I've only had the emery for a couple of ....... years, actually (yes, years). I bought half a cup of emery powder from Dottyral at http://www.etsy.com/shop/dottyral?ref=pr_shop_more
many years ago and finally I've made the pincushions I always intended to.
For those that don't know, emery is a fine black mineral that keeps your pins and needles sharp. The little chilli that comes attached to the tomato pincushions has emery in it.
I made a regular pincushion and a wrist pincushion. The regular pincushion I've always used is actually one my Grandmother made (quite possibly before I was born) - it's filled with lamb's fleece which stops pins and needles from rusting (instead they rust at the point they're touching the velour casing :-/). My wrist pincushion is on a hard plastic open 'bangle' thing that is exceedingly uncomfortable and easily gets pulled off. The new one has an elasticised wristband that slips over my hand, the pincushion's length goes along my arm, not across it like the other one (which got caught on stuff) and it fits on the upper part of my forearm so that I can wear it with a watch.
I put a thin piece of stiff plastic on the bottom of each one to stop pins poking through to the surface of whatever they are sitting on (like my arm) and covered the calico bags in some scraps left over from making a boyfriend a bathrobe years ago.