GREAT BRITAIN, medal for the National Reforms, 1832


GREAT BRITAIN, medal, 1832, Obverse: 3 allegorical figures stg holding scroll on which REFORM, another with banner on which VICTORY & trumpet floating R above, THE SPLENDOUR OF THE THRONE, THE PURITY OF THE CONSTITUTION AND THE FREEDOM OF THE PEOPLE RESTORED. 1832, Reverse: ENGLISH REFORM BILL… SCOTCH REFORM BILL… IRISH REFORM BILL…, with details of dates, holed for loop, white metal, 54mm, few light spots, nick, XF

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Commemorative medals popular souvenirs in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. White metal is an alloy of tin and zinc mostly, popularly used for cheap medals because it starts out very shiny. It tones dark gray, but that would happen later.

There are two kinds of things that are called “medals.” One is things that look like coins but don’t express a value. Sometimes those medals are considerably larger than most coins. The other kind of medal is a metal thing designed to be displayed on one’s chest, often a reward for something, often in a military context. If the medal is small enough it is sometimes called a “medallet.”

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins.I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.