When I posted the photo of the dime with the altered reverse, little did I know it was a “love token”. I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that since I have been coin collecting for years and years. It was a term I had heard, just not one that prompted more investigation (sometimes I am a slow learner). When my friend Ray Salmons identified it as such I did a quick Google, and now feel more enlightened.
In the late 18th Century and through the 19th century, engraved coins were widely given as an expression of love. Usually men could not afford to buy their gal or sweetheart a ring, so instead they would personalize a coin, and give to her. and ask for her hand in marriage.
The initials are most commonly that of the name of the giver. Names and dates were also popular, and scarcer examples sometimes had sayings and pictures. The Love Token Society states that there are two requirements for a love token: First, the engraving must be on a legitimate coin. Second, the engraving must be done by hand.
While Engravings were done on all denomination of coins, the most popular was the Liberty Seated dime. The reason? The silver was softer and easier to engrave than the nickel, and were considered a more precious gift than a nickel or copper cent….
As John Howland also commented on the blog, “Call me an old cynic, but in most bloke’s experience a Love Token today is normally anything above a $100 Bill! Try giving a gal a dime these days!”
Typical Howland, but in this case I have to agree (diamonds are a girls best friend).
Just received the following from Dan Hamilton, my old detecting buddy from New Jersey, and thought it appropriate here…..
“Here is a heart warming story for you……….”
A couple was Christmas shopping at the mall on Christmas Eve and the mall was packed. Walking through the mall the surprised wife look up and noticed her husband was no where around and she was very upset because they had a lot to do.
She used her cell phone to call her husband because she was so upset, to ask him where he was. The husband in a calm voice said, “honey remember the jewelry store we went into 5 years ago where you fell in love with that diamond necklace that we could not afford and I told you that I would get it for you one day?”
His wife said crying, “yes I remember that jewelry store”.
He said, “Well I’m in the bar next to it…”
TIME CHANGES MANY THINGS….
Had a thought to share a few of my old coin hunting hot spots back East, but after doing a little research I have changed my mind. One of the best areas I hunted was Cadwalader Park, in Trenton, New Jersey. A city park since 1888, it was a coin hunter’s paradise. There were ballfieds, picnic areas, a monkey house, and bear cage, and it was home to a lot of events. On a typical Sunday in the summer hundreds of people would be there relaxing, playing bocci, horseshoes, picnicking, and in the winter there was ice skating on the ponds. Later on there was “Theater in the Park” where broadway shows were offered by local acting groups (yours truly played in the orchestra from time to time).
That was Cadwalader Park then, and while it’s still there, and still used, I discovered that it’s now a place to avoid. I emailed a few of my friends back in New Jersey, and was told “forget it, it’s a bad area” or “don’t go there alone, especially at night”…… It breaks my heart to hear things like this, because I have fond memories of this park, and the many hours spent there, both detecting, and picnicking with my dad’s family, who lived near there. He came from a large family, and I can remember many Sunday’s when there would be close to 40 to 50 “Stouts” of all ages having a helluva lot of fun, from morning till night…
I will be checking on a few other places that I used to coinhunt, and will share what I can, but apprently time changes many things…..