The Royal Numismatic Society has made a new medal, which is presented each year to “some person highly distinguished for services to Numismatic Science”, and generally recognized as one of the highest accolades in the field of numismatics. Stocks of the previous medal, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, had run out. Following a competition, the Society commissioned the distinguished medallist, Robert Elderton, to design its medal, which has been struck by Thomas Fattorini of Birmingham. The medal has very striking designs on both obverse and reverse, and Mr Elderton has written the following explanation:
“When asked to design a medal to commemorate the birth of the Royal Numismatic Society I was thrilled to be given the honour. However, I must admit my mind drew a blank. Then suddenly I recalled a visit to an Italian restaurant in Royal Leamington Spa. Spanning the ceiling was a large replica painting of the The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. I decided to use the open shell as the main element of the design. Instead of Venus I thought the first Royal Numismatic Society medal would sit very well inside the shell, just like a pearl – an image many people might bring to mind. Depicting the medal would give a link from the past to the present day. I added the lettering. It looked a bit bare and needed something else of interest. That’s when I hit upon the idea of an octopus pressing open the shell. Job done – obverse sorted! For the reverse it came to mind that the Octopus could be a collector – plenty of coins to gather up from Davy Jones’ locker as he sits on a seabed of treasures. Reverse sorted!”
The first recipient of the new medal will be announced at the Society’s AGM in June.
Last year, in 2021, François de Callataÿ received the Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society.
Visit the homepage of the Royal Numismatic Society.
The long and impressive list of winners of the RNS-Medal can be found here.