Metal Detector Blog

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

There Was A Crooked Man: Love Token Coin

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

Dennis

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/