1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal: A Celebration of Royal Majesty

In the rich tapestry of British history, the year 1685 holds a significant place. It marks the coronation of James II, who married Mary Beatrice, daughter of Alphonso IV, Duke of Modena. This historic event also witnessed the crowning of Mary as the first queen in Britain since the restoration of the monarchy in 1660.

Striking the 1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal commemorated this momentous occasion, leaving an indelible mark on numismatic history.

The Reign of James II and Mary Beatrice

The marriage of James II and Mary Beatrice in 1673 brought together two powerful European families, the Stuarts and the Estes. James II ascended to the throne in 1685, following the death of his brother, Charles II. This marked the beginning of his reign as King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. As his queen consort, Mary played a pivotal role in their joint rule, becoming the first queen crowned in Britain since the restoration of the monarchy.

The Significance of the Coronation Medal

The 1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal holds immense historical and numismatic significance. Struck to commemorate the coronation of James II on 23 April 1685, this medal is a testament to the grandeur and majesty of the occasion. The obverse of the medal features a laureate portrait of Mary, showcasing her regal beauty and dignity. The reverse displays the queen seated upon a mound, symbolizing her elevated status, and features the inscription ‘O. DEA. CERTE. FINESS’.

Designers and Specifications

The talented artist John Roettier is credited with the exquisite design of the Mary of Modena Coronation Medal. Known for his exceptional skill in creating detailed and lifelike portraits, Roettier captured the essence of Mary’s grace and charm in his artwork. Multiple pairs of dies were used to strike the medal, resulting in slight variations among specimens. Additionally, some medals feature extra lettering ‘CORONATION OF JAMES II 1685’, further solidifying its tie to this historic event.


  • Reverse Designer: John Roettier
  • Obverse Designer: John Roettier
  • Year: 1685
  • Pure Metal Type: Silver
1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal reverse

Rarity and Value

The 1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal is a highly sought-after piece among numismatic enthusiasts and collectors. Its rarity, coupled with its historical significance, contributes to its allure and value. While the exact number of surviving specimens is unknown, each medal is a testament to a bygone era and a symbol of royal majesty. The value of these medals can vary depending on factors such as condition, rarity, and market demand.

Collecting and Preserving the Mary of Modena Coronation Medal

For those captivated by the beauty and historical significance of the Mary of Modena Coronation Medal, collecting and preserving these exquisite pieces can be a rewarding endeavor. When acquiring a medal, it is essential to ensure its authenticity and condition. Working with reputable numismatic dealers and experts can help guarantee the genuineness of the medal and provide valuable insights into its provenance.

Preserving the medal requires proper care and handling. Storing it in a protective case or capsule can help prevent scratches and oxidation. Avoid touching the medal directly, as the oils from your fingers may damage the delicate surface. Regularly inspecting and cleaning the medal with a soft cloth can help maintain its luster and ensure its longevity.

Historical Significance and Legacy

The 1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal serves as an enduring symbol of a pivotal moment in British history. It represents the union of two powerful families and the coronation of a king and queen who left an indelible mark on the nation. Beyond its numismatic value, this medal serves as a tangible connection to the past, allowing us to reflect on the grandeur and splendor of the Stuart era and the royal legacy that followed.


The 1685 Mary of Modena Coronation Medal stands as a testament to the regal majesty and historical significance of James II and Mary Beatrice’s reign. With its exquisite design and unique place in history, this medal captures the essence of a bygone era. Whether admired for its numismatic value, historical significance, or sheer beauty, the Mary of Modena Coronation Medal continues to captivate collectors and enthusiasts alike, preserving the legacy of a remarkable moment in British history.

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