GREAT BRITAIN medal Prince of Wales marriage 1863


GREAT BRITAIN, medal, 1863, Obverse: conjoined busts R, ALBERT EDWARD ALEXANDRA COTTRIL INVNR. BIRM., sprays of roses around, arms above, Reverse: arms of Wales, H. R. H. THE PRINCE OF WALES AND H. R. H. THE PRINCESS ALEXANDRA MARRIED MARCH 10, 1863, white metal, 39mm, 14.96g, crudely holed at top, XF

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Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, became King Edward VII upon the death of his mother, Queen Victoria. Alexandra was a Princess of Denmark. She was generally kept out of the power loops.

In England tokens started coming into use in the 16th century. Scotland and Ireland followed suit. Since the coinage was unified throughout the country there was not as much need for jetons in the counting houses to keep track of various currencies. But the neglect of the copper level of the market made for blooms of tokens in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. Each bloom was suppressed by the government, which promised to do better, and, by the mid-19th century, finally succeeded. Token use, having become normalized, continued here and there into the 1980s.

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.