Royal Gold Coins
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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).

Until our current era, medals have always been worth exactly their weight in precious metal - just like coins.

However, coinage, even in gold, was minted in quantities sufficient to provide the mass economy with a means of transaction. Silver was generally minted at 10 to 15 times it's equivalent weight in gold, and copper was issued in tremendous quantity to facilitate the smallest transactions.

Proclamation medals in gold, on the other hand, were most often reserved for Royalty and the highest military and government officials. In silver they most often were distributed to the next level of military and government. In copper they were used as commemoratives for the the masses that were able to attend particular events.

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

Here below are some choice examples first from Great Britian, and then from the rest of the world. Finally, below. are a selection of exceptionally rare and beautiful gold medals from the Papal State, which exerted an outsized influence in the history of European Power from the middle ages through the early twentieth century.


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






Great Britain, GEORGE III 1760-1820

Beilby Porteus Largest Size Gold Award Medal, 1818 - (83.62 gm) Edge Named to (Major) John Cartwright - an MP and major political refromer of his day and an early advocate for the American Colonies.

This medal comes in four sizes from 36 gm to 83 gms. I don't know the reason for the different size awards but in this largest size it is extemely rare and impresssive. The recipient, in this case, was quite a famous and progressive political activist in his day.

PCGS Graded SP 62..............$22,000

PCGS 42842832

Great Britain, George IV. 1820-1830.

AV offical coronation medal (31.30 g,). By B. Pistrucci. Dated 19 July 1821 (in Roman numerals). GEORGIUS IIII D · G · BRITANNIARUM REX F · D ·, laureate head left / PROPRIO JAM JURE ANIMO PATERNO ·, George seated left on throne, being crowned by Victory to right; to left, Britannia, Hibernia, and Scotia standing right; in exergue in three lines, INAUGURATUS/DIE · JULII · XIX/ANNO · MDCCCXXI. BHM 1070; Eimer 1146a. 

Lovely honey gold tone sets off the clean boldly stuck images; with most of the assigned grade due to wispy field chatter.

PCGS SP 61....................reserved

pcgs 47689378

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Official Silver Coronation Medal 31.17 gm. 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 example, only 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. Lovely multi-hued toning.

PCGS SP 64.........................$7500

pcgs 47156931

Great 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.........$22,000

PCGS 34748025


Presented here are the three Delhi Durbar medals, all of which are very rare.

Puddester records that less than 50 were minted. The Orders and Medals Society of America has traced 26 recipients. Though it seems likely to me that all 66 of the major Indian Princes in attendance would have been awarded medals along with the highest ranking British officials. In all, of the highest rarity and historical importance in gold, with only one specimen having appeard in commerce in the last 20 years. That one was auctioned by Dix Noonan and Webb in 2005, graded as Good Vey Fine, with a number of defects, and sold for $45,000 at the time..

James Gibbs, the recipient of the present medal was the son of a Lord Mayor of London. He was appointed Judge of Poona in 1864, being elevated to the High Court of Bombay, where he was also president of the Asiatic Society. in 1874 he was appointed to the Governors Council of Bombay, in which capacity he attended the Delhi Durbar and was awarded the Gold Medal.

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901


Obv: Queen Victoria bust, Victoria 1st January 1877 around, signed by C.C. Adams. S.C. Rev, decorative half-diaper pattern Empress of India in English, and Urdu above, and Hindi (Devanagari) below. Pudd 877.1.1

Awarded to James Gibbs Member of the Council Bombay, contemporarily edge engraved in serif capitals, 58mm, 129 Grams, in CC ADAMS F.S.A. Sculptor London case of Issue. With clasp half of whcih is missing and original ribbon.

OF THE HIGHEST RARITY IN GOLD. Less then 50 issued in gold according to Puddester. Ceremonisouly awarded to the dominant Indian Princes and a few high ranking British officials attending the Delhi Durbar Ceremony of 1877 which marked Queen Victoria's asumption of the title Empress of India. Viceroy of Inida Lord Lyton placed each of the medals around the Inidian Prince's neck and declared: "I decorate you by command of Her Majesty. May this medal be long worn by yourself, and kept as an heirloom in your family...." Indeed, the vast majority of existing medals still reside with the Indian Princely Families.

Most attractive UNC, With original case of issue with original ribbon and clasp mount- though one edge of the clasp of the mount is missing. If the clasp above the mount were removed the medal itself is in uncirculated condition

NGC Graded UNC details - broken mount.................................POR

NGC 4492871-001

east india company medal east india company medal


Edward VII, Delhi Durbar, official gold medal (58.91gms) to celebrate the coronation of Edward VII as Emperor of India.

