Loading Spinner

Commemorative Medals

Commemorative medals are minted to signify special events. They are typically not legal tender, although some commemorative coins do have a legal tender value. Commemorative medals are officially awarded to people, organizations, or events who have achieved something uncommon or noteworthy.

United States commemorative medals are created by the Treasury, which also mints replicas of the actual medal. Today, these replica medals are typically made out of bronze. Examples of these medals in the United States are typically divided into two categories: list medals, which include Presidents, directors of the Treasury, and historical buildings of the United States, and event-oriented medals such as military medals, centennial and bicentennial medals, and humanitarian or cultural medals.

Each nation issues their own version of commemorative medals. Since these medals are minted in the native language of the issuing country, it can be challenging to discover information on specific medals. Each one has a story to tell, and discovering these stories can be equally rewarding and difficult.


Quick Facts

  • Presidential medals originated as peace medals,offered by explorers to Native America chieftains and ambassadors to politicians of other nations
  • From 1980 to 1999, the Denver mint included a Treasury medal featuring the mint facility in its mint proof sets. In 2000, this was replaced by the Sacagawea dollar
  • A special gold medal series was issued from 1980 to 1984 featuring famous American artists. Only 10 editions were minted with selected artists ranging from Mark Twain to Louis Armstrong

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

LT. VICTOR BLUE SPAN-AM COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
Oct 31, 8:00 AM EDT
LT. VICTOR BLUE SPAN-AM COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
by Alexander Historical Auctions LLC
Est: $80- $100
$1003 Bids
JOHN PAUL JONES COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
Oct 31, 8:00 AM EDT
JOHN PAUL JONES COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
by Alexander Historical Auctions LLC
Est: $60- $80
$402 Bids
A GILT AND GUILLOCHÉ ENAMELLED ORDER OF THE CROWN OF THAILAND MEDAL Thailand, circa 1900s
Oct 29, 1:00 PM BST
A GILT AND GUILLOCHÉ ENAMELLED ORDER OF THE CROWN OF THAILAND MEDAL Thailand, circa 1900s
by Chiswick Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£1001 Bid
bp parity badge
Erinnerungsmedaille an die Reise nach Amerika 1902
Oct 29, 11:00 AM CEST
Erinnerungsmedaille an die Reise nach Amerika 1902
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€51 Bid
1972 Bicentennial Commemorative Medal
Oct 27, 1:00 PM CDT
1972 Bicentennial Commemorative Medal
by McCurley Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
A US Military Bronze Star medal with case,
Nov 06, 9:00 AM PDT
A US Military Bronze Star medal with case,
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $150- $250
$1001 Bid
A bronze medal for Navy Bravery
Nov 12, 10:00 AM CET
A bronze medal for Navy Bravery
by Czerny's International Auction House
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
Commemorative medal brooch with the Image of Diana…
Oct 28, 5:00 PM CEST
Commemorative medal brooch with the Image of Diana…
by Subastas Segre
Est: €550- €825
€5500 Bids
bp parity badge
Nevada State Museum Commemorative Medallions [136236]
Oct 31, 8:00 AM PDT
Nevada State Museum Commemorative Medallions [136236]
by Holabird Western Americana
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Commemorative medal of the centenary of the revolution of 1848-1948, silver
Oct 28, 7:00 PM EEST
Commemorative medal of the centenary of the revolution of 1848-1948, silver
by A10 by Artmark
Est: €0- €0
€750 Bids
W.J. Amor Sterling Silver "AMOR" Commemorative Medallion, c1910
Nov 07, 10:00 AM PDT
W.J. Amor Sterling Silver "AMOR" Commemorative Medallion, c1910
by Global Auctions Company
Est: $200- $250
$1500 Bids
NAPOLEON III COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
Oct 31, 8:00 AM EDT
NAPOLEON III COMMEMORATIVE MEDAL
by Alexander Historical Auctions LLC
Est: $80- $100
$400 Bids
bp parity badge
Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper's Honorary Key to the City of Indianapolis
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Mercury Astronaut Gordon Cooper's Honorary Key to the City of Indianapolis
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
Lindbergh's Key to the City Award 1927
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Lindbergh's Key to the City Award 1927
by University Archives
Est: $300- $400
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
Nativist "Order of Daughters of Liberty" Pinback Badge Ribbon
Nov 10, 10:30 AM EST
Nativist "Order of Daughters of Liberty" Pinback Badge Ribbon
by University Archives
Est: $200- $300
$700 Bids
COMMEMORATIVE COIN DISHES (3)
Oct 31, 8:00 AM EDT
COMMEMORATIVE COIN DISHES (3)
by Alexander Historical Auctions LLC
Est: $60- $80
$300 Bids
Australia's 1788-1938 150th Anniversary Medal in Sterling (925) Silver
Oct 31, 12:00 PM AEDT
Australia's 1788-1938 150th Anniversary Medal in Sterling (925) Silver
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD1,500- AUD1,750
AUD1,0000 Bids
Joseph Stalin Medal by Amors (Sydney) circa 1940 Uncirculated
Oct 31, 12:00 PM AEDT
Joseph Stalin Medal by Amors (Sydney) circa 1940 Uncirculated
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD1,500- AUD1,750
AUD1,0000 Bids
University of Wisconsin 50th Anniversary Plaque
Nov 04, 12:00 PM EDT
University of Wisconsin 50th Anniversary Plaque
by Alex Cooper
Est: $250- $350
$1250 Bids
Panama Canal Service Medal 1912-1914
Nov 04, 12:00 PM EDT
Panama Canal Service Medal 1912-1914
by Alex Cooper
Est: $300- $400
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Commemorative Medals


Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Smalls Auctions

Smalls Auctions

University Archives

University Archives

Alex Cooper

Alex Cooper