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Metal Detector Blog

August 18, 2017
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There Was A Crooked Man: Love Token Coin

Categories: Finds

My pal King George of NE came by the shop with one of his coins, which has an intriguing story behind it. The coin is a 1708 Queen Ann Silver six pence. It was found in Eastern Massachusetts, which is rare. It is a common find in England. George believes it is a crooked man’s love token.

The crooked man’s poem goes something like this:

“There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile. He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile. He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse, and they all lived together in a little crooked house.” In England, it was a common custom for the man to bend the coin as a token of love in front of his lady to show his affection.If she was interested, she would keep the coin.If she was not interested, she would throw the coin away.

Love token coins have been smoothed flat on one side or both sides and then engraved by hand. The giver’s initials were the most common engraving. The reason for these coins being made was that they were seen as keepsakes or mementos from the giver to the other person. They were something extra special that the recipient can keep as a reminder of affection. There were many denominations of the coins that were produced to be love tokens, but the most popular was the liberty seated dime. One of the reasons was because the silver coins were more soft and easier to engrave.

These coins even became objects of art, lucky charms and jewelry pieces! In addition to being given by a love interest, they were given by family members and used as spiritual reminders. They told stories and were limitless with the imagination. They originated in England as early as the 13 th century.

Also, there is another theory that the coins were bent to see if they were counterfeit.The counterfeit version were made of copper and dipped in silver. When you look at the picture of the coin, you can see where it was bent with no sign of copper. Being the romantic guy he is, George believes it is the love token.It just goes to show you, metal detecting finds may have a story behind them!

Happy Treasure Hunting


Source 1: http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2014/02/love-tokens-where-cold-hard-cash-and-romance-meet.html

Source 2: http://lovetokensociety.com/history/love-tokens/

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