Sewing Machine Love Token
Here we have a beautiful love token engraved with a sewing machine - which was largely borne of the Victorian Era. While sewing had been done out of necessity for many years, it wasn't until 1790 when Englishman Thomas Saint was granted a patent which described a hand crank powered machine used for stitching leather and canvas. In the ensuing years, attempts to build such a machine resulted in the creation of the chain stitch (1830), French tailors lighting a sewing machine factory on fire to protect their work (1830), government bureacracy in the form of botched patent applications (1840) and finally the birth of the the sewing machine as we all know it today - the introduction of the Singer machine in 1851.
This coin is approximately 17mm in diameter, and in the bezel it is 22.34mm wide and 39.09mm long including the openable bale. It is available in a gold or silver and can be ordered with pave diamonds, emeralds, rubies or sapphires (49 1mm stones). Total carat weight varies by stone, approximate weight as follows:
- Diamonds - 0.25 ct
Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery - each bezel is custom made per coin
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.