two vertical slashes. I'll have to return this, which is a shame because it's a nice weight & otherwise very much her style.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Beautiful workmanship and unique idea

    By 

    from Weatherford, TX

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Length
    • Good Quality
    • Meaningful
    • Unique

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Everyday

      Comments about HOBO CHARMS:

      I voted to add this product and I think it is a very pretty and unique piece.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Comment on this review

      Displaying reviews 1-2

      Back to top

      Q and A

      When our community voted on this product, some also shared comments - read them below:

      603votes, 127 comments

      Cassie, UncommonGoods Community Moderator

      We love Micki Whelan's reminders to enjoy the travel through life. Which symbol is your favorite?

      Celeste
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I just feel it's a bit of a disconnect to sell hobo symbols for $68.

      Christine
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      now I see why they have symbols couldn't afford the jewelery, plus I would probably have to stop and explain it to someone

      Deidre
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Love the idea, but I would probably not pay the price.

      Christine
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Like the idea and the fact that it's made in the US, but am wondering how many people would be willing to pay this price.

      Rebecca
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I like the concept, but the process seems anti-hobo...

      Meghan
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like jewelry with a positive message, even if it isn't obvious to all. The price point is a bit high though.

      Patricia
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like these, and I like the idea of having a meaning be it personal or traditional. But I think the price point is just a little high.

      Liane
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      $68.00? Ouch!!!

      sharri
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute, but to expensive.

      Michelle

      these are very cool ...please carry these!

      Mary
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Cute, but price seems a bit high!

      maegan
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      $68? too much! wayyy too much. The story is great but no one will know it and the meaning of each one...

      Yvonne
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      $68 for a pice of silver with a childlike scrawl on them - no way. Not even attractive.

      Julie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      everything great but the price

      David
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      They are cute, interesting concept, sterling silver and made in the US. Although the price is high, I think there are enough people out there willing to pay the price.

      Caitlin
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      But too expensive

      Michael
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Trendy, yet, not so stylish- but can be worn with the right outfit.

      Norma
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute, but too expensive. Do hobos still use these symbols. I thought they used them in the 30's,

      sharon
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute but too expensive.

      Cathy
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      not connecting with the symbols as well

      Vicki
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Not nearly cool enough to be a hit.

      Massee
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      You'll get all 4 for $68, right? Much too much for 'each' pricing.

      Michelle
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Nice gift item. great they are made in USA!!

      Heather
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I understand that they are hand-made and that carries a (well-deserved) premium. However, I think they are way too expensive for a charm on a cotton necklace.

      Lauren
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Way too expensive; doesn't fit in the the "hobo" theme at all.

      Erica
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I do love the idea of these...but I doubt I'd buy them for the price.

      Teri
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Cool product, but the price seems too high.

      Laney
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Would buy if less expensive.

      gwenda
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Cute idea but the price is too high.

      Sandi
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Love them, Priced a little high tho.

      Karen
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Not a fan of this use of the symbols. How about the same symbols on a plaque (ceramic? metal?) that could be used on entry doors or fences/gates instead?

      Jaclyn
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I actually reeeeeeeeally like this necklace. I love the string it's on, and the pendants are wonderful. If the price was closer to the $30-to-$40 range, I'd think it'd be perfect.

      Barbara
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Just way too expensive!

      Alexandria
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Too pricey.

      Yanina
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Too hard to explain to someone and too expensive!

      Cassie, UncommonGoods Community Moderator

      Thanks for the question, Massee! The price is for each pendant. The price point being considered factors in the time and effort required by the artist, Micki Whelan, who makes these casts these charms and assembles each necklace by hand, as well as the cost of sterling silver. Each necklace includes a sterling silver pendant and clasp, containing a total of .25 ounces of sterling silver.

      Dawn
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      kinda looks like a crazy cat lady would wear this...:(

      Robin
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      These are cute but should be done in a less expensive metal.

      Lauren
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      love the story behind them

      kyle

      I love these. I've recently learned about hobo symbology and it's fascinating. What a perfect combination - really cool look with a story to go with it. Trult unique.

