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Gold 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 measurement of value and 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.

Many Royal Proclamation medals were crafted by some of the greatest artists of their era. They often are sculpted in high relief, in tiny mintages, to mark interesting and important historical events.

And they currently trade at a tiny fraction of similarly weighted common issue coins.

.............................................................................ROYAL GOLD PAGE 1


After the death of chief engraver Thomas Wyon in 1817, Wellesly Pole offered famed Italian engraver Benedetto Pistrucci the post of Chief-engraver at the Royal Mint. However he never officially occupied the post due to controversy on the grounds of his foreign origin -and on account of his wildly tempermental character. A compromise was eventually agreed, in 1828, whereby William Wyon was made Chief-engraver and Pistrucci, "Chief-medallist." The two engravers competed fiercely for the most presigious medallic assignments. The coronation medals of Geroge IV, William IV and Victoria rank amongst the most exquisite numismatic portraits.

William Wyon was son of Peter Wyon, the chief engraver of seals at the royal mint under George III and brother of Thomas Wyon. William held the post of chief engraver of the royal mint from 1824 until the time of his death in 1851. In 1851, William was succeded by his 24 year old son Leonard Charles Wyon, who was literally born at the mint. Joseph Shepard Wyon and Alfred Benjamin Wyon, sons of engraver of seals Benjamin Wyon (also brother of Thomas), continued the family engraving business through 1884.

Great Britain, George IV, (1820-1830)

George IV gold Coronation Medal 1821, by Pistrucci, Eimer-1146 (signed B.P. on each side), 35 mm, plain edge, lovely example struck in extremely high relief, the cameo proof portrait untouched, with lovely gold color. The allegorical imagery depicts George IV seated and being crowned by the mythic Victory, while Britannia, Hibernia and Scotia bear witness; in the exergue, the date of coronation is given in Latin as July 19, 1821. The reverse legend, PROPRIO JAM JURE ANIMO PATERNO, "Now In His Own Right With His Father's Mind" serves to remind the king's subjects that he rules with divine right and continues the royal family line so long in place. The official coronation issue struck by the Royal Mint.

A stunning lusterous piece - looks better than the grade. From a mintage of 1060 but very rare in this quality, and a masterpiece of medallic portraiture.

PCGS SP 63...........................sold

Great Britain, George IV, (1820-1830)

ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY GOLD AWARD instituted in 1824. awarded in 1913. 47,68 mm; (60,69 g). -engraved by W Wyon, head of Sir Isaac Newton left, Inscribed below: "NUBEM PELLENTE MATHESI" refers to Edmond Halley's Ode to Newtown, the full phrase being "Obvia conspicimus nubem pellente mathesi (things we see clearly exposed, mathematical reason having expelled)." rev Herschel telescope mounted on wooden frame, QUICUID NITET NOTANDUM engraved below: H Deslanders 1913. Eimer 1137 - very rare, less than 100 awarded in fine gold (22 karat)

The society's highest award: past winners include Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble and Stephen Hawking. Henri Deslanders won this award for his work in Astrophysics and his invention of the spectroheliograph which photographs the sun in monochromatic light. His discovery of numerical patterns in spectral lines catalyzed the development of quantum mechanics in the 20th century

NGC Graded MS 61. ...............$8500

Great Britain, William IV 1831-1837

Official Gold Coronation Medal (27.1 gm) Engraved by William Wyon/ Obverse WILLIAM THE FOURTH CROWNED SEP:8 1831 Reverse ADELAIDE QUEEN CONSORT CROWNED SEP:8 1831 Eimer 1251

From a mintage of 965. The finest graded by either grading service.

NGC Proof 64 Cameo.......sold

Great Britain, William IV 1831-1837

Queen Adelaide's large silver medal for the Accession 1830, 68mm by William Wyon, after Sir Francis Chantrey. William, bare head r., GUILELMO IIII DG BRITANNIAR REGI F D, rev. legend in 4 lines within oak wreath extending from naval trident, ADELAIDE REGINA CUDI JUSSIT MDCCCXXX,

According to Carlisle: "this medal struck at the express command of Her Majesty ... only to be given by Her Majesty to those whom The Queen graciously condescends to honour."

Extremely Rare and certainly amongst the finest extant

PCGS graded SP 65...............$2000


Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.


Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Official Gold Coronation Medal (31.17 ), London, 1838, by B. Pistrucci. Victoria. Rev. Victoria seated left, with lion behind her to right, receiving crown from Britannia, Scotia and Hibernia. Brown 1801. Eimer 1315.

