Friday, August 5, 2016

8/5/16 Report - Love Tokens. Travel Restrictions. More Small Surf for Treasure Coast.

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

I recently found some interesting articles on the Collectors Weekly web site.  As the name would suggest, they talk about all kinds of collectibles.  One interesting article was on love tokens.

Love tokens are coins that have been altered to deliver a personal message of love. The illustration above shows on example.  I showed another, a day or so ago.

The most desired love tokens are only modified on one side, so the coin is still identifiable, but sometimes both sides are carved or etched.

The Collectors Weekly article says, "In this world before voice mail, text messages, or quick-and-easy photo snapshots, love tokens —common coins engraved with sentimental messages—offered long-distance couples tangible reminders of their bond."

Here is another paragraph from the article on love tokens.  "Of course, the tradition of love tokens had precedence. Starting in the late 16th century, the French would fashion 13 specially carved coins, still considered valid currency, to be given to a young couple at their wedding. These treizains, which evolved into modern-day marriage medals, would be blessed by the priest during the ceremony. Rosin has a few, and clasped hands and an arrow piercing two hearts were common motifs."

You might remember my post on las arras matrimoniales, which in English might be called "wedding tokens" or "unity coins."  In the French language they are called treizains.

Here is that link to that post.

If you find an altered coin, especially one that has been altered on both sides, you might not recognize that it was once a genuine coin.

Love tokens became popular in the United States and Great Britain in the 1800s.

What got me started on this topic is the ring I showed yesterday.  It had a human face carved on the front of a sacred heart.  It seemed to be assumed that it was created that way, but I thought it could have been altered - the face being carved at some later time, maybe by a sailor or passenger.

I've also found coins, on which the design on one side was very clear and the other side invisible or nearly so.  I never before really considered the possibility that the blank side might have been intentionally modified, perhaps to create a love token or something else, or because the altered side might be blank either because it was incomplete, or because the etching was less deep and therefore quick to disappear from corrosion.

Elaborate professional looking examples were made by skilled artisans, and crude examples were created by amateurs.  Below are a couple more examples from the Collectors Weekly article.

Notice the familiar motifs.  We see the flaming hearts of love on both, and the clasped hands of friendship on the one.

Some were decorated with gem stones or enameling.

Here is the link to the collectors weekly article on love tokens.

You might also want to look at the Love Token Society web site.


Maybe you heard about the heavy rain and floods around the country.  One of my favorite land hunting sites up north recently received heavy rains, and I'm eager to get back up there.  The old path and hillsides that I hunt were undoubtedly refreshed.


If you are doing any vacation travel, you should know that failure to declare food products can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties. Some items are not permissible because they can carry pests or disease.

I've had to leave grapeshot and other finds behind when traveling by air.

The spreading Zika virus is one of thing that reminds me of the need and benefit of controlled immigration. 


Tropical storm Earl is still churning down over Mexico.  The surf on the Treasure Coast will remain steady at 1 - 2 feet for several days.

Happy hunting,