Medals & Medallions

Numismatics is known primarily as the study and collecting of coins, but it also includes several subsets including medals and medallions. Medals have a very long and storied history dating back to at least the Roman Empire, where medals were die cast to commemorate noteworthy political and military events. In the Middle Ages, the awarding of medals shifted to become a means of awarding to develop favor and support. The Renaissance saw medals return to a military emphasis. At this time, medals also became a fashion statement with the minting of costume medals.

As with many branches of coin collecting, medals are steeped in history. Some military service medals, such as those from World War I, feature the name of the awardee, his service number, rank, and regiment. This information can then be researched, offering an exciting window into the past.

Not all medals are military memorabilia, of course. Perhaps the most famous medal of all is the Olympic medal, which is awarded to placing competitors at the Olympic Games. Some medals have been issued for diplomatic purposes, such as the Native American peace medals. These peace medals were originally constructed of two separate silver sides and then held together with a ring of metal that enclosed the edge.


Quick Facts

  • An Olympic medal from 1904 was auctioned off in 2013. The medal achieved a record $31,300 sale price
  • Not all medals are issued by governments, nations, or for sporting events. Many smaller organizations, such as the American Numismatic Society, also produce their own medals for noteworthy accomplishments or services rendered outside the normal call of duty
  • Early medals and ancient coins are sometimes confused with one another, as some ancient coins have historically been set in jewelry and worn

Recommended Items at Auction

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U.S. Bald Eagle Coin & Medal Set w/ 2008-P Uncirculated Silver Dollar - Still Sealed!
Oct 18, 5:00 PM EDT
U.S. Bald Eagle Coin & Medal Set w/ 2008-P Uncirculated Silver Dollar - Still Sealed!
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$209 Bids
Five medallions marked Bitcoin
Oct 19, 6:00 PM AEDT
Five medallions marked Bitcoin
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD30- AUD50
AUD455 Bids
Military Medals, Pins, Buttons
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
Military Medals, Pins, Buttons
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$605 Bids
2011 medal of honor silver dollar
Oct 20, 6:00 PM CDT
2011 medal of honor silver dollar
by Easterly Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$185 Bids
Four imitation bars plus quantity of tokens/medallions
Oct 19, 6:00 PM AEDT
Four imitation bars plus quantity of tokens/medallions
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD30- AUD50
AUD255 Bids
Bicycle Fobs & Medal
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
Bicycle Fobs & Medal
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $50- $100
$402 Bids
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1924 Peace Dollar in Sterling Bezel
Oct 23, 2:00 PM EDT
1924 Peace Dollar in Sterling Bezel
by Heritage Antiques & Auction
Est: $30- $50
$202 Bids
1oz .999 Peanuts Silver Medallion Featuring the Peanuts Gang
Oct 19, 5:00 PM EDT
1oz .999 Peanuts Silver Medallion Featuring the Peanuts Gang
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$112 Bids
Misc. Foreign Medals
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
Misc. Foreign Medals
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
RUSSIAN MEDAL OF TSAREVICH ALEXEI
Oct 30, 1:00 PM CEST
RUSSIAN MEDAL OF TSAREVICH ALEXEI
by Galerie Moenius
Est: CHF80- CHF160
CHF801 Bid
(3) U.S. WWII Medals, Patch, Two Casino Coins
Oct 23, 9:30 AM EDT
(3) U.S. WWII Medals, Patch, Two Casino Coins
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
1920 German KARL GOETZ Black Shame Bronze Medallion
Oct 30, 12:00 PM EDT
1920 German KARL GOETZ Black Shame Bronze Medallion
by South Florida Auction & Estate Sale Services
Est: $6- $1,000
$61 Bid
8 COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION MEDALS * WOOD & METAL
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
8 COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION MEDALS * WOOD & METAL
by Milestone Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$801 Bid
MINIATURE POLAR MEDALS OF THE 1876 AND 1904 ISSUES
Nov 02, 10:00 AM GMT
MINIATURE POLAR MEDALS OF THE 1876 AND 1904 ISSUES
by Charles Miller Ltd
Est: £100- £150
£501 Bid
VINTAGE AUTOMOBILE AND WORLD'S FAIR MEDALLIONS
Oct 22, 4:00 PM EDT
VINTAGE AUTOMOBILE AND WORLD'S FAIR MEDALLIONS
by Diefenderfer Auction Company
Est: $0- $0
$21 Bid
2-.999 SILVER MARDI GRAS MEDALS
Oct 19, 11:00 AM EDT
2-.999 SILVER MARDI GRAS MEDALS
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $100- $150
$101 Bid
STERLING SILVER MALACHITE MEDALLION EARRINGS
Oct 24, 2:00 PM EDT
STERLING SILVER MALACHITE MEDALLION EARRINGS
by Lakelands Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
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Jean Cocteau, medaillon l'esprit du jardin
Oct 21, 5:00 PM BST
Jean Cocteau, medaillon l'esprit du jardin
by Bonhams
Est: £700- £1,000
£7001 Bid
Antique Chinese medal sculpture of a man 4.25”x 4” x 2.25”
Oct 20, 1:00 PM EDT
Antique Chinese medal sculpture of a man 4.25”x 4” x 2.25”
by OG Collections
Est: $25- $50
$51 Bid
BRIER Antique medal sculpture Made by Gallery originals 5” x 8.5” x 4.75”
Oct 20, 1:00 PM EDT
BRIER Antique medal sculpture Made by Gallery originals 5” x 8.5” x 4.75”
by OG Collections
Est: $25- $50
$51 Bid
Vintage medal hand painted flower vase 17” x 17” x 12” x 11”
Oct 20, 1:00 PM EDT
Vintage medal hand painted flower vase 17” x 17” x 12” x 11”
by OG Collections
Est: $25- $50
$51 Bid
Gold Bicycle Medal
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
Gold Bicycle Medal
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $75- $100
$301 Bid
Bicycle Medals
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
Bicycle Medals
by Copake Auction Inc.
Est: $75- $100
$301 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Medals & Medallions


MDC Monaco

MDC Monaco

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Silver City Auctions

Silver City Auctions