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The Royal Mint produces insignia for the Order of the British Empire as well as gallantry and campaign medals
The Royal Mint produces insignia for the Order of the British Empire as well as gallantry and campaign medals


When the Royal Mint won the Queen’s Award for Industry in 1973, members of the staff received a silver medal bearing the designs by Louis Osman








John Lobban’s delightful medal for an international gathering of Mint Directors, hosted by the Royal Mint in June 1990

Fresh impetus

Johnson died in 1938 and for fresh impetus the medal department had to await the arrival as Deputy Master in 1970 of Harold Glover. By his appointment of Graham Hughes as Art Director he brought the Mint into contact with a wider range of artists, some drawn from the world of goldsmiths and silversmiths and a few of them decidedly adventurous and unconventional in their approach. And, in addition, with the establishment of a cast medal unit he brought to the Mint a type of work of which it had little or no previous practical experience. The spirit of his new regime was brilliantly captured in Louis Osman’s Queen’s Award medal for members of the Mint staff, affectionately designated by some of the less enlightened as ‘the blob’. But the brave choice of design was typical of Glover who, much more than Johnson, appreciated medals in their own right and not merely as a means to an end.

When the Royal Mint won the Queen’s Award for Industry in 1973, members of the staff received a silver medal bearing the designs by Louis Osman

If medal work perhaps fell a little into the doldrums after his sudden departure in 1974 and the loss of Graham Hughes, there need be no doubt that it is now again a valued part of Mint output. There is again great pride in the skills of the medal department, in the ability to undertake the forty-two separate operations which go into making a General Service Medal; private clients are again encouraged, and there is a renewed enthusiasm for the Mint to play its part in the fostering of medallic art.

When the Royal Mint won the Queen’s Award for Industry in 1973, members of the staff received a silver medal bearing the designs by Louis Osman

John Lobban’s delightful medal for an international gathering of Mint Directors, hosted by the Royal Mint in June 1990