Love Token

dogwoodI spotted his bright blue truck parked in the shade

He was here. Waiting for me.

It was my birthday and I was having lunch with my Deddy.

We both had been preoccupied for over a week now with mom’s knee replacement, taking shifts in the hospital and now visiting her regularly at the rehab facility. So it was especially nice to enjoy a quite meal together. (after visiting mom of course)

Deddy had been telling me for several weeks now or maybe it’s been months that he had a special birthday present for me tucked away in his treasure box. (An old oak cover for a sewing machine which he converted into a lovely container centered on the table in his room)  It holds a trove of carefully sought out gifts to be given at just the right opportunity, to just the right person. Some gifts I hear have been in there for two years…. waiting.

Delighted to be the recipient today!

Within a turned wooden box I found a necklace with a love token pendent inscribed “Katey”.katey

The coin dated 1916.date

Deddy introduced me to love tokens some years ago. Tokens given to a love or a friend made from coins. One side of the coin smoothed over and then engraved with initials or names or a symbolic picture and given on special occasions. Two initials intertwined would be marriage or engagement; flowers engraved would symbolize friendship or landscapes remembrances from a trip, or the name of a new baby. True Love tokens are legitimate coin and engraved by hand. Seated liberty dimes were by far the most common coin used, although all coins are represented. Many love tokens would be made into jewelry. The girls would exchange and attach them to a bracelet. They would also make them into pins and necklaces, or be carried in a pocket for luck.

katepinbraceletLove tokens go way back. Much further than what I thought was perhaps the Victorian period, but no much further and originated in Austria and Germany during the 16th century. But my love tokens pictured here are from the Victorian era 1837–1901 was a time they saw a resurgence in England and the US.

Reading the history of love tokens,  I came across this video taken at a coin show of a collector sharing his favorite and most unusual tokens. Watching this I realized just how vast and intricate this world of “love tokens” can be. If you’d like to learn more or see this amazing collection click here. A bit dry to start but really some remarkable coins.  Love Token Society 

Since learning about them I occasionally look for them on eBay or etsy. Just a few months ago I was outbid on a “kate” with 2 seconds left. Another sore loss was a picture of two owls and one holding an umbrella. It went for way more than I wanted to spend. I have picked up a few for good prices with special initials or names and came across a charm bracelet for a steal. I’ve since found a kate and paid less so an added blessing to be patient. .

kate

Dad too has been looking. He found one with his initial MO and another one with DO for my mom. I made them into a necklace for mom to wear.necklace

dotoken motoken

I put DO upside down and had to redo it. So very me!

Back to the lovely gift of my Katey love token. I knew  “Katey” would be impossible to find, I asked Dad where he got it. He found someone to engrave it for me. It’s good to know people still make them. I think it’s an art that should never go out of style.

Thank you for reading.

Katey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Love Token

  1. Enjoyed reading the post, Katey. That necklace you made for your mom is beautiful . I love the tiny soldering you did on the coins. I think you must be very talented to make a such a beautiful piece of jewelry.

  2. I finally deleted my old AOL account, and didn’t realize that my subscription to your blog was through that email address. need to fix that!!!
    I laughed out loud about the upside down letters. so very ME, as well. remember the word “deep” that was upside down? that’s only one that I quickly recall, but there are others….
    the love tokens are beautiful!!!!! and I love you… xoxox

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