Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love Tokens - Symbols of Victorian Romance

Nothing exemplifies the passion and romance of the Victorians more than the simple love token, given as a gesture of love or affection. Coins were taken from circulation, smoothed down and hand-engraved with the initials of a cherished friend or lover.  It's been decades since I've acquired any.  The stars aligned this week and I was able to purchase a small collection.
(Update - this token is sold.)

A token may also have been used as a proposal according to the Love Token Society: "A young man desiring to get married in 1876 may have taken a dime from his pocket and engraved, or had an engraver engrave, his last initial, (family name), and his girlfriend's first initial on it. If she accepted and wore it they were considered engaged..."  How romantic is that?

Most were made from a Seated Liberty dime, dating from the 1850s thru the 1880s.
(I've got one gold love token in my collection; it's in such a safe place that I couldn't find it to show you a photo!  Am I the only one that 'loses' special things on a regular basis?)

This one was made from a quarter, and had a pin attached to use as a brooch.

Some tokens feature unusual motifs
(Update - this token is sold)

 Take a closer look at the whimsical rabbits!

I've yet to find one with my initials, but am still searching.
A few tokens will be available in my etsy shop;
while some will be added to my collection. 


  1. I've never seen or heard of these before! They sure are beautiful, and I love the history behind them. And yes, I'm constantly losing things that I was so sure I would remember where I put them!

  2. Wow, these are so neat. I've never seen these before. How cool! Thanks for sharing, Andrea

  3. love these, How about getting one engraved at a jewelry shop.

  4. These are truly special...I loved seeing them!

  5. Wow, they are spectacular, never seem them before either. The rabbit one would have to be my favourite. Tam

  6. Oh, what are your initials so I can keep my eye for you too :)

  7. I'm looking for a J G or J L G; I know
    I could have one made but I love the romance of the authentic old ones...

  8. This is romantic! What wonderful treasures from the past. {Yes, I lose things all of the time, especially after reorganizing and then I don't know where I decided to move it to make me more organized lol}
    Have a great weekend!
    ~ Julie

  9. I have never seen these before. They are amazing! Thanks for sharing your fantastic I have a feeling I will be on the lookout for them at flea markets!


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