CPAT-FE6537: Post Medieval - Coin - Sixpence(x3)Token - Elizabeth I

Rights Holder: Clywd-Powys Archaeological Trust
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Unique ID: CPAT-FE6537

Object type certainty: Probably
Workflow status: Published Find published

This is an unusual, and probable, post medieval love token, a heart formed from three hammered silver Elizabeth I sixpences. The coins are in very poor condition being almost totally rubbed out, however, there is clearly visible, the letters LIZA on the left coin on the facing side.

The denomination is based on the coin size.

The bent coin as a love-token may be derived from the well-recorded practice of bending a coin when making a vow to a saint. The bending a coin when one person made a vow to another was another practice which arose from this. From the traditional wedding rhyme - something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in your shoe - symbolised happiness and spiritual and financial wealth and the coin could have been placed anywhere in the garb of the bride. Such a token, once given, had to be kept about the person at all times.

A silver sixpence has, since its introduction, often been associated with bringing luck in wealth and betrothal.


The group consists of three silver sixpences of Elizabeth I (1558-1603), and will thus have a silver content of the sterling standard, 92.5% fine metal. The three coins have been deliberately folded over one another to create a triangle or, particularly from one side, a heart. They appear to be quite worn and perhaps also clipped, so it is likely that they were in currency into (maybe well into) the 17th century, when they were fitted together in this way.

The combination of their wear and the way they are folded together makes it impossible to date them more precisely, which is otherwise relatively easy for Elizabethan issues. It has been suggested that the coins have been treated in this way to create a love token, which is certainly plausible, though, so far as I am aware, there are no other examples quite like this.

Evidence of reuse: Coins turned into a love token.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by museum after being declared Treasure

Treasure details

Treasure case tracking number: 2008T747


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 20 mm
Width: 25 mm
Weight: 4 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Rod Trevaskus
Identified by: Mr Rod Trevaskus
Secondary identifier: Dr Barrie Cook

Other reference numbers

Treasure case number: 2008T747

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Completeness: Complete

Jetton/ token data

Issuer: Elizabeth I of England
Denomination: Sixpence
Obverse description: Surfaces are too worn for further ID.
Obverse inscription: On one coin the letters - LIZA - are visible.
Reverse description: Surfaces are too worn for further ID.
Reverse inscription: -
Degree of wear: Extremely worn: poor

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Selattyn and Gobowen (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SJ2935
Four figure Latitude: 52.907721
Four figure longitude: -3.05714
1:25K map: SJ2935
1:10K map: SJ23NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Recording Institution: CPAT
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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