Bust of King Edward rt, with laurel spray beneath: EDWARD VII DELHI DARBAR around.
Ornamental flowered border around Urdu inscription: BY THE FAVOUR OF THE LORD OF THE DOMINION, EDWARD THE SEVENTH, EMPEROR OF INDIA 1901

Very Rare: 140 medals minted in gold and awarded to the King's party and the rulers of the Indian Princely States.

Suspended from the original claw and ring with the original ribbon and case of issue. Pudd 903.2.1


PCGS SP 62...........................$18,000

PCGS 42920171

british india medal east india company medal


George V
, Delhi Durbar, official gold medal (41.5gms) to celebrate the coronation of George V as Emperor of India - Calcutta mint.

Conjoined busts of George and Queen Mary l., rev. date in circle of Farsi script: THE DURBAR OF GEORGE V, EMPEROR OF INDIA, KING OF ENGLAND, with ring for suspension and ribbon. At the actual Durbar the medal in gold was awarded to the Viceroy and 27 other senior British officials. The Prime Minister of Nepal and the Aga Khan also received medals whilst a further 114 were presented to Indian Princely rulers.

Very Rare. Only 200 specimens struck in gold according to Pudd, though Spink has recently revised the number to 118 awarded the rest were melted (Pudd 911.2.1; MYB.312), ex Spink, provenance of Sir Charles Stuart Bayley, G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I., I.S.O. (Royal Indian Orders), and Lieutenant-Governor of Orrissa, Bihar and (at the time of the Durbar) Eastern Bengal and Attam - and as such was the Seventh Dignitary presented to receive this medal.

PCGS SP 58.........................$ 8500

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

1882 Royal United Service Institution Medal in Gold by A. E. Wyon. 58 grams of Gold in a glass lunette and gold band in the original Wyon fitted case of issue. Edge named to Captain Lindesay Brine Royal Navy. Brine was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1886 and Vice Admiral in 1891.

Very Rare, none listed in Coin Archives - large gold medal in gem mint condition with a stunningly detailed Athena and the original lunette and band and case intact.

GEM MINT......................$9500

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

1884 International Health Exhibition45mm diameter, in gold, by L.C.Wyon (reverse after L.C.Day) (58.17 ) grammes of 21 carat gold, Eimer 1704, Obverse: Head of Queen Victoria left, diademed and veiled VICTORIA REGINA, Reverse: A globe bearing the fruits of the world, flanked by HEALTH holding a serpent, and EDUCATION holding a wreath,. THE INTERNATIONAL HEALTH EXHIBITION. Exergue LONDON 1884. BHM 3175, Eimer 1704

One of the finest reverse designs on Victorian coinage and quite rare as only 254 were ordered in gold, though how many were actually struck is unknown. Imposing, with nearly two ounces of 21 Karat gold.

Very Rare and most attractive with little wear and no obvious detracting marks.

PCGS SP 58....................$14,000

pcgs 48422787

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

Golden Jubilee 1887, official gold medal, by C. Emptmeyer after J. E. Boehm, 31.67g, 30mm.'
Jubilee' bust left, signature below, rev. inscription in wreath, (Mussell 293), 

very rare, only 133 minted in gold, and only 73 awarded, the rest melted.

Gold examples were presented to members of the Royal Household and their personal guests who were in attendance at the ceremony.

They were minted with the loop so that they could be worn at the ceremony - as most were, so finding one in this high grade is very rare.

Additionaly, this medal in silver was given to government ministers, senior officials, distinguished foreign visitors, navel and military officers involved in the Jubilee parade on 20 June 1887

NGC graded MS 62.............$8500

NGC 4840131-001

Great Britain, Victoria, 1837-1901.

1897, Victoria gold Diamond Jubilee Medal Old or Veiled Head / Young Head. A gorgeous medal both sides, with superb eye-appeal, housed in a huge slab. (56 mm, 92.1 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 and how many were melted. Collectible examples have become very scarce, as the populartiy of these large gold medals has soared.

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

Official Large Gold Coronation medal, Weight: 78.72 gms. By B. Mackennel. Obverse: GEORGE V CROWNED JUNE 22 1911, crowned and mantled bust of George left, wearing Chain of the Garter; orb to left, garlanded laurel branch below; Reverse: QUEEN MARY JUNE 22 1911, crowned and draped bust of Mary left; garlanded roses below
BHM-4022; Eimer-1922a.

Rare large gold medal from an official mintage of only 225 specimens, and especially rare in this choice mint grade.

ex Duke of Lansing collection - noted on the holder..

