A common find of metal detectorists across Britain is the silver “love token”, from around 1700. Do any contemporary sources describe the custom?

A common find of metal detectorists across Britain is the silver “love token”, from around 1700. Do any contemporary sources describe the custom?


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A typical example. Anecdotally, a young man would give a love token to his intended who would continue to carry it around, or throw it away if she failed to return his affections.

The majority are clearly made from William III sixpences. I've seen a few examples that are later, and a few made from lower value coins. The coins usually appear to have been rubbed flat before being bent twice into a very distinctive S-shape. These are found in greater numbers than the unmutilated coins, supporting the idea that they were deliberately disposed of.


The tradition is both older and newer than this. As an example, in 1602 Samuel Rowlands produced a pamphlet poem Tis Merrie when Gossips meete, which included the verse

Well wot you Besse, to whom Ile drinke too now,

Sure as I liue, vnto your sister Sisse,

And to the Youth that did the Angell bow.

And sent it for a token : trueth halfe this :

He loues you both, vpon my word he doth,

Resolue it, or you wrong him Besse, in soth.

Here the Angel was a gold coin, twenty times more valuable than a silver sixpence but later the tradition was followed by poorer individuals, and bow involved putting a bend in the coin to discourage it from being spent. The later lines stated this was a love token.


Watch the video: Gold und Silberfunde beim sondeln. Abzeichen und Koppelschloss, alles dabei


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