The Romance of coins

Categories: Collect

Coins have been used as tokens of love and affection for thousands of years.

The earliest Wedding Vows even included reference to gifts of gold and silver. The coin you hold today may have already passed through the hands of your partner long before you met and equally your future husband or wife may be in possession of a coin that you will soon come to hold. Coins tell stories, and they are a part of our everyday lives like no other object. This gives them great significance, and gives them an inherent romantic quality.

This human connection to coins, somewhat maligned in the modern world, had great relevance to earlier generations for whom coins held even greater value. Coins with intrinsic metal value, particularly silver coins, became associated with the romantic tradition because giving them away represented an act of real sacrifice for the one you love.

In England, love tokens were commonly formed from silver coins that were bent with the hands. These are known to the collecting world as ‘benders’ and are often found by metal detecting enthusiasts. Whether this indicates a lot of failed romantic gestures is difficult to say, but certainly these tokens were part of a commonly practised tradition. Naturally, it was the sixpence that took the starring role in this feat of strength…it’s the coin that is forever entwined with romance in England.

A wonderful song from the 1800s is reproduced below. Perhaps you will be able to find a tune to sing it to. It captures the typical light-heartedness with which coins and romantic notions can be found to co-exist.

I love sixpence, pretty little sixpence
I love sixpence, better than my life
I spent a penny of it, I lost a penny of it
And I took fourpence home to my wife

I love fourpence, pretty little fourpence
I love fourpence, better than my life
I spent a penny of it, I lent a penny of it
And I took twopence home to my wife

I love twopence, pretty little twopence
I love twopence, better than my life
I spent a penny of it, I lent a penny of it
And I took nothing home to my wife

Oh my nothing, pretty little nothing.
What will nothing buy me for my wife?
I have nothing, spend nothing
I love nothing better than my wife.


A worldwide tradition

Romantic traditions connected with coins are practised in countries all around the world.

Today Mints in all nations continue to produce coins specifically to mark romantic occasions. Coins from Russia, Canada, Australia, the United States and many more besides can be bought year-round.

At The Royal Mint, our customers demand that we provide them with more traditional gifts. The Royal Mint silver sixpence is the classic coin of romantic English gift-giving and it is available today in a jewellery case to spoil and surprise your loved one. Alternatively, The Royal Mint Sovereign is one of those rare coins that generates an emotional attachment, a coin with deep royal associations and a magic that has endured throughout centuries. It also makes an exceptional gift for a special occasion.

Charm someone you love with this romantic offering this Valentine’s Day.

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