From a mintage of 1369 (but quite rare in mint state condition) of which 400 went to Peers, 540 to M.P.s, 50 to ambassadors etc and 295 the Privy Purse.

Lovely high grade example, with full mint lustre. Another masterpiece by Pistrucci.

PCGS graded SP 62...............sold

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Official Silver Coronation Medal (31.17 ), London, 1838, by B. Pistrucci. Victoria. Rev. Victoria seated left, with lion behind her to right, receiving crown from Britannia, Scotia and Hibernia. Brown 1801. Eimer 1315.

Spectacular multihued example, only 1172 minted - so actually rarer than the gold example, and especially hard to find high grade, as the silver medals were tossed to officials (judges, politicians, officers etc) who lined the front rows of the coronation procession. The Morning Post reported that: "ribboned military officers and aldermen of the city of London were seen sprawled together and wrestling like schoolboys" at the general distribution of the coronation medals.

PCGS SP 63.....................$2500

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

1870 Large Gold Reward Medal for Valor by W. Wyon, (58.8 gms) Obv Young Head bust VICTORIA D.G. BRITT REG F. D. Rev: around: PRESENTED BY HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. within: recipient and ship named Percy Marner, HMS Worcester, and dated 1870.

Several types of special reward medals were minted under Victoria. There are the "Cudi jussit" or "minted by decree" medals for special service, and then there were those presented for valor, some of which bear the inscription: "from the British government." This is the only recorded example inscribed as "presented by her majesty the Queen."

This is not the usual sea gallantry medal which is featured below, and as such probably designed and awarded uniquely for this occassion.

Of the highest rarity. Probably UNIQUE and in beautiful prooflike condition.

PCGS graded SP62........ POR

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

The Rare Gold Sea Gallantry Medal for Foreign Services (29.29 gm) by William Wyon 1878

Awarded to Martin Valladares, who helped to save the lives of seven crew from the barque Minnie Graham, which had become wrecked upon dangerous ‘Hormigas’ rocks near Callao, Peru, on 24 February 1878, whilst en route from Valparaiso. Unable to safely reach the rocks from his own vessel, Valladares volunteered to swim out with a line from his rescue boat to the rocks, and remained until all of the remaining crew had been safely sent across the line and rescued aboard the S.S. Huacho, comprising: Board of Trade Sea Gallantry Medal (Foreign Services), V.R., small gold issue, For Gallantry and Humanity, with gilt suspension and top bar (Martin Valladares -1878.), engraved in upright capitals;

The design of this extremely rare gold Victorian medal was commissioned to William Wyon in 1841 but not awarded until 1855, and then only in cases of extreme danger to the life of the rescuer. Less than 30 specimens have been awarded in gold.

PCGS graded SP 61.............$4750

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Silver Specimen Golden Jubilee Medal ND (1887), The Official Royal Mint Golden Jubilee issue 77mm. 217.5 grams By Boehnm & Leighton. Crowned and veiled bust of Victoria to the left, her name and titles around; Reverse: "IN COMMEMORATION" and two cherubs holding intertwined wreaths above personification of Empire enthroned. Three figures to her right, two to her left, and two reclining at her feet. In exergue, 5 small shields inscribed "ASIA, AMERICA, EUROPE, AUSTRALASIA and AFRICA".

With flashy proof-like surfaces and frosted cameo devices. Lovely old cabinet tone displaying medium grey and heater purple throughout with attractive iridescent hues that pop out when tilted in the light. 

PCGS graded SP63 ...............$3500

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Victoria gold Diamond Jubilee Medal 1897, Old or Veiled Head / Young Head. A gorgeous medal both sides, with superb eye-appeal, housed in a huge slab. 12.97g, 26mm.Prepared at the Royal Mint by G.W. DeSaulles using models by T. Brock and W. Wyon. (Eimer 1817b; BHM 3506)

Difficult to find in Proof grade.

PCGS Graded Proof 62.......$1800

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Victoria gold Diamond Jubilee Medal 1897, Old or Veiled Head / Young Head. A gorgeous medal both sides, with superb eye-appeal, housed in a huge slab. 56 mm, 94.1 g, Prepared at the Royal Mint by G.W. DeSaulles using models by T. Brock and W. Wyon. Eimer1817a,

3750 were ordered from the mint, but it is unclear how many were actually produced. Mint State examples have become quite scarce. A very attractive piece with full mint bloom..

NGC Graded MS 61.....sold


Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901

Victoria (1837-1901), gold Five Pounds, 1887, Jubilee type crowned bust left, J.E.B. initials on truncation, VICTORIA D: G: BRITT: REG: F: D:, rev. St George and dragon right, date in exergue, B.P. to upper right of exergue, weight 39.97g (Schneider 653; S.3864).

