She was only 3 days old.

Bigcypresshunter

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I posted this here last year, but have yet to positively ID. We have some new members and I could get some new thoughts. It is silver and very THIN like a tag and the size of a quarter. Its hand engraved on the front in Old English copperplate script:

Jo-Ann L. Hall
12-30-43--1-2-44


There are some official looking numbers on the back: G-1506.

The back is also hand engraved. The numbers may coincide with a US military grave plot but what cemetery?... :dontknow: What century? :dontknow:

Plot G- Row 15- Grave 06? :dontknow:
 

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Bigcypresshunter

Bigcypresshunter

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Klaatu said:
It may be a variation of a Love Token made from a quarter instead of a dime.

It could also be a name tag of sorts to nail to a coffin for identification.

These are just guesses.

Very interesting find.
These are good ideas that didn't come up before. It is the exact size of a quarter, but half the thickness. It seems too thin for a medallion. But if I can test the silver and it is the same composition, you would be right. And the G could stand for grave. I found it on Vero beach. Few people lived there in '44, and those beaches were used for military training. A creamationist told me it is not a creamation tag.
Are these Love Tokens you are talking about thinner than a quarter? Do they shave them down?
 
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Bigcypresshunter

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I have thought it to be an 18th or 19th century coffin tag until I googled "love token." It said that "ordinary coins were taken out of circulation, engraved and used to record personal events such as birth, marriage, or enforced separation. Many are momentos of affection which predate the Valentine card of the last 100 years. In historical context this habit peaked in the 18th century when the old habit of exchanging a bent or broken coin as a token of affection gave way to a new trend for giving away reworked and engraved pieces. Despite the illegality, what had been coins were indiscriminately employed for the purpose of personalized embellishment. Once worked in this way, there would be no intention of returning them to circulation. After all they had now become personal treasures".
I know there is an old Spanish silver coin with the exact dimensions of a modern quarter because I spent one in a payphone years ago. :'(
If I can find a relative, I would like to return this to them or their decendants.
 
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Bigcypresshunter

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Yes, but I cannot find out what century it is. I cannot find birth or death records in 1944 Florida records that match.
 
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I do believe now that is what it is--a Love Token. It is exactly the size of a quarter but 1/2 thickness. What US coin was a quarter size in 1844?
 
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Bigcypresshunter

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OK. Is the metal/silver percent composition the same in the Seated Liberty as compared to a 1944 George Washington?
 
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Klaatu

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bigcypresshunter said:
I do believe now that is what it is--a Love Token. It is exactly the size of a quarter but 1/2 thickness. What US coin was a quarter size in 1844?

The quarter was a quarter in 1844. The quarter was slightly larger in diameter before 1831 (27 mm vs 24.3 mm). Other than a couple of minor weight changes due to the fluctuating value of silver it remained the same size and silver content through 1964. Yes, the Seated Liberty quarter of the 1840s was a 90% silver coin just like the Washington quarter although slightly heavier.

My first instinct was the piece is a love token from the 1840s, not 1940s. As others have stated, love tokens had their heyday in the 19th century.
 
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Bigcypresshunter

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Klaatu, Thanks for the Love Token theory. I have been trying to positively ID the century of this find for a very long time. I was able to find this on Treasure Beach only after Hurricane Jeanne along with a 1715 artifact. It was coral incrusted and I thought it was trash. The metal is very strong, like 90% silver. I thought I might finally ID the date by metal composition percentage.
You think 1844? This is where it gets interesting. There was an attempted settlement in Indian River but failed because of Indian hostilities and by 1850 was abandoned. Here is the whole story from last August if anyone is interested or missed it. http://forum.treasurenet.com/index.php/topic,19394.0.html
 
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tokenhead

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i agree with klaatu...a VARIATION of a love token.love tokens were at there hieght during the civil war up to the victorian days,although i have hade variations of love tokens from W.W.1,past that it was not practiced that much,some prison art&folk art(hobo nickles,etc)continued to do this.TO ME it looks to be made by a mourning parent,probably the father for the mother to wear.also TO ME im sure it's not a coffin tag,not ornate enough.the #'s on the back could be a grave marker #,but why?would you forget where your baby was buried?maybe it was there phone# if lost,they do corrospond with phone#'s of the 40's.anyway those are my 2 cents worth!
 
