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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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Collection assorted antique and later tokens and medallions, Australian and English examples.
Jul 24, 7:00 PM AEST
Collection assorted antique and later tokens and medallions, Australian and English examples.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD11013 Bids
ORDER OF LENIN WITH DOCS RARE BADGES IN GOLD AND PLATINUM
Aug 03, 10:00 AM EDT
ORDER OF LENIN WITH DOCS RARE BADGES IN GOLD AND PLATINUM
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$1,1007 Bids
Album of assorted tokens, medallions and antique coin weights, mostly Australian plus mixed world.
Jul 24, 7:00 PM AEST
Album of assorted tokens, medallions and antique coin weights, mostly Australian plus mixed world.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD607 Bids
1976 Fifty State Bicentennial Medal Collection 50 ozt
Jul 24, 10:00 AM CDT
1976 Fifty State Bicentennial Medal Collection 50 ozt
by Revere Auctions
Est: $600- $1,200
$1,1005 Bids
1973 SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR CENTENNIAL US MINT .925 STERLING SILVER MEDAL, 28.8g. 76mm.
Jul 24, 7:00 PM AEST
1973 SAN FRANCISCO CABLE CAR CENTENNIAL US MINT .925 STERLING SILVER MEDAL, 28.8g. 76mm.
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD354 Bids
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1976 BICENTENNIAL 1.3 TROY OZ GOLD MEDALLION PROOF MEDAL
Aug 18, 9:00 AM MST
1976 BICENTENNIAL 1.3 TROY OZ GOLD MEDALLION PROOF MEDAL
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$5603 Bids
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LOT OF 4 FRANKLIN MINT 100 GREATEST MASTERPIECES STERLING SILVER PROOF MEDALS
Aug 18, 9:00 AM MST
LOT OF 4 FRANKLIN MINT 100 GREATEST MASTERPIECES STERLING SILVER PROOF MEDALS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$853 Bids
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LOT OF 4 FRANKLIN MINT 100 GREATEST MASTERPIECES STERLING SILVER PROOF MEDALS
Aug 18, 9:00 AM MST
LOT OF 4 FRANKLIN MINT 100 GREATEST MASTERPIECES STERLING SILVER PROOF MEDALS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1803 Bids
Iran Gold Medals
Jul 31, 10:00 AM EDT
Iran Gold Medals
by DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $5,000- $6,000
$3,0003 Bids
United States of America, Arctic Listening Stations, silver medal, circa 1950
Jul 24, 11:00 AM BST
United States of America, Arctic Listening Stations, silver medal, circa 1950
by Morton & Eden
Est: £100- £200
£852 Bids
FRENCH MEDAL COMPTOIR NATIONAL D ESCOMPTE DE PARIS
Jul 27, 10:00 AM EDT
FRENCH MEDAL COMPTOIR NATIONAL D ESCOMPTE DE PARIS
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$202 Bids
PRESIDENT ZACHARY TAYLOR INDIAN PEACE MEDAL
Jul 25, 11:00 AM EDT
PRESIDENT ZACHARY TAYLOR INDIAN PEACE MEDAL
by Cordier Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $40- $60
$202 Bids
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LOT OF 4 FRANKLIN MINT 100 GREATEST MASTERPIECES STERLING SILVER PROOF MEDALS
Aug 18, 9:00 AM MST
LOT OF 4 FRANKLIN MINT 100 GREATEST MASTERPIECES STERLING SILVER PROOF MEDALS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$1702 Bids
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United States Marine Corps Bicentennial Bronze Medal
Jul 24, 6:00 PM EDT
United States Marine Corps Bicentennial Bronze Medal
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$22 Bids
Iran Gold and Enameled Coronation Medallions
Jul 31, 10:00 AM EDT
Iran Gold and Enameled Coronation Medallions
by DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $3,000- $4,000
$1,6002 Bids
Goldmedal, Landing on the Moon
Jul 26, 11:00 AM CEST
Goldmedal, Landing on the Moon
by Henry's Auktionshaus
Est: €50- €200
€401 Bid
Foreign medals - FRANCIA. Repubblica Placchetta artistica co…
Sep 01, 9:30 AM CEST
Foreign medals - FRANCIA. Repubblica Placchetta artistica co…
by Nomisma S.p.a
Est: €0- €0
€1001 Bid
Antique SILVER Medal Diamond Jubilee Queen Victoria 1897
Jul 25, 3:00 PM EDT
Antique SILVER Medal Diamond Jubilee Queen Victoria 1897
by Artelisted
Est: $30- $100
$101 Bid
Union Officer, 54mm, Gary Beetley
Jul 27, 10:00 AM EDT
Union Officer, 54mm, Gary Beetley
by Hassinger & Courtney Auctioneering
Est: $0- $0
$251 Bid
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Konvolut div. Medaillen, Abzeichen etc.
Aug 02, 11:00 AM CEST
Konvolut div. Medaillen, Abzeichen etc.
by Auktionshalle Cuxhaven
Est: €0- €0
€51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Medals & Medallions


Nomisma S.p.a

Nomisma S.p.a

Alde

Alde

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Auktionshalle Cuxhaven

Eternity Gallery

Eternity Gallery