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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

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Commemorative medal "Man's first flights into space"
May 23, 11:00 AM CEST
Commemorative medal "Man's first flights into space"
by Colasanti Casa d'Aste
Est: €2,000- €4,000
€2,0001 Bid
England (Great Britain) Commemorative Medal of James II in White Metal
May 26, 12:00 PM AEST
England (Great Britain) Commemorative Medal of James II in White Metal
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD75- AUD100
AUD501 Bid
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LOT OF 7 COMMEMORATIVE PRIX DE WEST BRONZE MEDALLIONS
Jun 09, 9:00 AM MST
LOT OF 7 COMMEMORATIVE PRIX DE WEST BRONZE MEDALLIONS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
1975 Bicentennial Battles of Lexington & Concord Commem Silver Medal
Jun 01, 7:00 PM EDT
1975 Bicentennial Battles of Lexington & Concord Commem Silver Medal
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
French Bakelite Plaque of Viscount Palmerston by Bois Durci
May 26, 12:00 PM AEST
French Bakelite Plaque of Viscount Palmerston by Bois Durci
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD50- AUD60
AUD401 Bid
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2011 MEDAL OF HONOR COMMEMORATIVE $5 PROOF GOLD COIN
Jun 23, 9:00 AM MST
2011 MEDAL OF HONOR COMMEMORATIVE $5 PROOF GOLD COIN
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - EDWARD VII - COMMEMORATIVE ZN MEDAL
Jun 08, 12:00 PM BST
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - EDWARD VII - COMMEMORATIVE ZN MEDAL
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £30- £40
£50 Bids
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - ANNE - UNION OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND - BRONZE MEDALLION BY CROKER
Jun 08, 12:00 PM BST
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - ANNE - UNION OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND - BRONZE MEDALLION BY CROKER
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£50 Bids
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - SOUTH AFRICA - PRETORIA - TRANSVAAL - AE COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION
Jun 08, 12:00 PM BST
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - SOUTH AFRICA - PRETORIA - TRANSVAAL - AE COMMEMORATIVE MEDALLION
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £50- £70
£450 Bids
A 22 carat gold commemorative medal for
May 23, 10:00 AM BST
A 22 carat gold commemorative medal for
by Kinghams Auctioneers
Est: £350- £400
£1700 Bids
Presidential Commemorative Coin and Medal Group
Jun 01, 9:00 AM EDT
Presidential Commemorative Coin and Medal Group
by Dana J. Tharp Auctions
Est: $40- $60
$200 Bids
Commemorative Medal for the Centenary of the Birth of Silva Porto
May 23, 8:00 PM WEST
Commemorative Medal for the Centenary of the Birth of Silva Porto
by Marques dos Santos
Est: €75- €100
€500 Bids
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - MIXED MEDAL GROUP [7]
Jun 08, 12:00 PM BST
COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS - MIXED MEDAL GROUP [7]
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £40- £60
£50 Bids
LOT OF THREE COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS
May 31, 3:00 PM CEST
LOT OF THREE COMMEMORATIVE MEDALS
by Casa d'Aste Babuino
Est: €0- €0
€100 Bids
Two commemorative medals relating to Emperor Wilhem II, Germany, Prussia, first half 20th century
May 29, 7:00 PM CEST
Two commemorative medals relating to Emperor Wilhem II, Germany, Prussia, first half 20th century
by Vendu Rotterdam
Est: €100- €200
€800 Bids
1953 Eisenhower Commemorative Gold Medal
Jun 09, 12:30 PM CDT
1953 Eisenhower Commemorative Gold Medal
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $10- $10,000
$50 Bids
Germany/Italy 1889 Silver-plate Medal to commemorate a Visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II to Italy
May 26, 12:00 PM AEST
Germany/Italy 1889 Silver-plate Medal to commemorate a Visit of Kaiser Wilhelm II to Italy
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD115- AUD135
AUD750 Bids
Great Britain 1937 'George VI' Coronation Medal' in Brass Pendant Frame
May 26, 12:00 PM AEST
Great Britain 1937 'George VI' Coronation Medal' in Brass Pendant Frame
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD200 Bids
An assembled lot of 2 commemorative gold medals, Napoleon I , 5 Francs and 10 Korona
Jun 12, 10:00 AM CEST
An assembled lot of 2 commemorative gold medals, Napoleon I , 5 Francs and 10 Korona
by Ostantix Auctions
Est: €700- €900
€6000 Bids
1937 Paramount Silver Jubilee for Adolf Zukor Commemorative Desk Medal
Jun 15, 10:00 AM CDT
1937 Paramount Silver Jubilee for Adolf Zukor Commemorative Desk Medal
by Matthew Bullock Auctioneers
Est: $40- $60
$200 Bids
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Queen Victoria 1837-1897 bronze 60th anniversary c…
May 26, 10:00 AM AEST
Queen Victoria 1837-1897 bronze 60th anniversary c…
by Amanda Addams Auctions
Est: AUD150- AUD250
AUD1200 Bids
AUSTRALIA COINS | AUSTRALIA - HISTORICAL MEDALS ETC | Australian Commemorative Medal
Jun 05, 9:30 AM AEST
AUSTRALIA COINS | AUSTRALIA - HISTORICAL MEDALS ETC | Australian Commemorative Medal
by Status International
Est: AUD75- AUD100
AUD750 Bids
Numismatist interest - A set of four Sir Winston Churchill 18ct Gold Commemorative Medals
May 24, 2:00 PM BST
Numismatist interest - A set of four Sir Winston Churchill 18ct Gold Commemorative Medals
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Est: £2,200- £2,300
£2,2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Commemorative Medals


TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions

Smalls Auctions

Smalls Auctions

Amanda Addams Auctions

Amanda Addams Auctions

Bradford's

Bradford's