The original 'George Pick'

"80 years old and still the most popular coin guitar pick ever."

The story of the original George Pick is simple. In the early 1930's, the US Mint created a silver quarter dollar featuring America's first president George Washington. These silver coins were used frequently by the American public because most consumable items of the day were relatively priced in that range. Jazz and blues guitarists of this era found that quarter dollar coins made a convenient and useful plectrum - and the silver tone that the coins produced was outstanding. Thus, the 'George Pick' was born, and has become the most popular coin guitar pick in history.

Throughout the decades, string instrumentalists used a wide variety of materials as plectrums, each to create a unique tonal element: metal coins, stone, wood, bone and shell. During the 1960's, guitar pick manufacturers began to use cellulose plastics to make bendable plectrums that could be manufactured cheaply and widely distributed. These plastic guitar picks came to define the sound of guitar driven 'Rock and Roll' music. However, some prominent 'Rock' musicians of the era refused to use plastic guitar picks and created their own unique sound by choosing the coin guitar picks favored by musicians of the past. Most notably, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Brian May of Queen both used coin guitar picks their entire professional careers, and both are celebrated innovators of guitar performance sound and style.

George Pick

Who still makes the George Pick?

"Where can I get my own George Pick?"

Very few people in the world today still know how to handcraft a true George Pick. Each plectrum must be expertly honed to shape and polished to perfection. Although many people attempt to make them, there is only one artist in Nashville Tennessee that has become internationally renowned for their craftsmanship - Master Artisan Guitar Picks. This article from the popular website gives a simple review of this artist and their version of the original 'George Pick'.

Because the 'George Pick' is an honored piece of American folk art, the United States Treasury has no sanctions against their creation, ownership and use. An official statement concerning the 'George Pick' can be found on the website.