GREAT BRITAIN, silver medal, (1754)


GREAT BRITAIN, medal, no date (1754), Obverse: bust R in crowned hat, EDWARD . VI . D . G . ANG . FR . ET HIB . REX, L. PINGO at truncation, Reverse: open book, HEAR . READ . MARK . LEARN CHRISTS HOSPITAL INST. MDLIII, Edge: plain, silver, 35mm, 15.05g, Marker’s Prize medal, supposed to have recipient name engraved on edge but there is no name, Eimer-29, Pingo-66a, VF

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A series of prize medals featuring English monarchs was struck in the mid-18th century.

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.