100912 | SPAIN. Love to Pop silver Love Token.
100912 | SPAIN. Love to Pop silver Love Token. A modern manufacture engraved on an 1883 (83) 5 Pesetas of Alfonso XII (37mm, 21.19 g, 12h).
Radiant Latin cross potent; A.D. – M.D. / J.D. – D.D. in two lines across field; LOVE TO POP below / ALFONSO XII POR LA G DE DIOS, bare head of Alfonso left. Edge: Lis.
Cf. KM 688 (for host coin). Engraving: Choice Extremely Fine; Host Coin: Near Very Fine.
Though not as commonly encountered today, the practice of engraving upon coins still exists, and this example serves as a reminder of that—a modern engraving on a seldom seen host, indicating a religious piece likely presented from a family to a father or grandfather.
Being borrowed from the early 18th century practice in Great Britain, and being related to even earlier forms of engraving on European coinage, "love tokens" were an extremely popular form of sentimental art that saw their high point in the United States in the mid-to-late-19th century, whereby coinage was smoothed down on one or both sides, and some form of initials, a message, and/or imagery was engraved so that it may be presented to a loved one. The most commonly encountered 'canvas' in the United States was the dime, and usually one from the Seated Liberty series. At their height, the U.S. Mint blamed an alleged shortage of dimes—a staple of most late-19th century transactions—on this craze. Rising again in the early-mid 20th century during the depths of despair that were the world wars, this form of coin art, usually referred to in this context as "trench art," would see another revival, offering soldiers a brief chance at escapism through sentimental creativity.