From the end of the eighteenth century and until the early twentieth century, smoothed coins were used as love tokens, with the initials of the sender engraved or embossed upon the surface. Sometimes these were pierced, which gave recipient the option to wear it around the neck. In Steve’s collection, the tokens range from heavy silver coins with initials professionally engraved to pennies worn smooth through hours of labour and engraved in stilted painstaking letters. In many examples shown here, the amount of effort expended in working these coins, smoothing, engraving or cutting them is truly extraordinary, which speaks of the longing of the makers.Pictured above: "The intials M and W intertwined upon a Georgian silver coin, a pierced coin set with semi-precious stones, and cut coins from the early twentieth century." Another dozen photos at the link.
For other, non-coin-related, retrievals from the mud, see this interesting link.
Via A London Salmagundi.