Mary engraved on US Type 1 Gold Liberty $2.50 Coin
The name Mary, likely derived from the Egyptian Myr (beloved) or Mr (love), has been an extremely popular name throughout time. In England, babies have been named Marysince the 12th century, becoming the most common feminine names from the 16th century on. In 1880 in the United States, it was given more than twice as often as the next most popular name for girls. It remained in the top rank in America until 1946 when it was bumped to second. This Love Token is engraved Mary on a US $2.50 coin which was minted 1840 to 1907. The $2.50 coin is approximately the same size as a contemporary dime.
This coin can be ordered in any of our popular bezel styles, including the simple pave diamond bezel pictured here with an openable diamond bale. As pictured, the 18mm coin is 20mm wide in the bezel and 42.5 mm long including the openable bale. Chain shown in picture is sold separately.
Please reach out to us to inquire about our other bezel options.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery
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.