Alan V. Weinberg submitted the following thoughts on "original" Love Tokens. -EditorI very selectively collect "love tokens". That is, American coins spectacularly and skillfully hand engraved with some unusual detailed scenic (i.e a racing locomotive ) or historical inscription (i.e. this coin survived the San Francisco earthquake). Not actually "love tokens" per se but engraved coins that today are classified as "love tokens".
Over the years, to any engraved coin fancier, it has become obvious that a preponderance of them are missing their reverse soldered-on pins and clasps. How can this be, for the vast majority once had solidly affixed pins and their value would be significantly impaired when the original pin is missing?
Well, I learned from an oldtime numismatist that "back in the days" collectors and dealers used to snap off the pins so that the engraved coins would comfortably fit into coin envelopes or lay flat in the then-shallow trays of coin cabinets. No thought then was given to any possible impairment of appeal or value. Just like waxing and burnishing and whizzing and dipping and cleaning were once widely accepted practices in numismatics. And now "original skin" - the natural "dirty" look - is in with such coins bringing a premium. And so the wheel turns.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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