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Huge Collection of British ‘inaugural’ medals in London sale

By Coin World’s Jeff Starck

A huge collection of the British equivalent of American inaugural medals realised an auction total of £153,618 ($224,778 US) during A H Baldwin & Sons May 4 auction in London.

The Dr Robert and Joshua Feldman Collection of Official British Coronation and Jubille Medals featured 75 lots with 77 medals (including a small number of copies or imitations).

The medals tell the history of royalty in Britain during the course of more than four centuries and reflect changing artistic values and abilities during that time.

Some of the most famous British coin designers were commissioned to create these medals, and the rarity often far surpasses coins of the same monarch but at fractions of the cost.

A history of the series

The Royal Mint has issued British Coronation Medals since James I’s coronation in 1603 and the tradition continued for more than 300 years.

According to Robert Feldman, the medals “constitute a wonderful historic legacy for the United Kingdom; cultural artifacts rich in symbolism.”

Though initially only silver and gold versions were issued, copper editions were added beginning in 1685 for James II’s coronation.

 

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