Just a coin.

PCGS MS 62..........................sold

BGreat Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.


Delhi College, gold medal, 1875, Calcutta mint. (58.75gms.) diad. bust of Queen Victoria by William Wyon (Pennyblack bust) l., rev. LORD NORTHBROOK MEDAL, FOUNDED 1875, DELHI COLLEGE, wreath, (Puddester: 875.2.3 - RRRRR)

Of the Highest Rarity, Probably UNIQUE

According to Puddester: "Other than the registers in the Calcutta mint recording the striking of this medal, the author has not been able to trace a specimen. As Delhi College was closed in 1877 there were probably only one or two of these medals awarded." ex spink

PCGS graded SP 61.........POR

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

1883 First Calcutta International Exhibition

Gold Award Medal 51 mm., 5 mohur (58.17 grams.) Unsigned - By Wyon Calcutta mint.

Obv. Bust of Queen Victoria in the Gothic style of Empress of India; around on a broad rim defined by a rope, CALCUTTA INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION. 1883-84/ Reverse: Within open wreath, AWARDED TO

The prize medals from this historic exhibition were awarded by Queen Victoria herself and were issued in most cases without the name of the winner engraved.(Pudd 883.2.2)

extremely rare in gold:
According to the Royal commission for Victoria, at the Calcutta international Exhibition, 1883-1884 page 5 and 6:
Only 38 gold medals were issued.

NGC MS 62.........................sold

Victorian Era 1880

French Exploration Society Gold Medal for Arctic Explorationl by Brenet, 1880. Paris Mint. 50 mm 87 gm. Issued by the Societe De Geographie and awarded to Mr. (Benjamin) Leigh Smith for his exploration of the Arctic in 1871-73.

Helmeted female (Brittania) seated facing left holding wreaths with right arm extended, altar to right; Reverse: Six-line inscription in relief within circular border surrounded by wreath, legend around. Paris privy mark on edge at 6 o'clock. Sharply struck as would be expected being a Paris mint product with incredible definition of the fine details.

Benjamin Leigh Smith was an early arctic explorer of near mythic accomplishment, though he shunned the spotlight, unlike some of the more famous explorers who followed him.

Excessively Rare medal of historical interest.

PCGS Graded SP-63..............sold

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901

Royal Society of Arts Gold Albert Medal 56,55 mm; (111.18 grams) engraved by LC Wyon. For "distinguished merit in promoting Arts, Manufacture and Commerce" Awarded in 1924 to Edward Prince of Wales, (later King Edward VIII). Obv: Albert Prince consort left, and Rev: personifications of Art, manufacture and Industry.


Past recipients include: Queen Victoria, Michael Faraday, Thomas Edison, Marie Curie, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchil:. A very prestigious award.

Extremely Rare, less than 50 awarded in fine gold.

From the private collection of Edward Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII and then Duke of Windsor. Auctioned off from his estate by Christie's June 2004.

In plush velvet contemporary case. Beautiful Nearly Uncirculated.....

Great Britian, Edward VII (1901-1910)

Edward VII gold Official Large Size Coronation Medal 1902 . 55mm. 92 gms By G.W. de Saulles. Impressive in its size and design, with an intricately detailed bust of the King on one side, and Queen Alexandra on the reverse BHM-3737, Eimer-1871a

1,410 were ordered but only 878 issued. And quite rare in high grade.

Appears to be perfect with satiny surfaces, why it didn't grade even higher is a mystery to me.

NGC MS 63......................SOLD

Great Britian, Edward VII (1901-1910)

Official small gold medallion for the Coronation, 1902, by de Saulles, crowned bust of king r., rev. crowned bust of Queen Alexandra r., date on ribbon below, 31mm.(17.6 gm) (BHM.3737; Eimer 1871b), lustrous.

NGC Graded MS 62...............$1800

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

The King's Prize Medal, Wellington College, awarded to Kenneth Harwood Crossley in 1922

King's Medal, G.V.R. (Edge named: 1922. Kenneth Harwood Crossley.), reverse inscription within beaded circle: 'Duty to God and Man', around: 'In Honor of Arthur Duke of Wellington', reverse engraved to edge, 23 Karat gold, 44mm., 56.0g.Royal Mint issue.