      SHARON W
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I've always liked these symbols. Are they still used? A piece of history. But, too pricey.

      Jennifer
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I really like these, and it's great that they are made here in the US. I'm not sure I would pay $68 for one, though.

      Amy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I think $68 is a bit pricy though

      Heidi
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      seems a bit much for Hobo symbol, bottle cap would be cuter

      Leslie
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I really like the idea, and the symbols are great, but the price is awful - especially for hobo symbols

      Dorothy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Intriguing language of the rails.

      Joice
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Will the carvings every come in color..

      alena
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      way too expensive. you would have to explain to people what it means and then it just makes you sound like a wanna be hobo.

      Anne
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      They look very cheap

      Carol Lee
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Like story and design. Price too high-

      Misty
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I think they're cute, but expensive for a symbol I'd have to explain. I think people would assume it was something picked up at a Native American shop at a much cheaper price point.

      Katie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      How about things that are uplifting and not things that are voodoo-ish? Or at least not things that are so pagan??Thanks for asking!

      Julienne
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      The price is way too high and I feel like silver is not a good material to represent the "message." How about wood or upcycled glass?

      amanda
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I love the idea and they are really cute, but way to expensive!

      Claudia
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I agree that this is really cute, but the price point is very steep. Did you guys hear that our economy is not really in recovery yet????

      Judy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      So would buy it!

      SL
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I have a hobo sign on my front door and love all of the positive comments. It would be great to have it in another form!

      Margaret

      I like the necklace, but wouldn't pay that price.

      Heather
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like them - but $68 for a set of four is more like it...

      gypsy
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      really is a cute concept, nicely done, and if shared with history attached offers some meaning

      Cecelia
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Looks sweet, but too expensive.

      lynn

      I usually love everything you guys come up with but no way on this one! I have no problem spendng this amount for fun and unique jewelry, but I would expect $5-$10 for something like this. But great idea, I think I'll have my 6 yr old make one for me. :)

      Paula
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute item but I would not spend more than $30 for this item.

      Melissa
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      i love the necklace, but the price is way too high.

      Jan

      Way overpriced and the designs are almost too simple and primitive, like kindergarten art.

      Clara
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Love the charms - hate the price. Would definitely buy at a lower price.

      Gail
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like the idea and the look. I do think the price should be re-thought. 68 is too high for the common look of this necklace. 35 sounds better and may bring more of a market.

      Melissa
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Really neat piece, love that it was made in the USA, but the price is SO high!!

      Dixie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Would prefer pewter to silver -- the price point is too high.

      Amy
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      $68? Seriously? For a cotton string and chunk of metal with a design even I could draw? This type of pricing is why I have NEVER bought anything from Uncommon Goods even though I would love to have a few.

      Karen
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      The price is at least 2x higher than it should be... If it was priced reasonably, I'd probably buy several for friends and family.

      Jaime
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      a bit expensive though

      Kate
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I can support the meaning behind it, and it's great that it's USA made...but unless a good portion of the profit was going to help out the *actual* homeless population in the US, I just couldn't spend $68 on this.

      michael
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      My Father road the trains for a while back in the 30's and had a lot of great stories! Isn't telling the story behind it part of its charm? Still...a little pricey.

      Jenna
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I just prefer yellow gold. These are very pretty though.

      B
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Its a hobo necklace... Which completely defeats the purpose of it when a hobo wouldn't even be able to afford it.

      Heather
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Too expensive. And they look like my 11 year old niece did them. 6 years ago.

      Kip
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute but wouldn't buy it at that price.

      Bianca
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Cute but definitely is way too expensive.

      Shannon
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I love these, especially the cat one...but I WOULD NOT pay that price for it.

      Lea
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I like the symbols but $68 is just too much.

      L.A.
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Really, really love the historical context. I agree with almost everyone else that the price point will make them less attractive to customers. Also, commentor Karen's idea of a plaque to affix to a fence or outdoor location is awesome.