PCGS SP63...................$22,000

PCGS 39444047

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

1911 Official small Gold Coronation medal, Weight 16 gms. By B. Mackennel. Obverse: GEORGE V CROWNED JUNE 22 1911, crowned and mantled bust of George left, wearing Chain of the Garter; orb to left, garlanded laurel branch below; Reverse: QUEEN MARY JUNE 22 1911, crowned and draped bust of Mary left; garlanded roses below
BHM-4022; Eimer-1922b.

quite a difficult little medal with only 719 struck

Graded PCGS SP

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

Official small Gold Medal for the Silver Jubilee. By P. Metcalfe. (22.66 Grms) Obverse: VI MAII MCMX MCMXXXV, jugate crowned busts left of Mary, draped, and George, mantled and wearing Chain of the Garter; Reverse: STET FORTUNA DOMUS, facade of Windsor Castle

Rare smaller gold medal, with a mintage of only 247 pieces.

PCGS SP62 ....................$3800

PCGS 48294776

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

1910, Gold Medal (57.82gms) for the.Union of South Africa and Opening of the First Parliament, half-length bust of the King three-quarters l., wearing Garter robes, GEORGIVS V DG BRITT OMN REX FD IND IMP, rev. branch draped with shields of Provinces, date to l., TO COMMEMORATE THE UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE OPENING OF THE FIRST PARLIAMENT BY HRH THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT KC – VISCOUNT GLADSTONE GOVERNOR GENL – GENL BOTHA FIRST UNION PREMIER, (BHM.4020; W&E.5014)

extremely rare and histocially important medal- only 2 specimens graded.

PCGS graded SP 62...........$10,000

PCGS 36349206

Great Britain, George V, 1910-1936

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

1922. King's Medal, G.V.R. (Edge named: Kenneth Harwood Crossley.) (56.0g.) 44mm., 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, ,

Royal Mint issue.

PCGS Graded SP 63.................$7500

PCGS 35812315

Great Britain, Edward VIII, 1937,

Proposed Coronation Medal, 1937, in gold, 20.84g, by W McMillan for Spink and Son, CROWNED MAY 12 1937, bust left, rev. KING AND EMPEROR, Royal shield and supporters, edge plain, 12h (Giordano CM260c; BHM 4302),

Extremely Rare trial stike for the proposed coronation medal.


NGC PF 63 Ultra cameo............sold

NGC 6135264-002

Great Britain, George VI (1936-1952) with Queen Elizabeth II (her first official portrait)

George VI, Coronation, 1937, official large gold medal, by Percy Metcalfe, crowned bust l., rev., crowned bust l. of Queen Elizabeth, 57mm., wt. 120.42gms. the light handling marks, virtually mint state with superb 'cameo' busts (BHM.4314; Eimer 2046; Woll.29

offered with (excellent) original case of issue

Quite a rare medal with only 274 specimens struck. The last and largest (4 ounces of .925 gold) official gold coronation medal.

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

Great Britain Elizabeth II, 1952-2022

1981, Marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, large gold medal, by Spink & Son, facing busts of the couple with Prince of Wales' feathers above, rev., Royal Arms with supporters, 57mm, 22 ct. fine, 142.9g, mint state and struck to proof quality, numbered '17', in fitted case of issue, with certificate.

There wa a stated limit of 150 gold medals to be struck in gold, engraved by renowned sculptor Michael Rizzzello OBE. Though this is the only example I can find to appear in commerce. Nearly 5 ounces of 22 carat gold.

PCGS SP 66.........................$14,000

pcgs 47352648



1880 Victoria gold Proof "Melbourne International Exhibition" Medal , 38mm. 50.62gm. By H. Stokes. Inscribed on edge "SIR P. CUNLIFFE OWEN K.C.M.G. C.I.E. FOR SERVICE." A charming large-format gold Medal struck for the 8th World's fair and first officially recognized to occur in the southern hemisphere, and presented to Philip Cunliffe-Owen, an executive commissioner for Great Britain at numerous expositions and fairs through the mid- to late-19th century

Very few surface marks for the grade. Attractive proof surfaces, with a beautiful cameo effect, and marking an interesting event in early globalization. Just over 1.5 ounces of actural gold weight..

NGC PR61 Cameo............$5500

NGC 5859764-001


Large Gold "Centenary" Medal 1925 47mm. 56.42gm. (16 escudos) Struck on the 100th anniversary (centenary) of Bolivian independence and displaying the bust of Antonio José de Sucre, Lieutenant of Simon Bolivar and second President of Bolivia. Produced in a matte finish and softly toned to an orange-gold, with light hairlines as per the grade.

Lovely engraving style and extremely rare in gold. The color is a pale lemon gold.