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Phone number. Thats a theory nobody thought of. Someone here found a tag with a 3 digit phone number. So I guess it is possible. I remember as a kid our phone number started with 2 letters. I could check to see if the letter G was used in the area in the forties. Thanks.
 
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TheCannonballGuy

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Bigcypresshunter, I might have an answer for one of your questions. We are all presuming the item was made from a silver coin - and I think that is correct. Then you wondered about the unusual size-to-thickness ratio.

The two points I'd like to mention to you are:
When I was really young my parents took me to the State Fair. A booth there would take an ordinary US copper penny (this was prior to the copper-plated zinc ones) and feed into a small HAND-CRANKED "machine" that compressed the penny under great pressure between two metal wheels. The penny came out oval-shaped and thin - with the Lord's Prayer impressed into it.

I'd guess that a similar mechanism was used to create the "love tokens" of past eras. Except, of course, most of them don't have impressed lettering on them, but were instead engraved.

Now, regarding the size-to-weight-&-thickness issue. You assumed your love-token was made from a US coin. But if the date on it means 1843 instead of 1943, there's a high possibility the silver token was not made from US coin.

We civil-war relic hunters find a LOT of foreign coins in mid-1800s (and earlier) sites. This is because the US mints produced "comparatively" quite small amounts of coinage prior to about 1845. (Frankly, the US Treasury was still too "poor" to afford enough gold & silver bullion to make large quantities of coinage.) Therefore, people would use - and gladly accept - whatever countries' coins were available. These facts are mentioned in most US coin-collecting guidebooks.

In particular, there were still a lot of Spanish silver coins in circulation in the US in the first half of the 19th century. (Notice how many of them turn up in the "Finds" section of this forum.) And a lot of them had been worn down quite thin by many decades of circulation by the time they were lost.

Therefore, it's quite probable that your love-token was made from an old Spanish silver coin back in 1843, not a US coin.

Regards,
TheCannonballGuy
 
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CannonballGuy, Thanks for the input. The tag/token might even be from the 1700's. I wish I knew. There was a Spanish Reale the exact size of a modern quarter. I know this because I used one in a payphone one time when I was desperate. :(

The interesting thing about this is where I found it on Florida's famous Treasure Coast after the hurricanes. Nobody lived there in 1844, except one small failed colony, driven away by Indian hostilities. Is this from that failed original settlement? Nobody swam there in 1944, unless you were a Navy Seal. There are however many shipwrecks on this coast, and two unidentified wrecks directly off shore from my find. There were many Hall families in the British colonies of Barbados, Jamaica, and the Bahamas; even in the 1600's.
If I could find a descendant I would like to return it and ask how did it get to where I found it? If you have time, you can read the whole story in "What is it" back in August. That is when I learned enough computer skills to post! LOL Thanks again.
 
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Klaatu

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Cannonball,

I agree with you about the possibility of the coin being a Spanish coin. But I have to disagree with your theory of the coin going through a "coin smasher"; this would have created an elongated coin and this one is still round. (Just like with a balloon, if you squeeze a coin to make it thinner it will spread out.)

This coin is thinner than a quarter (or similar Spanish coin) but the same diameter as a quarter (or similar Spanish coin). That points to the coin being filed down, which was the first step of making a love token (to make a smooth surface on which to engrave).
 
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TheCannonballGuy

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It is round? Ahhhhh! Okay. Thanks for that info, Klaatu. As photographed, the item looks oval-shaped ...and my "wheel-pressed" theory was based on that. I also remember putting pennies on a railroad-track, and after being run over, they'd be oval-shaped ...and thinner. ;-)

Regards,
TheCannonballGuy
 
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Klaatu

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Cannonball,

I looked at the pic again and I see what you mean - it does look oval at first glance. I can't recall if the finder said if it was still round or not. He said in the original post that it is "the size of a quarter". Maybe I assumed that meant it was also the shape of a quarter - round. Maybe bigcypress can clear this up for us.
 
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