PCGS Graded SP 63.................$5500

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

Silver Jubilee, 1935, small gold medal (23 gm) by P. Metcalf, busts right, rev. Windsor Castle, 32mm. (BHM.4249; E.2029), in case of issue. Rare, from a mintage of 247 pieces

NGC graded MS 61...............$1800

Great Britain, George VI (1936-1952)

Large Official Gold Coronation medal , 1937 by Percy Metcalf/ 57mm/123.8gms. King George on obverse and Queen Elizabeth on the reverse .BHM-4314, Eimer-2046

Rare from a Mintage of 274 and very rare this high grade. Pristine surfaces with full mint bloom

NGC MS 63....................sold

Great Britain, Scotland, George VI
City of Glasgow, Coronation medal 1911, 45mm x 30mm (19.9g.) 15ct Gold and Enamel shaped oval Medal, conjoined busts left, thistles below, rev City Arms detailed in enamel, "let Glasgow flourish",suspension loop and ring, maker M&A. Inscribed to: Coun J. Muir, ( Lord Provost of Glasgow) Very Rare.

Superb, as made............$1800


Germany. Prussia, Wilhelm I (1797-1861-1888,

First German Emperor from 1871), Gold Coronation Medal, 1861, by C Pfeuffer, 41.9g. - 12 dukats. 42mm, Conjoined crowned busts of William and Queen Augusta right, rev crowned arms on cross, eight armorial shields around,

A rare and attractive proof coronation medal.

PCGS Graded SP 62........sold

CHILE - ARGENTINA GOLD PEACE MEDAL 1902-3 of 4 escudos (14.8 GRAMS) .900 GOLD Chile's coat of arms/Two representations of Peace with shields bearing Chilean Star and Argentinian cap of freedom "La Paz lo Vence Todo" Signed by the artist M. H.

Excessively Rare: from a mintage of 3 pieces struck in gold. Of the finest artistic quality in high relief.

About Unciculated...............$2200

Republic of Peru

Gold Proclamation medal of 4 escudos, for the Constitutionof 1856. (13.68g.)

The Constitution of the Republic of Peru in 1856 was the sixth constitution that prevailed in Peru, developed and adopted by a Constituent Assembly under the National Convetntion that met in Lima in 1855, after the triumph of the of the government of Jose Rufino Echenique. Enacted on October 19, 1856, by the Provisional President of the Republic, Marshal Ramon Castilla. After this he established a consesus constitution in 1860, which became the longest in Peruvian history.

Extremely rare in gold.


ITALY, Papale (prigioniero del Vaticano). Leo XIII. 1878-1903.

AV Holy Year Medal 1883 (43mm, 53.48 g,). By Bianchi. Dated RY 8 (AD 1883, in Roman numerals). LEO · XIII · PONT · MAX · ANNO · VIII, bust left, wearing zucchetto, mozzetta, and pallium / * HISTORIA · FVGIENTIVM · TESTIS · TEMPORVM · VERITATIS · LVCEM · ADFERT · ERVITAE · POSTERITATI · MENDACIO · PROFLIGATO · REIECTO, winged figure of Historia standing facing, holding scroll; behind, Lux holding ball of flame; before, Veritas blowing trumpet; to lower right, Cherub resting arm on tablet inscribed HISTORIA/ LVX/ VERITAS; all in clouds. Rinaldi 79; Mazio supp. 799 (all references for silver).

Very rare less than 15 minted. A medallic masterpiece (Absurdly undergraded.)

PCGS Graded SP 61..........$8500

ITALY, Papale (prigioniero del Vaticano). Leo XIII. 1878-1903.

AV Holy Year Medal (43mm, 56.52 g, 12h). By Bianchi. Dually dated 1890 and RY 13 (in Roman numerals). LEO · XIII · PONT · MAX · ANNO · XIII, bust left, wearing zucchetto, mozzetta, and pallium / TE · VINDICE · DEVS · VINCVLA · CORRVANT · AD · LIBERTATEM/ APOSTOLICAE · POTESTATIS, St. Peter seated facing in chains on rock, with arms spread, holding key; in exergue, A · MDCCCXV ·. Rinaldi 84; Mazio supp. 818 (all references for silver).

Very Rare less than 20 minted

NGC graded MS 62.............$7500

Italy Papal States. Leo XIII, Pope (1878-1903)

Gold Holy Year Medal 1900 Rome mint, by F. Bianchi, (43mm, 52.85gm) Obv. Bust of Pope Leo XIII facing left with cap, cape, and stole. Rev. Cardinals, and pilgrims, surrounds the Pope as he opens the Holy Door. Bartolotti-900, Rinaldi-94 (silver medal), Berni-329,

Extremely rare from a mintage of less than 20 gold specimens.

NGC greaded MS 62.......$7500



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