Ex. Maison Palombo Auction 2004 (May 2004, Lot 597)

PCGS SP62.........................$4500

PCGS 34139631

ETHIOPIA. Menelik II 1889 - 1913

(1897) 10 Werk Presentation Medal, n.d. Gold, oval, 52.8 x 44mm, (30.01 grams). Obv. Crowned bust r. after Lagrange All-Conquering Lion of Judah at top, faint Amharic name Menelik at base. Rev. Armored St. George spearing the dragon. Gill M42.

Exrtremely Rare, esp in this condition. 5 Pieces minted according to Heritage Auctions and NGSA, perhaps the most finely engraved of all ethiopian medallions.


PCGS MS 62....................$10,000

PCGS 44218132

German State, Bavaria, Maximilian II 1848-1864

1861: Unique Gold Test Strike Presentation Medal for Prince Adalbert as the Royal Protector and Founder of the Society of Hornless Cattle Breeders. (54.43) grams.

Obv: Adelbert, "SARLE (limited liability corporation) Prince Adelbert De Bavaviere, Protecteur/ Rev: Propagation des races bovines desarmees A L'immortel et Royal protecteur csompolite 1 er Epreuve 1861/ Edge Inscribed: "Tres Respectueux Homages De Fondateur Le conseiller detravne reconaissant."

Unique and unlisted in gold. A spectacular special presentation piece struck several times to produce a remarkable high relief cameo finish.

Ex Munzen und Medaillen 1905 lot 536. (plate 36)

PCGS SP 62.....................$10,000

German States Hamburg. Free City

Gold "Peace of Amiens" Half portugaleser of five ducats' (37 mm, 16.7 grams) by A. Abramson - Obv: Ceres with a bundle of corn and Mercury with caduceus shake hands over an altar decorated with the Hamburg city coat of arms / Rev: Elbe god lies to the left, leaning his left arm on a fountain urn, in his raised right hand he holds a Pax statuette - (Pax 723; Gaed. 1993; Julius 1062; Br. 2170; Magrs 274; Hoffmann 141)

A most sought-after half portugaloser celebrating the short lived peace ending the French Revolutionary wars before the Napoleonic Wars.

PCGS SP 61....................$14,000


1890 Central American Union Pact Gold Medals . 32.30 gms Obv: Viva La Republica de Centro America liberty cap under a rainbow over four mountains withing a triangle. Rev: Dios Union Libertad Guatemala 1890 around Pacto de union 15 de octubre 1889 loot al Patriotismo within,


ex John Whitney Walter collection. Very Rare, and the finest graded.


NGC graded MS-63..........$6000

NGC 4929675-003

british india medals british india medals

INDIA 1813 Dated under British Administration- George III (1760-1820)

Fort William College, Calcutta, Honorary Language Medal, type 2, 1813 Dated, a gold award, 45mm, (51.18g) unsigned [by the Calcutta mint]

Allegorical scene of East-West Unity: mosque at left, pagoda at right (Muslim and Hindu India), sailing ship in centre background (Britain), under a rising sun. rev: legend in wreath ending june 30 mdcccxvi, (Pudd. 800.2). Extremely rare, less than 50 struck according to Puddester.

NGC MS 62........................$12000

NGC 4336494-002

INDIA Circa 1950

AV 5 tolas (58.35g), 38mm gold private bank issue for M.S. Manilal Chimanlal & Co., Bombay, diamond set in eight-pointed radiant star; company name around // value and fineness within ornate frame, KM-X42, Numista-123787

A rare large format Bank Issue, nearly 2 ounces of .9950 pure gold, in unusually high state of preservation..

NGC MS 62......................$8500

ngc 6438193-003

IRAN Mohammad Reza Shah, 1941-1979, 

(1966), AV medal (40.07g), AH1344/JE5726 Gold medal issued on the 25th Anniversary of the Reign of Muhammad Reza Shah, honoring the Iranian friendship with the Jewish citizens: bust of Shah // the Menorah; legends in Persian on the obverse, Hebrew on the reverse, Numista-176162

Hard to believe, but Iran was once a bustling multi-ethnic multi religious center of middle eastern - and global - commerce, with a thriving Jewish community. A rare medallic reminder of better days.

NGC PCGS 63.......................$6000

pcgs 47654269

Italy, Umberto I 1878-1900

1881 Gold Medal (89.75 gm) For the Exposizione Nazionale, Milan 1881. by Barzaggi and Broggi. UMBERTO I RE D'ITALIA barehead left, ESPOSIZIONE NAZIONALE MILANO 1881 wreath and various implements of arts, agriculture and industry.

Countries around the world held these Universal Expos/ World Fairs in the late 19th century to showcase the birth of modern industry, and the beginings of globalization. With a wonderful portrait of Umberto I.

