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My peculiar hobby.

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Comment by AnnelidaFilms on October 29, 2012 at 3:46pm

Great hobby!  I collect coins - well, I collect everything.  "Hoarding", I think they call it.  Anyway, relatively new to Canada, I've put aside my US collection and started collecting Canadian and British Empire coins.  The coolest thing about it is taking them to my well-traveled father-in-law - now 96 - and having him tell me the story of each coin based on the mint date and location, since he more often than not has been in the respective country - sometimes in or near the mint date.  What a history lesson!

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 29, 2012 at 8:35pm

Hi Jim! The next time you're talking to your father-in-law, could you ask him what he knows about the practice of turning coins into souvenir I.D. tags? If coin collecting is his hobby, he might know something about practices like this one that either devalue a coin---or enhance its collectibility. You are right, coin history is pretty cool. I love holding especially old coins and thinking about the thousands of other people who held it before I did. (And then I wash my hands.)

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 29, 2012 at 8:42pm

@ Steve: If I come up against a complete dead end, I could make a YouTube video and post it under the title of Harold's name. Then if any of his relatives happen to do searches of his name, they would find it. Ultimately I would love to deliver this item either to Harold or to his family. But first I have to do it my way, because you see, I'm a snoop. Snoops don't wait for information to land in their laps. They go snooping for it.

You were in the Navy too, right? So I have a question for you. Would it ever have been okay to substitute your government issue dog tags for customized ones you'd made (or had made for you)? I'm guessing no. It doesn't seem like something the Navy or any other military branch would allow.

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 29, 2012 at 8:46pm

P.S. I would LOVE to hear your dad's story about the distant ancestor!

Comment by flophousepoodle on October 29, 2012 at 10:16pm

A new adventure!

Comment by Marie on October 30, 2012 at 6:59am

*happy dance* You're a snoop! So so cool!

Engraving used to be common practice - available everywhere, even in the smallest town. Your piece looks like a combination of stamp and hand engraving and was probably made as a novelty item. I remember having one made at a town fair when I was young (stamped name, engraved date) using a commemorative coin.

Mr. Norfolk may have wanted it to remember a special date: engagement, enlistment, drunken night out with the boys to celebrate just being alive. The coin itself, just something he swapped with a mate he met. Not US tender so guilt having it defaced... ;-) Maybe a gift he sent home to a loved one, or had made before he shipped out.

You're an interestingly curious woman NatureJunkie!!!

Someday you should make a video just about your Grandmother. Is the picture you posted of her the same grandmother as your walking in her shoes?

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 30, 2012 at 2:11pm

@ Marie: THANK YOU! You have just given me an important clue (about engraving) and it has produced some information for me already. I'll share more later.

And yes, my swimming grandmother in the photo is the same one whose footsteps I trace everyday on the campus where I work.

Comment by Marie on October 30, 2012 at 2:51pm

http://lovetokensociety.com/history/ww-ii-love-tokens/

Seems that Australian money was a favorite.

Glad I could help.

Comment by Marie on October 30, 2012 at 2:58pm

LOL and you have a seriously cool Grandmother!

Comment by NatureJunkie on October 30, 2012 at 7:13pm

@ Flop: "Adventure." Is that a euphemism for "distraction?"

; )

@ Marie: I think you have solved the puzzle of what this item is. Not a dog tag, a love token. It makes perfect sense after reading the definition of love token and the history of them. You are brilliant! I'm sure I would have wasted many hours on the red herring of "military dog tag" if you hadn't found this site for me.

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