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 undertaken that was aimed at restoring faith in the fineness of the coins.
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.
At the centre of this oval-shaped medal or plaque, from the Paris Mint, is the commanding presence of a screw press.
The unusual uniface piece illustrated here is a trial design by Humphrey Paget for the Second World War Defence Medal.
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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, when the Mint was still located at Tower Hill in London.