      Mary Ann
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I agree with others: I really like the pendants and would love one, but I do think the price is very high for them:(

      Maria

      Love the concept...price seems really high....have sisters I would buy this for..but not at this price

      Jaime
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Would have to stop and explain the symbol to everyone, and explain the high price to my husband!

      Michelle
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I think they are super cute and I love them. However, I wouldn't spend that much on one.

      Elisabeth
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      If the price were in the 40s it might sell better.

      Christina
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      A beautiful story with a price that belies it.

      jennifer
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      cute but way too expensive.

      Katrina
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      The cord matches the style of the pendants, and I understand these are sterling silver, but it seems kind of expensive.

      Sandi
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Love them, have known about the symbols. But WAY too expensive. Think there would be more interest and buyers and even multiple from some if price were less.

      Niki
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I love the messages, but the price is a concern.

      mary
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I love them, but they're too pricey even if they are sterling silver. I admit like the other poster my first thought was "all four for $68 sounds good." Make a less expensive version for $20 each and I'll buy them all 4, but at over $250 for all 4 nope can't do it. But I love them anyway.

      Julie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      price is a bit high

      Dana
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Love this and would love to buy one (or two or three), but seriously silver is not that high. At .25 (pure silver is about 35.00 per oz, way over priced. So when I see this in a future magazine, I will fold down the page, and occasionally visit it (as I do with the over priced shoes I cannot afford in the store window)

      c_ike
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Ya price seems too high-like by 2x!!! They are adorable otherwise though.

      Heather
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      love these pendants, but $68 is more than I would pay. Times are tough and $50 is our budget for gifting close relatives and friends on an occassion like a birthday.

      Dawn
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      They are cute. Could wear with jeans and tee - but cost is too high, even if they are handmade.

      Katie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, but I don't think that I would pay more than $20 (without shipping) for a simple little charm like this. Other than that, it's a great idea!

      Danielle
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      LOVE the charms but not the PRICE. Way, way too high.

      Ari
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I love them but wish they were $30-40.

      janice
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      don't connect with the symbols

      Dorothy J.
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Love the idea, have a plaque on the wall with the "Kind Harted Woman" that I gave my mom years ago. I think they are overpriced.

      Jennifer

      the price is too high for something soo simple

      Renee

      I love the necklaces but they are too expensive.

      Penelope
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I especially like the cat sign (good woman). bu price is too high. Hiow about $30-35?

      Korie
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Waaaaaay too much money.

      emma
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Absolutely would buy them!... IF the price was at least $30 lower

      Valerie
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I like them, but I think the name could be a turn-off to people.

      Susan
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute, way too expensive. Would condider if way less.

      life2great

      They are cute enough but way overpriced.

      Bella
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Love the concept, hate the price.

      Emily
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I love the idea of these: the story behind them and what each symbol means. However $68 for this is way too much for a pendant of that size.

      Geneva
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      I love the boho chic style and the silver makes it seem very down to earth.

      Nicolle
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Although it is pretty cool, I probably would not pay $68 for this item.

      Emily
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      While they are very nice looking, I feel that it would be inappropriate to sell these items that are appropriating the hobo culture and commodifying it. The traveling hobos were struggling with real poverty and depression, and glorifying that with a $68 necklace seems highly insensitive and inappropriate.

      Lisa
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I like the idea but it is way too expensive.

      Karen
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Love it, but the price is too high.

      Mary
      Vote: Thumbs up!

      Too expensive!

      Tamara
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Way, way too expensive for the small amount of detail. How about making them with stainless steel?

      SGriff
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Love these....until I saw the price! Is that for all four? Even if it was that would be way too expensive! Too bad too....I do love them!

      kim
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Sorry but $68 for a single "hobo" inspired necklace seems a bit ironic.

      Erin
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      The cotton cord makes it look cheap.

      Jessica
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      I love them, but the price is way too high.

      Camille
      Vote: Thumbs down!

      Cute but too expensive

      sommer

      i feel like you can buy these at those kids jewelry shops in the mall.

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