Very Rare in gold. There is only one other example in gold in coin archives. The large size and great rarity, and the absence of named examples would suggest a trial or special commemorative rather than a prize medal.


NGC MS 61 PL .................$9000

ngc: 6461670-001

Italy Victor Emanuel III 1900-1946

1903 Gold Medal for the Regional Exposition of Aquila. (69,52) grams, Victor Emanuele III Re D'Italia/ Minestero Dellla Pubblica Istrusione Aaquila Esposizione Regionale 1903

Engraved by Filippo Speranza the chief engraver of the Mint of Rome.

Unique (to coin archives) large gold medal (20 dukats weight or two full ounces of high grade gold) from an Italian Expo that seems to be a trial or a commemorative for an official rather than an award.

NGC MS 61........................$7500

ngc 2120557-001

RUSSIA TZAR PAUL I (1754 -1801)

Tribute medal in gold to Peter I

Large Gold Specimen "Establishment of the Colleges" Medal of 22 dukats (76.13gm) 1717-Dated . cf. , 47mm. by T. Ivanov. PETRVS ALEXII FIL D G RVSS IMP M DVXMOSCOVIÆ Laureate bust right // Eagle in nest with three of her young, looking to radiant sun above, flanked by branches; in exergue ANNO 1717 Smirnov-Unl. Diakov-53.7 (unlisted in gold)

Peter I established the St Petersburg mint in 1724. In 1748 Benjamin Scott was invited to train several Russian engravers. His star pupil was Timofej Ivanov who is considered the greatest of all Russian Medallists. He engraved this medal in about 1760, to the glory of Peter I.

TOP POP (no other specimens known in gold)

PCGS SP61 .....................$45,000

pcgs 45886610

SPAIN Fernando VII 1808-1814-1833

1816 Gold marriage medal of 7 Dukats , (34.22mm; 21.08g) unsigned, on his marriage to Isabella Maria Franziska of Portugal on September 29th in Cadiz. Bust portraits of Fernando and Isabella side by side right.//Hercules stands facing facing with two lions between two columns. Wurzbach 2086 listed only in bronze.

Very Rare in Gold


PCGS SP 62.....................$14,000


1960. Nobel Nominating Committee for Physics or Chemistry Gold Medal, Eskilstuna (Royal Swedish) Mint. . By E. Lindberg. Diameter: 27mm. 21.1 grams Obverse: Bust of Nobel left; Reverse: REG ACAD SCIENT SVEC (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences), crowned and winged Swedish coat-of-arms; radiant North Star above Ehrensvard-21; Lagerqvist-1A/2A

NGC MS-64......................$3750

ngc 3901051-003


1934 Confederation gold "Fribourg Shooting Festival" 100 Francs (25.90) grams Bern mint, A scarce commemorative of exceptional quality, marked by lustrous golden fields and light maple tones. KMX-S19, Fr-505.

Mintage: 2,000

NGC, MS66 .......................$4000


1987 Gold Shooting medal (26.1 gm) 1000 francs. Haberling 32

Personification of Switzerland with bared breast, flag and gun flanked by mountains and a rising sun. Rev: Swiss Eagle holding a shield with St Gallen.

Mintage 300 struck, Lovely, racy updated art nouveau style design.

NGC PR 69 Ultra Cameo.....$3600

ngc 4338410-004


2007 Confederation gold Lucerne Shooting Festival Proof 500 Francs (25.6 grams) Munich mint,. Struck to commemorate the shooting festival at Lucerne, KM-XS74, Häb-80a

Mintage: 200.

NGC PR69 Ultra Cameo .....$2600

USA 1969 (Via Milan) From the Personal collection of Buzz Aldrin.

1969 Euronummus Milan Commemorative Moon Landing Medal In Gold awarded to Edwin Aldrin. 34.9 grams .900 fine. Facing busts of Aldrin, Armstrong and Collins. Rev Armstrong and Aldrin on the surface of the moon.


Accompanied by a photocopy of a Department of State Airgram indicating the American consulate in Milan accepted three gold medallions on behalf of the three Apollo 11 astronaut4s.


UNC in original box..........$4500


The Roman Emperors (who adopted the titlle Pontifex Maximus - High Priest) issued medallions to commemorate buildings, victories and a variety of achievements. As the Empire was Christianized after the time of Constantine, the head of the Christian Church, the Holy Father or Pope began to issue their own medallions mostly as blessings for pilgrims and visiting dignitaries. In 800 when Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor, the tradition of the Sacre or Holy Blessing began in conjunction with the Crowning. And each Emperor issued a medallion commemorating this sacred coronation. By the 15th century each Pope upon achieving the position of Holy Father issued a medallion to commemorate their own sacred election. They were issued in gold in very small numbers for papal officials and elite Italian dignitaries. In silver they were issued to visitors, pilgrams and were soon collected by the wealthy. In bronze they were more affordable to well to do collectors.

