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Six coins and medals telling tales of love

Reading time: 2'2"

As only befitting for Valentine’s Day, let’s talk a bit about love...and coins.

Even if the two sometimes don’t make the perfect couple (do you?), here are six elegant coins and medals evoking this eternal emotion.


1 – Love

Malta 2 Euro

L'amour, 2016, Paris, MS(63), Bi-Metallic, KM:New

Rather than staying subtle, Malta took the slightly mushier approach with this €2 coin issued in 2016 and “simply” named “L’amour”. 

The obverse features two hands forming a heart...what else?

Well, actually, there is a little more to it, as it is a commemorative coin honoring the Malta Community Chest Fund with the Maltese flag in the center. The design was the creation of a Maltese high school student.


2 – Côte d’Amour

France Medal

Bretagne, Côte d'Amour, Monier, MS(63), Bronze

Who could resist falling in love with this stunning medal? 

The divine inspiration for its obverse was Botticelli’s famous painting “The Birth of Venus”. 

So, was Monnier, the engraver of the aforementioned medal, implying that Venus was born off the Breton coast? For that is the theme of this medal: the Côte d’Amour in Brittany.


3 – Courtly love

France Medal

The Fifth Republic, Arts & Culture, Crouzat, MS(65-70), Gilt

Despite what its name might suggest, this modern medal is not polished but enameled. 

The theme of its obverse is courtly love with the reproduction of a 14th century engraving showing a couple in love.


4 – Toujours plus haut

France Medal

The Fifth Republic, Arts & Culture, MS(65-70), Bronze

This contemporary bronze medal is delightfully called “Toujours plus haut” (Higher and higher). Its sleek design by Etienne Hajdu represents a flock of migratory birds: a symbol of luck and love.


5 – The Love Letter

France Medal

La Lettre d'Amour, Jan Vermeer, Arts & Culture, AU(55-58), Silver

Six coins and medals telling tales of love

It is obviously only a small step from birds to carrier pigeons, and one we take cheerfully with this medal depicting the masterpiece “The Love Letter” (Original Dutch title: De liefdesbrief) by Vermeer painted around 1670.

On it, we see a servant delivering her mistress a love letter that might not be out of place on the Map of Tendre (different country, same period).


6 – The Garden of Love

The garden of love  Rubens

France Medal

Peinture, Rubens, Le Jardin d'Amour, 1980, Proof, MS(65-70)

And to conclude this loving inventory of numismatics – another reproduction. A reproduction of a painting by the great talent Rubens, this time called “The Garden of Love”. The painting was in the Baroque style and produced around 1633. It depicts a court scene dedicated to love and gallantry with many mythological references slipped into this fantastic(al) masterpiece.

Picture: "The garden of love" by Peter Paul Rubens (circa 1633) (Public Domain)

Selection published on 13/02/2023