When the word “Love Token” pops into our head we usually think of a locket or something special that two individuals share as a represntation of each other’s love but ask a coin collector and you will here something different.
Love tokens are created by taking old silver or gold coinage and polishing one side off and creating a fanciful design or most commonly initals as a theme. Love tokens are noted as early as the 16th century but at this time it was usually sailors or other men who travel abroad often gave the lady inwhich they promised to love and marry a bent or cup shaped coin. The lady would carry this coin with her as a reminder of her absent lover’s promise of marriage or in worst cases death by traveling or most likely drowning or taking ill on a ship at sea.
Many love tokens have initials of those who have passed away and sometimes dates of their deaths. In the 18th-19th. centuries these tokens became more fanciful and were crated into pins, watch fobs, pendants and bracelets.The type of coin you used usually depended upon your status. The lower to middle classes would use copper and the middle to upper classes silver and a gold love token was most likely from somebody of upper class distinction.
Most common love tokens have initials on them. The fancier the initials the more expensive when you are looking around to collect some. In my photos I have shown a gold dollar coin made into a stick pin and a seated liberty 1872 half dollar with incorporated blue enamel in the silver monogram design but actually the seated liberty dime on top is probably most rare. Instead of initials, it depicts two canoes on the water with three individuals in each canoe with mountainscapes in the background and on the other side it has initials with a fine detailed branch design. In this case both sides of the coin were polished but the picturesque scene makes this one more rare and valuable. Thank You ~ SevenGablesAntiques