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ROYAL GOLD PAGE 1 TEMPORARITY UNAVAILABLE. FOR AVAILABLE MEDALS PLEASE GO TO ROYAL GOLD PAGE 2

Historical Gold Medals - Gold Coronation Medals

Coinage through the ages has served the function both of currency (a store and measurement of value) and of medallic proclamation (dissemination of official information).

Is a Ptolemaic octodrachm or a multiple aurei of Constantine a coin or a medallion? The distinction would have been irrelevant to any society for whom money or currency was defined by the weight and purity of precious metal.

However, in our present era of unchecked government issue of paper and electronic money, there is a vast confusion as to the nature of currency. Currency is now a "promise" of value - rather than a store of value. Thus Currency is now a form of debt.

This has led to the confused distinction that modern collectors hold between medallic issues and currency. Until our current era, medals have always been worth exactly their weight in precious metal - just like coins. However, because of their rarity, beauty, and historical importance, medals rather than currency comprised the greater part of most advanced collections.

Royal Proclamation medals were usually crafted by celebrated artists of the era. They were often sculpted in high relief, in tiny mintages, to mark interesting and important historical events. A coin might be considered rare if only a few thousand were minted. A medal is rare if only a few hundred were minted.

In the case of certain large gold presentation medals only a handful were minted for the pleasure of reigning monarchs and their courtiers and ministers, and of those, few remain.

POR (price on request) Some medals listed below are of such rarity in high condition they are virtually irreplacable. this makes it difficult to assign a reasonable monetary value.

.......................ROYAL GOLD PAGE 2

From the time of the Stuart kings through to Victoria, gold coronation medals were presented to the royal family and friends invited to the coronation ceremony. Silver medals were tossed to the members of parliament, judges and other dignitaries who lined the front rows of the coronation procession, as well as being handed out to esteemed servants of the Royal Household. Bronze medals were tossed to the rest of the rabble. Edward VII ended the practice of tossing medals as he thought it undignified to see judges and members of parliament diving on the ground to retrieve the precious metal.

James I struck only a silver coronation medal. Charles I was the first to have a very small number of coronation medals struck in gold. Master engraver Nicolas Briot who was mintmaster at Paris under Louis XIII later fled to England where he introduced the coin press to Charles I. He was appointed mintmaster from 1633-1641.

During the English Civil War (1642-51) both the Parliamentary and Royalist factions commissioned medals to be given in recognition of soldierly valour. The gift of medals, a practice in Britain since the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603), was ritualized. Thomas Rawlins, a pupil of Briot, was appointed Chief Engraver at the Mint by Charles I in 1643 and remained loyal to the king even after he had fled London.

In 1661, Charles II invited John Roettiers and his brother Joseph (and subsequently a third brother Philip) to join the British Royal Mint and by 1662 John Roettiers was one of the mint's chief engravers, taking the place of Thomas Simon, another of Briot's pupils. Simon engraved the Death Medal of Oliver Cromwell as well as the superb Coronation medal of Charles II. Roettiers produced the official coronation medals of James II (1685) and William and Mary (1689). He died in 1703 and was buried in the Tower.

His sons James Roettiers (1663–1698) and Norbert Roettiers (1665–1727) were also famed engravers and medallists both in England and France. They engraved the superb Death Medal of Charles I, which is said to bear the greatest likeness to that Monarch.

 

 

 

for more info, comments, purchase requests contact: Jeff Kahn at Jkahn21@nyc.rr.com
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