During the mid-1800s, some Victorian weather vane makers began a tradition of sealing a copper penny from the year the sculpture was crafted inside each of their weathervanes. These pennies were considered good luck.
Other vane makers put small brass plaques or other mementos inside the sculpture piece, which is so often a cherished keepsake as well as a weather vane.
Here, at West Coast Weather Vanes, we have decided to continue this charming century old tradition. We always include a penny from the year the vane is completed inside each sculpture for good luck. However, because we build each weather vane to order, our customers are not limited to one penny. If you are purchasing your weather vane for a special occasion or celebration; a birthday, an anniversary, a retirement gift, a commemorative tribute or for another moment that is special to you, we can include additional pennies for almost any year to commemorate the occasion.
One of my favorite examples of a customer’s ingenuity in personalizing their vane was a wonderful husband and father who ordered one of our angel weather vanes for his wife’s 50th birthday.
On the inside of one wing we stamped the names of their six children. On the inside of the other wing we stamped the husband and wife’s names. This was to be their guardian angel. He then went and found pennies from the year of each child’s birth and had them make a wish for their mother’s birthday on their penny before sending them on to us.
On one end of the horizontal tube on which the angel sits, we put a 1946 penny (the year his wife was born) and on the other end we put a 1996 penny (the year their vane was made and the year she turned 50). This was the surprise and appreciation her husband gave her for her 50th birthday present!
So feel free to use your imagination. If you are like most, you will probably buy only one weather vane in your lifetime so you might as well have fun with the process. Anything we can do to personalize your weather vane, making it a part of your family’s tradition as it transfers from generation to generation, is fun for us, too.
Below is a sampling of weathervanes we have made for people celebrating special occasions. All of these customers included the tradition of ‘lucky’ pennies to make their gifts more special.