Edward Y. writes: I have a 1876 dime that had the back ground off and in its place are the letters p.k., the letters are very fancy. The dime has four small holes drill into it as for a necklace? Any idea about the coin or the value? Thank you Ed Y.
You have a “Love Token”. It was the fashion in the period after the Civil War (1861-1865) to take common coins, have a jeweler plane off one side and engrave the name of ones beau in place of the design and give the resulting piece as a gift.
Love tokens typically show elaborate initials, names and landscapes (scarce). The initials could be that of ones sweetheart or a monogram of the couples initials. Sometimes intricate designs were added or geographical scenes engraved. Love tokens have been made on Large Cents (scarce), nickels (scarce), dimes and quarters (common), half-dollars (scarce), dollars (rare) and $1, $2 1/2 and $5 gold coins (scarce to rare). They also appear on other world coins
Collectors look for the skill of the engraver as a barometer of value. The other side of the coin is not considered. Reengraved coins are often holed to accommodate a necklace or chain. In really good work the hole will be considered as part of the design. Bracelets exists with multiple love tokens, mostly using dimes or half-dimes (rare). Other uses included cufflinks, studs, buttons and money clips. Value Range: $5 and up.
If love tokens appeal to you, join The Love Token Society. Dues are $15 per year.