Love tokens were used as a way of commemorating a loved one and for those of limited means were a way of doing so at a much smaller cost than creating a bespoke piece since there were coins in circulation to suit every budget. Some were engraved by the giver themselves and others by a jeweller, some were simple and some very ornate or set with a gemstone.
Earlier pieces are engraved across existing detail on the coin but later tokens like this one on a Victorian coin had one faced erased entirely in order for the personal message to replace it. Engraved tokens were commonly given as gifts between sweethearts, family members or close friends from the 17th century until they began to fall out of fashion in the 1920s, there were many made by soldiers in the trenches during World War One for someone special back home. It would not be unusual for entire bracelets to be worn containing tokens for every family member and loved one.
The initials on this token, J E M, spell out my name and it was given as a gift by a close friend, it is lovely to think by wearing it I am carrying a little piece of tradition with me.