Circular love token inscribed and dated 24 February, 1779.
Love tokens were often commissioned by convicts before they were transported to Australia, as a memento for their loved ones. Itinerant engravers visited the prisons and hulks, finding a ready market for these tokens, which were made to order from smoothed-down coins.
Love tokens are evidence of the British Government's attitude to law and order and treatment of indentured labourers in a strict Government 'Assignment System' which provided cheap labour for the expanding British empire during the 1700s and 1800s.
About one third of migrants who came to Australia between 1830 and 1850 paid their own way. Convicts and settlers who came to Australia found that in comparison to Europe, conditions were very good and with hard work and determination they could prosper.
At centre ornate GB; around, FebY, 24, 1779
At centre, ED; below, two hearts run through by arrow
Donation from Mr Robert Edwards - Museum of Victoria, 24/5/1984
plain (edge) At centre ornate GB; around, FebY, 24, 1779 (obverse) At centre, ED; below, two hearts run through by arrow (reverse)
Type of item
[Book] Field, M & Millett, T. 1998. Convict Love Tokens.