Historical Medals - Coronation Medals
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. Aesthetically, the main difference between Silver and Gold medals lies in the toning. Gold is inert. Gold medals have toning, but it is subtle. Silver is reactive. Silver medal toning can vary greatly from a dull grey to a spendid rainbow effect. And it is very difficult ot capture toning in photographs because the colors change dramatically according to the angle and intensity of light as it passes across the metal surface. A beautivfully toned silver medal is often far more pleasing - and rare - than a perfectly preserved speccimen. However, it's most satisfying to find a medal that has both characteristics.
Read More
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. Regarding the medals at Charles I coronation: the diarist Samuel Pepys noted "And three times the King at Arms went to the three open places on the scaffold, and proclaimed, that if any one could show any reason why Charles Stewart should not be King of England, that now he should come and speak. And a Generall Pardon also was read by the Lord Chancellor, and meddalls flung up and down by my Lord Cornwallis, of silver, but I could not come by any." 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 practise 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 May 1643 Charles ordered a medal made which would be worn 'on the breast of every man who shall be certified under the hands of their Commanders-in-Chief to have done us faithful service in the forlorn hope'. It was also commanded 'that no soldier at anytime do sell nor any of our subjects presume to buy or wear any of these said badges other than they to whom we shall give the same'. 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 Roettiers was one of the mint's chief engravers. He produced the official coronation medals of James II (1685) and William and Mary (1689). He died in 1703 and was buried in the Tower. Roettiers was widely credited as one of the best engravers ever employed at the English mint. Samuel Pepys declared his medals to be "some of the finest pieces of work, in embossed work, that I ever did see in my life" (Diary, 26 March 1666). His sons James Roettiers (1663–1698) and Norbert Roettiers (1665–1727) were also famed engravers and medallists both in England and France.
Read More
Read More

Great Britain, Charles I, (1625-1649)

The Scottish Coronation, silver medal, 30mm; 12..0 g (thicker flan) 1633, by Nicolas Briot, signed B on rev., crowned and draped bust left, wearing ornate lace collar, CAROLVS DG SCOTIÆ ANGLIÆ FR ET HIB REX, rev., a Scottish thistle in flower, HINC NOSTRÆ CREVERE ROSÆ, hence our roses have grown.(MI 266/60; Eim. 123; BMC [Jones] 155; Platt p. 133, type B; Woll. iii

ex Spink, 1976

Extremely high grade for this difficult issue. The only mint state example certified by either service and as such several grades higher than any other specimen.


pcgs 36882055


Great Britain, Charles II (1660-1685)

Official silver Coronation Medal 1661, by Thomas Simon. 27 mm, (10.4g) Bust right, CAROLVS II. D:G: ANG. SCO. FR. ET. HI. REX./The king enthroned left, crowned by Peace, Eimer-221,

attractively toned

PCGS Graded MS 63 sold

GREAT BRITAIN, Queen Anne (1702-1714)

Official silver Coronation Medal, 1702. 36mm. (18 gmAttributed to John Croker - from a drawing by Godfrey Kneller. Obv. Draped bust l. with headband. ANNA • D : G : MAG : BR : FR : ET • HIB : REGINA, Rv. The Queen helmeted as Pallas hurls lightning at dissident factions potrayed as the Hydra, VICEM GERIT. ILLA. TONANTIS (she is the vice-regent of the Thunderer). in exergue, INAVGVRAT • XXIII • AP/MDCCII Wollaston 10, Eimer 390

Rare. From a reported mintage of 1200

NGC graded MS 62..... sold

Great Britain, George II (1727-60)

Coronation, 1727, official silver medal 35mm by John Croker, laureate, draped and cuirassed bust left, signed IC on truncation, GEORGIUS II DG MAG BR. FR. ET HIB. REX rev.the king enthroned, crowned by Britannia, VOLENTES PER POPULOS . CORON. XI. OCTOB. MDCCXXVII, (E.510; MI. 479, 4; Wollaston xi, ill.12)

From a reported mintage of 800

Spectacularly toned, near gem, the finest graded.

NGC MS 64 +


Great Britain, George II (1727-60)

Coronation of Caroline, 1727, Official silver Medal 34mm (21.4 g.) by J Croker, bust of Caroline left, CAROLINA. D:G. MAG. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REGINA., rev Caroline standing facing between Religion and Britannia, HIC. AMOR HAC. PATRIA. (this my love, this my country), in exergue, CORON. XI. OCTOB. MDCCXXVII, (Eimer 512; MI ii 480/8).

From a reported mintage of 400, and very rare in this grade. With beautiful toning.

NGC Graded MS 63


Great Britain, George III (1760-1820) (and the last King of America 1760-1776)

Coronation, 1761, Official silver medal by
L. Natter, 34mm, (24.45g)
laureate bust in armour right GEORGIUS III D.G. M. BRI. FR. ET. HIB. REX F.D. , rev. Britannia crowning George III, PATRIAE OVANTI. BHM 23; Eimer 694

From a reported mintage of 800.

beautiful iridescent toning.

NGC graded MS 61


Great Britain, George III (1760-1820)

Official Silver "Coronation of Charlotte" Medal, 1761. 34.5 mm; (17.4 gms.). Bust of Charlotte right, name and titles around. L.N.F. below bust. Reverse: Fame flying left crowns standing Queen Legend QVAESITVM. MERITIS above, coronation date in exergue. By L. Natter. Eimer-696; BHM-66

From a reported mintage of 400
Very rare in this grade

NGC Graded MS 62


Great BritainGeorge IV, (1820-1830)

Proof official silver coronation medal, 1821, (18.8 g) by B. Pistrucci, laur. bust l., rev. king enthroned, crowned by Victory before him stand Britannia, Hibernia and Scotia (Eimer 1146)

From a reported mintage of 800

Beautifully Toned.


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 exampleonly 1172 minted - so actually rarer than the gold example, and 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.

Tied with one other as the highest graded across both services, as such quite rare.