These medals commonly depict significant Papal events or achievements and starting in 1605, they were issued annually. As a group, these medals have important implications for papal history, European history, and the History of Art. In gold the mintages of these annual medals tended to be no more than a few dozen. It is extremely rare for more than two or three specimens in gold to have survived from any particular year including those right through the early twentieth century.

Papal States. Clement XI (Gian Francesco Albani) 1700-1721

1718 Gold Medal Anno XVIII. (34.40 gm). "San Giovanni Basilica" By Ermenegildo Hamerani. Av: Bust of the Pope with tiara and embroidered pluvial. Rv: SVPER FVDAMENTVM APOSTOLOR ET PROPHET, religion is enthroned in front of the church building; Angels carry the cross, the gospel and a book of the law. iA CONSTANTINI BASILICA STATVTIS E PICTVR ORNATA 

A masterfully ingraved gold medal commemorating the redesign of the Arch Basilica of St. John Lateran, founded in 313 under the Emperor Constantine the Great, which serves as the seat of the Bishop of Rome: the Pope.

Of the highest rarity: the only gold example in commerce in the last 20 years With much remaining luster, and stunning prooflike surfaces.

TOP POP (the only example graded)

NGC AU 58 ....................$32,000

NGC 6821309-001.

Papal state. Pius VI. 1775-1799.

1777 AV Medal (21.54 g). Foundation of San Lorenzo Nuovo. By F. Hamerani. RY 3. PIVS · SEXTVS PONT · MAX · A · III ·, bust right, wearing zucchetto, mozzetta, and pallium / OPPIDANIS SERVATIS, view of the square of San Lorenzo Nuovo; in exergue, OPP · S · LAVR · IN · SAL ·/ LOCVM · TRANSI/ 1777. Mazio 514 (only in silver and bronze)

The old location of the village of San Lorenzo, in the marshes and swamps along Lake Bolseno, made malaria a constant problem. In the 1770s, Papal authorities contructed a new village on a hill overlooking the lake.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica 37 (17 February 2007), lot 1023.

TOP POP (the only example graded)

PCGS SP 61.....................$15,000

pcgs 48383982

Papal States PIUS VII (Barnaba Niccolo Maria Luigi Chiaramonti) 1800-1823

1807 Annual Medal Year VIII (36.04 gms by T. Mercandetti. P M YEAR VIII burst of ponitf Tt MERCANDETTI F R/ EGO DOMINUS QUI SANCTIFICO VOS The triangle (holy Trinity) radiates above five new saints: Francesco Caracciolo, Benedetto il Moro, Giacinta Marescotti, Coletta da Corbie (founder of the order of Poor Clares), Angela Merici (founder of the Ursulines) YEAR CLYLY CCCVII VIIII K IVN (Hune 9 1807. Bartolotii E 807 pag 203

Ex Auction Mote Napoleone, Milan 1982 lot 761

Of Napoleonic Interest.

VERY RARE IN GOLD, the only specimen known in gold in commerce. In a beautiful contemporary mount.

NGC UNC DETAILS (MOUNTED).................$22,000

ngc 3956941-001

Papal States PIUS VII (Barnaba Niccolo Maria Luigi Chiaramonti) 1800-1823

1820 Gold Medal (44.5 grams) PIO VI PO MAX An XII. Bust left with tiara and piviale. Rev: VIIS ALVEIS ET OP PUB Personification of Architecture standing, Reclining Tiber with cornucopia, Industry seated with wheel, Conlegio Constituo Rinaldi 14 (only in silver and bronze)

A large gold medal to resestablish the preeminence of the Catholic Church as a supporter of Arts and Industry after the defeat of Napoleon.

Of the highest rarity: the only gold example in commerce in the last 20 years with a masterful design by Salvatore Passamonti.

TOP POP (the only example graded)

PCGS SP 61....................$32,000

pcgs 47689379

Papal States Leo XII. (Annibale Francesco Clemente Rirolamo Nicola della Genga) 1823-1829

1825 Gold Annual Medal (AN II) (43.01 g) by Girometti. For the Holy Year Jubilee. Obv: LEO XII PONT MAX ANNO II, left bust with tiara and stole, adorned with olive and palm branches. Rev: IANVAS COELI APERVIT, the Pope with cardinals and prelates - monarchs are also said to have been present - opens the Holy Gate at Christmas 1825.  Bartoletti: E825, Patrignani:26. 

Extremely Rare. Modesti reports 34 specimens were struck in gold. Most elegantly engraved.

