AUSTRIA, love token, (late 19th c.)


AUSTRIA, love token, no date (late 19th c.), Obverse: DI engraved on obverse of 10 kreuzer 1872, billon, 17mm, 1.41g, KM2206, mount mark center rev., VF

1 in stock

SKU: 2942760 Categories: ,


Love tokens from places other than the USA and UK were not a popular phenomenon. On the other hand, sailor somes into port, has foreign money in pocket, this one’s the size of a dime, nobody cares, it goes into circulation in the USA. Someone notices: “Hey, this isn’t a dime.” Keeps it. Later on someone carves on it, because its NOT a dime.

Love tokens are pretty much a 19th century phenomenon. Maybe you worked all day and got paid a dime, but that was enough, you could save one. You also have time on your hands after work, because no TV. Maybe you amuse yourself by carving the back of your dime with your pocket knife. Your initials, maybe yours and your girl friend’s, stuck in the boarding house and you can’t see her. Maybe you give it to her, perhaps she’s charmed. It’s worth most of a dime. You could buy a steak dinner and beer at the restaurant in town, if you could get there.

A token is used like a coin but is not a coin. Rather, it stands for a coin without the value of the coin. Maybe its copper, but says its value is the same as a silver coin. Usually tokens were made privately, but sometimes governments got involved.

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins. I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.