Spinner jewelry was popular in the Victorian Era, commonly seen with multiple intaglios on a spinning mechanism or a two sided disk with a message that revealed itself when the disk was spun. We have taken this concept and paired some of our favorite, thematically related love tokens together to form both sides of a spinner. They are beautiful but also therapeutic!
Hebrews 6:19 - We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. The use of anchors to symbolize steadfastness and hope date back as far as the first century AD, during the period of Christian persecution by Romans, when it was used to guide the way to secret meeting places where they could pray and worship in secret. Anchors were very prevalent in Victorian jewelry, either on their own or paired with a heart, with the cross portion of the anchor representing Faith, the whole anchor representing Hope and the heart representing Charity or Love. Religious symbolism aside, the anchor is one of the most coveted symbols in antique jewelry, so when I found these two, I knew they needed to be together forever.
Love tokens are antique coins that were planed down on one or both sides and embellished with names, personal messages, images and bon mots.
The exact origin of this practice is up for debate: some numismatists trace the history back to 13th century England and the practice of bending coins. When asking a favorite saint for a favor, coins were bent and pledges were made as a physical token of the pledge made. The practice of engraving coins took off during the late 1600’s through the 1800’s, when coins were engraved with everything from primitive to highly skilled techniques in equal measure.
Typically, the minted words and images were removed from the obverse side of the coin - the front of the coin, or what we call heads when we flip a coin as they are commonly decorated with the bust of a prominent person. In some cases the reverse of the coin was used as the blank canvas for the embellishment, which is why you may see a love token of the same year with a different backside. While both sides of the coin are interesting, using the reverse side makes it difficult to determine the year in which the coins were minted.
Love tokens were executed on practically all denominations of coins in many countries. According to the US Mint, the love token phenomenon caused a shortage of dimes during the peak of the craze. Dimes were not a huge amount of money to throw away, thus their popularity. When other coins were used, the choice of coin communicated social and economic status: gold coins and larger denominations of silver coins were a sign of the givers’ wealth, whereas nickels and pennies were seldom used as they were considered common due to their composition – nickel and copper versus silver or gold.