The Holy Year jubilee of 1825 was the first to be celebrated since the rise and fall of Napoleon. 500,000 worshippers descended on the Vatican to celebrate.

TOP POP (the only example graded and the only example in coin archives) and of historical interest.

PCGS SP 61......................$27,000

pcgs 45741528

Papal States. Pius IX 1846-1878. 

1862 Large Gold medal of 15 ducats (51.12 g) AN XVII by C. Voigt, for the reintroduction of the "Peterspfennig". Bust portrait with mozzetta and stole to the left / Peter, enthroned to the left, is presented with gifts for the church by a woman and a bowl with coins by a kneeling man. Bart. 862. only in silver and bronze

The inscription on the back means "The Christians alleviate Peter's suffering with donations - the old piety is renewed in 1862". Due to the unfavorable war and the resulting territorial losses, Pius revitalized the Peter's penny of the Middle Ages as a voluntary donation from Catholics. Bart. E-862. p 262

Ex Hohn auction 2005 lot 1029

Extremely Rare in gold, Bartolotti cites 84 gold specimens struck.


PCGS SP 63....................$16,000

pcgs 47309801

Papal States  , Leo XIII, (Gioacchino Pecci) 1878-1903. 

1882 Gold annaul medal Year V (52.89g). commemorating the canonization of four new saints in 1881, by F. Bianchi. Bust left. Engraver's name below / The Holy Spirit flying over the four new saints, Benedetto Giuseppe Labre (1748-1783), Chiara da Montefalco - Visionary Claire of the Cross (1268-1308), Giovanni Battista de Rossi (1798-1864), and Lorenzo da Brindisi ( 1559-1619). Dates in exergue. .  Bartolotti E. 882.

Extremely Rare in gold. Modesti estimates 15-20 struck in gold. Spectacular high relief engraving both sides with proof like fields.

TOP POP (the only example graded) looks like an SP 64 to me.

PCGS SP 62.....................$12,000

pcgs 46524399

Papal States , Leo XIII, (Gioacchino Pecci) 1878-1903. 

1899 Year XXII annual gold medal(54.49g) b y F. Bianchi commemorating the canonization of two new saints in 1897, . Bust left. Name of the engraver below / The Church standing facing, crowning the new saints, Antonio Zaccaria (1502-1539) and Pietro Fourier - the Christ-like Vagabond of God (1565-1640). Date and name of the engraver in the exergue.  Bartolotti E. 899.

Extremely rare in gold. Modesti indicates 15-20 struck in gold. High relief engraving with prooflike fields and devices..

TOP POP (the only example graded)

PCGS SP 62....................$12,000

pcgs 46524400

Papal States Pius X (Giuseppie Melchiore Satto) 1903-1914

1910 Gold Annual Medal An VII (55.29 gm) by F Bianchi D/PIUS X PONT MAX AN VII Bust left, Rev: View of the firt room known as the Trecentisti room, with tryptichs and other rooms of the Vatican Pinacoteca. PINACOTHECAI VAT/ NOVA SEDES / DATABart E 910 Mod 378

Very rare and most beautifully engraved architectural type. Modesti reports only 20-25 struck in gold

ex tkalec 2007 lot 85 (with ticket)

PCGS SP58......................$7500

Vatican City Benedict XV 1914-1922 (Giacomo Della Chiesa)

1917 Annual Medal in Gold AN III(57.84 gm) by F Bianchi B BENEDICTU XV PONT MAX A III Bust right, R/ Pope before throne holding codex: The promulgation of the Code of Canon law, Bart E 917 Mod annual 385.

Celebration of the Provedentissima Mater Ecclesia (one of the most important acts in universal judicial history).

Very Rare in gold. Modesti estimates 15-20 struck in gold.

NGC MS 62......................$12,000

NGC 6679158-002

Vatican City Benedict XV 1914-1922 (Giacomo Della Chiesa)

1918 Annual Medal In Gold (56.85 gm) AN IV by Bianchi A IV D BENEDICTUS XV BRIDGE MAX A IV Bust left with cap mozzetta and stole R/ Pontif seated on throne receives the homage os some oriental prelates before building for the higher studies of oriental disciplines. ORIENTIS CHRISTIANI STUDIIS AVCTIS Bart E 918

ex Tkalec 2007 lot 93

Extremely Rare: Modesti reports for this year only 10 -15 examples were struck in gold

PCGS PS 61..................$10,000

THE CANONIZATION OF ST JOAN OF ARC. The path to canonization for this most popular saint was long, winding and controversial. But when it finally occured over 60,000 people attended the ceremony including descendents of the Saint, Royalty and Heads of State from all over Europe, and dignitaries of the Church.

