Coins, silver and spoons have a long intertwined history. For several hundred years silver objects were simply another form of wealth. A person who had amassed more silver coins than they needed, took the coins to a silversmith who melted them down and made a usable object out of them. If economic hardship ensued, the reverse procedure was used and the silver objects were returned to coinage form.
It was felt that a silver object offered more protection against theft since it was more easily recognizable than a coin. Also it served a useful purpose whereas a coin could only be hidden until it was needed. Furthermore, it was possible to display ones "wealth" without simply putting a pile of coins in the cupboard. The value of the workmanship was considered secondary to the value of the metal. (Times have changed considerably and the value of labor is now much higher than the value of the silver metal).
The word "sterling" is believed to come from the German word "esterling" which was used to denote a level of purity of silver coins used by the Austrian Hapsburg kings (and you thought it came from England).
In the late 1790's a trend was started in England to embed a silver coin into a silver object so that one would know the purity of the metal. A hundred years later a massive souvenir spoon frenzy swept around the world. During this time period, a number of spoons were created with old (or modern) coins .
In the numismatic world, condition of a coin is very critical to its value. Once a coin has been bent or soldered to make a spoon it loses ALL of its numismatic value. The numismatic value of a coin cannot be compared to a spoon bearing a coin and spoons will sell for considerably less than a nice equivalent coin. Many of the coins pictured are dated and some may be hundreds of years old. The spoons were often made during the 1890 -1920 time period. At that time there was not a very active collector market for these old coins and the spoon makers turned them into a commercial product rather than melting them. The age of the coin is NOT a good guide to its value.This display is NOT exhaustive. There are many variations of souvenir coin spoons which I have not researched nor reproduced.
Visit the ancient Greek and Roman spoon exhibit
Visit the embedded coin exhibit (showing English, Brazilian, Danish spoons)
Visit the USA coin exhibit
Visit the world coin exhibit (Venitian ducats and Theresa thaler)
Visit the unusual Tiffany made Japanese coin spoon
Visit the Australian coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Netherlands coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Canada love token coin spoon exhibit
Visit the British coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Italian coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Austria and Tyrolean Rebellion exhibit
Visit the modern Greek coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Latvian coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Russian coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Holy Roman Empire coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Vatican spoon exhibit
Visit the Peru coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Ecuador coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Spain coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Spanish Trade Dollar exhibit
Visit the German coin spoon exhibit
Visit the German East African coin exhibit
Visit the Haiti coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Colombia coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Venezuelan coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Swiss coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Mexico coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Cuba coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Guatemala coin spoon exhibit
Visit the South American coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Brazil coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Costa Rica coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Iran Coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Turkey Coin spoon exhibit
Visit the Islamic coin spoon exhibit
Visit the India coin spoon exhibit
Visit the France coin spoon exhibit
Return to spoon exhibits index
This very interesting spoon is marked as being "handsmede" by G.G.L. It is obviously in the "arts and crafts" style and is quite a nice piece
The top spoon is a filigree with a silver coin bowl from Yemen
The bottom piece is a filigree tong with coin bowls from Yemen
I suspect that this coin bowl spoon is from Saudi Arabia, but all the markings are Arabic and I can't read that language. I thought the knife /sword was cute, however.
An interesting little spoon with a veiled Arabic woman and a coin bowl