George IV commemorative medal

Dave Irlam said he came across this coin in his collection but had no idea of what it was. Therefore, he sent me images and asked for a full ID.

Firstly, this is a small commemorative medal rather than a coin. Dave didn’t give a size or say what it was made of.  However, it will be about 25mm in diameter and is likely to be be gilded silver or base metal

On the obverse is the head of King George IV. On the reverse, either side of a crown, are sprays made up of oak leaves, shamrock and thistles. Other information on this side tells us that George was born on 12 August 1762, his accession to the throne was on 29 January 2020 and he was crowned on 19 June 1821. Therefore, this medal would have gone on sale after George was crowned as king.

Medals commemorating a wide range of people, anniversaries and events became popular from the 16th century onwards. Most were larger than Dave’s specimen and were affordable by a narrow section of society. From around 1800 onwards small medals in base metal started to be struck in large quantities. These were aimed at the lower end of the market and proved to be very popular.

I’ve seem a few small commemorative medals of George IV, William IV and Victoria as detecting finds. They are worth very little in cash terms but are nonetheless interesting items that might have been treasured by our ancestors.

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