Vatican City Benedict XV 1914-1922 (Giacomo Della Chiesa)

1920 Gold Annual Medal AN VI (54.22 gm) by Mistruzzi A VI BENEDICTUS XV PONT MAX A VI Bust left MISTRUZZI R/ CAELITUM SANCTORUM HONORIBUS AVCTI Saints Margarete Alacoque, Saint Gabriel dell Ad dollorate, Saint Giovanni D'Arco. on clouds irradiated by a mystical dove. (Christ).

Mistruzzi's first Vatican medal with a stunning reverse celebrating the canonizations of Saint Joan of Arc in 1920. (pictured reverse right in battle armour with flag.)

Extremely Rare, of great historical interest, and in beautiful state of preservation with pristine prooflike fields.

Modesti reports only 10-15 specimens minted in gold. By far the finest of only two known in commerce.

ex tkalec 2007 lot 95 (with ticket)

NGC MS 64......................$15,000

NGC 6679158-002

The Canonization of St Thomas Aquinas. A medal to commemorate the sixth century of the canonization of the greatest christian scholar of the middle ages, author of the Summa Theologica.

Vatican city (Achille Ratti)
Pius XI (1922-1939)

1923, Gold Holy Year Medal ANNO II/ 44.02mm; 52.46g by A. Mistruzzi. Annual Medal. Bust l.//Thomas Aquinas in a wreath of rays above Dante and Beatrice, Pius V, Leo XIII. and Pius XI.  Rinaldi 117.

Very Rare in Gold, and of historical interest.

PCGS SP62.....................$13000

PCGS 42920170

Vatican city (Achille Ratti)
Pius XI (1922-1939)

1926 Gold Holy Year Medal Year V, 52.53 g. by Mistruzzi Pope right, Institute of Christian Archeology, SCHOLA ARCHAEOLOGICA CHRIST ROMAE INSTITUTA MCMXXVI Ø . Au. Bart. E 926.

This medal commemorates the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archeology, the driving force for the excavation and study of Ancient Christian Monuments.

Very Rare Modesti reports only 20-25 medals in gold for this year

PCGS SP 63....................$9000

pcgs 44394832

Vatican city Pio XI 1922-1939 (Achille Ratti)

1928, Gold Holy Year Medal AN VII, AU 55.48 g. 44 mm, Opus Mistruzzi
Ref : Mont. 07 (R3), Rinaldi 12

Ex NGSA IV, 11 Decembre 2006, lot 878 Very rare in gold and choice

PCGS SP 63.......................$7500

PCGS 44394833

Vatican city Pio XI 1922-1939 (Achille Ratti)

1931 Extraordinary Medal of (72.40 grams 44 mm) Opus Mezzana. Obv: Jesus Christ between between Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius IX Rev Grand Cross overlooking two encyclicles supported by hammer and pickaxe.

Ultra High Relief and Of the Highest Rarity in Gold (none in coinarchives in any metal) and of the highest importance in Catholic Doctrine as it orders the church to adopt the Rerum Novarum of Pius XIII directing the church to focus on social problems.

PCGS SP 65........................$8500

PCGS 44394834

Vatican city Pio XI 1922-1939 (Achille Ratti)

1938 Annual Medal of year XVII (62.38 gm) Pope right PIUS PONTIFEX MAXIMUS AXVII R/ University buildings AN CD ANAT S CAROLI BOROMAET below: ATHENAEUM LATRAN A FUNDAMENTIS EXCITATUM Commemorating the creation of the Lataran Pontifical University

Very Rare in gold

PCGS SP 65...................$6750

pcgs 45569576

Vatican City John XXIII (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) 1958-1963

1961 Annual Gold Medal year IV (66.51 gm.) by Giampoli. Pope Left JOANNES XXIII PONTIFEX MAXIMUS ANNO IV r/ The Virgin Mary holding Flame in front of a family and worker with anvil and smokestacks. 15 V 1961

Social Realist motif typical of Giampoli's work in this mid century period. This mdeal celerbates the promulgation of the encyclical Mater et Magistra dealing with the period's social problems.

Very Rare. Giampoli records that 85 medals were minted in gold in this year.

NGC 65 Proof Cameo.........$6750

Vatican City Paul VI (Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini) 1963-1978

1964 Extraordinary Gold Medal (52.96 gm) .750 gold.

Obv by Manfrini. Issued in on the Pope's trip to Bombay India for the International Eucharistic Congress. PAULIS VI IN INDIA V FORMER V CONTINENTIBUS EPISCOPOS CONSACRAVIT The pope center center welcoming five new bishops R/ A Martyr shows his wounds to Christ. by E Senesi. De Luca 369

A very rare special issue medal in gold.

PCGS SP 67....................$5000





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