The Royal Mint Museum contains some 12,000 medals, dating mainly from the beginning of the 19th century. Particularly impressive is the series of campaign and service medals produced since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, but commemorative and prize medals are also well represented and there is a good collection of official medals for Coronations and Royal Jubilees. In addition, medals relating to Royal Mint personnel and more generally to the history of the Royal Mint form a strong and important aspect of the collection.
Though British medals predominate, overseas medals are also present and there is a nice group of European art medals of the early 20th century.
Browse highlights of the medal collection below. (Please be aware that the medals on this page are not shown at actual size or in correct proportion to one another).
Early in the reign of Elizabeth I a recoinage was aimed at restoring faith in the fineness of the coins.
This medal was produced to commemorate the regency of the future George IV.
To celebrate victory at the Battle of Waterloo, all troops would be awarded with a campaign medal.
Queen Charlotte featured on several medals and tokens, portrayed alone and alongside her husband.
To mark the coronation of George IV, the Royal Mint produced medals.
The fine portrait medal illustrated here by William Wyon is of Sir Joseph Banks, the famous naturalist and President of the Royal Society.
The original design for the China Medal of the early 1840s, by William Wyon, depicted a crowned British Lion standing over a defeated Chinese Dragon.
The Royal Mint Museum has an Abyssinia Medal of 1867-68 named on the reverse to R A Hill, Chief Coiner.
The Royal Mint Museum contains a charming group of medallic portraits of seven of the children of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the Royal Mint made available for sale to the public a coin-size version of the official commemorative medal.
This silver medal was awarded to members of the Mint Swimming Club, which had its first committee meeting on 4 August 1897
At the centre of this oval-shaped medal or plaque, from the Paris Mint, is the commanding presence of a screw press.
The Silver Jubilee of King George V, in 1935, was marked by the Royal Mint through the production of both a crown piece and a jubilee medal
The unusual uniface piece illustrated here is a trial design by Humphrey Paget for the Second World War Defence Medal.
This medal features a portrait of the Royal Mint Deputy Master Jack James who had the challenging task of overseeing the production of decimal currency.
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In 1978 a previously unnoticed draft Grant of Arms to the Royal Mint was discovered.
Percy Metcalfe’s distinctive art deco style seems strikingly modern in the context of other artists working for the Royal Mint at the same time.
The Royal Mint Swimming Club, had its first committee meeting 120 years ago on 4 August 1897.