These earrings feature sterling silver chainmaille love knots with antique love tokens, dated 1872 and 1875. The love tokens are engraved on the backs of Liberty seated dimes, which have a 90% silver content.
Details and Materials
Love tokens are coins that have been filed smooth, usually on one-side, and hand-engraved most commonly with initials or, even-rarer, pictures. This tradition was said to have originated in Great Britain and started in the United States during the Civil War (1861-1865), when soldiers would engrave coins either to carry as dog tags or to send as gifts to their sweethearts back home. Liberty seated dimes were the most common choice for these tokens, although other coins were used. Post-war America saw the rise of sentimental jewelry and engraved love tokens became so popular they were said to have created coin shortages By the end of the 19th century these charms had gone out of style, largely propelled by the discovery or large silver mines that drove the value of silver down; while this made it more accessible to the masses, it also reduced it's "trendiness" and gold became the preferred jewelry metal. This, combined with the rising popularity of photography, shifted interest towards gold and gold-filled lockets for the next several decades.