Ken Barr
May 19, 2003

My Favorite Love Tokens

Love tokens are generally defined as coins on which one side (or sometimes both sides) has been smoothed down and engraved with initials, names, phrases and/or scenes.  These were often given to young ladies as "tokens of love" by suitors, seems to have originated as a practice in Great Britain in the early 1800's, and migrated to the United States in the mid- to late-1800's.  The Seated Liberty dime of the 1850's - 1880's is by far the most popular "host coin", but tokens are known on all denominations of U. S. coins from half cents through twenty-dollar gold pieces as well as numerous world coin denominations.

The Love Token Society is an international organization of love token enthusiasts.  More information on the society can be found on their website at

The standard reference work on love tokens is
"Love Tokens as Engraved Coins" by Lloyd L. Entenmann, privately published, 1991.

The following are some of my favorite tokens in my love token collection ...

R. A. Chapter
(Masonic keystone in center)
Sept. 10, 1875
on 1849 large cent

H. F. Andrews
on ribbon across maple leaf
on 1872 Indian Cent

[the first love token I
ever bought, and still
one of my favorites]

John McGinnis
from a friend
on 1833 Bust half dime
K J B 
on "WITH CENTS" Liberty nickel
(gold plated, could have been intended for use as a "Racketeer" nickel, except
for the fact that it is on a WITH CENTS nickel ... hmmm)

[my initials --- always looking for additional KB or KJB love tokens ...]

W. M. P. 
tennis rackets and net
on 1887 Seated Liberty dime
butterfly / N M P
on 1891 Seated Liberty dime
A. P. H. / owl / moon
on 1875 Seated Liberty dime
W. L. Robertson / flower
on 1890 Seated Liberty dime
E W 
on 1875
twenty cent piece
Daisy Gray
on 1877 Seated Liberty quarter
Mary C. Rainey
Nov. 12, 1868
on 1854 With Arrows
Seated Liberty half dollar
Egypt 1944
on Walking Liberty half dollar

[possibly engraved by a bored World War II soldier while stationed in Egypt]

on 1877 Trade dollar

(working pin)

on 1878 Morgan dollar

[my mother's initials ---
still looking for an RCB
for my father ...
if you have one for sale,
PLEASE let me know!]

E J H / flower
on 1879 Morgan dollar

(working pin)

on 1884 Morgan dollar

(deeply engraved/detailed borders)

Amor de mi vida
("Love of my life")
on Eisenhower dollar

[purchased for 50¢ by a friend 
of mine at a local flea market,
then resold to me for $5.00 ----
the love apparently 
did not last very long...]

on 1861 Clark Gruber
$2.50 gold piece
Clara to John
Dec 25 '94
on 1868 $3 gold piece
City Championship
P. E. Powell
1909 - 10
on 1895 $10 Liberty gold
with BPOE - Canada emblem
on 1914 $10 Indian gold
on Newfoundland
Victoria dime
A. Childs, June 11, 1832 /
Her Sister, by Caroline
on 1797 Great Britain 
two pence

(engraved in field)

[CLICK HERE to view some additional love tokens]

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