The inscribed examples are unmistakably love tokens but we should still appreciate the skill and artwork involved.
The “Bender” love tokens are perhaps not so obvious. It is thought that a young man would prove his love to his young lady by physically bending a coin in front on her. Often this was done on sixpences but occasionally we see it on gold coins and copper coins. The theory is that if the young man gives the coin to the young lady and she keeps (treasures) it, then he’s a happy soul (and hopefully so is she). If she takes it and throws it away into the field, then maybe it’s time to move on to pastures new! The old Nursery Rhyme about the man finding a “crooked sixpence” was maybe based on finding a discarded bender love token?
The “Gem-Insert” later Victorian types epitomise the sentimental period from which they emanate.
WCA-5418: 1683 Charles II Silver Half Crown – Love Token. Hand engraved on the obverse with a heart and the initials, “E.L.”. A nice, early Love Token. £85
WU-5482: 1672-94 American “Elephant” Copper Merchant Token. Obverse hand engraved, “RALPH SHARROCK 1731”. The Baldwin St James auction # 15 (lot 267) had a similar grade coin estimated at £700 BEFORE their 20% commission charges. A rare, early American coin with an early American inscription. Further research needed. £495
WCA-5393: 1687 James II Full Silver Crown – Birthing Love Token. TERTIO edge. “G W 1798”. Once again, as in WCA-5230, a 100+ year old coin was chosen for the engraving. £239
William & Mary
WCA-5956: 1689 William & Mary Silver Half Crown – Momento Mori. Hand engraved on the obverse, “S.S. 1802” and on the reverse, “S.S.” within a pair of funerary urns. This, and several other engraved coins, would have been given out to relatives and guests of S.S. upon his or her funeral in 1802. An interesting insight into the social practices of over 200 years ago. £95
WCA-5554: William III Silver Half
Crown – Love Token. Most likely a death token or Momento
Mori. Hand engraved in early
Victorian script, “SAMUEL RICKMAN” and “
WCA-6044: 1696 William III Full
Silver Crown – Birthing Token. Hand
engraved, “JANE AVERN, BORN
WG-4983: 1732 George II Farthing – Love Token. A “Bender” love token. Quite unusual to see these on such a low denomination coin. Love on a budget! £17
WG-5731: 1820 George III Silver
Crown – Birthing Token. Hand
engraved, “ANN WILLIAMS. THE GIFT OF MY GRANDMOTHER.
MAR 30th 1832”. It was
the tradition at this period in time to bestow a gift of silver in the form of
a coin upon a newly born child. There is
a rather interesting display on such things in the
WG-5960: 1806 George III Copper
Halfpenny – USA (New York) Interest.
A well used (and travelled?) George III copper halfpenny with a crude
hand engraved inscription reading, “MY HOME NEW YORK WILL ALWAYS BE”. In addition, the owner has added an unusual
contrasting brass loop in order for this to be worn as a pendant. Could this have been in the pocket of one of
the early English people migrating to the
WG-5483: 1821 George IV Full
Silver Crown – Love Token. SECVNDO edge, very nice grade. Hand engraved “BEATRICE” on the obverse. This is most likely a Birthing token and
would have been engraved in 1821 to commemorate the birth of Beatrice. It was the tradition at this period in time
to bestow a gift of silver in the form of a coin upon a newly born child. There is a rather interesting display on such
things in the
WV-4986: 1890’s Queen Victoria Silver 3d – Love Token. Hand engraved “M.M.B.” and pierced for use as jewellery. £9
WV-5642: 1862 Queen Victoria
Penny – MRS COLE – Suffragette Movement!!
A standard 1862 bronze penny with the obverse image of Queen