1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal – Rare Or Worth Anything?

Issued to commemorate the monumental 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal holds a unique place in the annals of royal memorabilia. Crafted to honour those within the royal realms and key figures in London, the medal is a tangible symbol of the coronation that solidified Queen Elizabeth’s role within the Commonwealth.

With a striking design featuring the crowned effigy of the Queen and the Royal Cypher EIIR, the medal not only encapsulates the grandeur of the crown but also the cultural significance of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Collectors and historians alike seek out this piece, underscoring its enduring value and the rich tapestry of history it represents.

The Historical Significance of the 1953 Coronation Medal

The 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal not only commemorated a pivotal event in British history but also testified to the extensive reach of the Commonwealth and the enduring legacy of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Initially established to mark the coronation on June 2, 1953, the medal awarded a broad spectrum of individuals who had rendered notable public services across Britain and the Commonwealth realms.

Distribution and Design

Members of the Royal Family, officers of state, and various officials including mayors and public servants, as well as military and police personnel, received the medal. Notably, the British Mount Everest Expedition had specific medals engraved, highlighting the intertwining of national achievements with royal celebrations.

Symbolism and Craftsmanship

Crafted by Cecil Thomas, a renowned sculptor and medallist, the medal features a right-facing portrait of Queen Elizabeth II adorned with a Tudor crown. The reverse showcases the royal monogram EIIR, encapsulating the monarch’s initials and the coronation date, symbolizing the Queen’s new role as the head of state. The design reflects both the artistic standards of the time and the ceremonial importance of the occasion.

Cultural and Historical Impact

Coronation medals have been a British tradition since 1547, evolving in design and significance over the centuries. The 1953 medal, made of solid silver, not only acknowledges individual contributions to public life but also cements the cultural heritage of the coronation event itself. Its issuance to over 153,000 recipients underscores the widespread recognition and celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascent to the throne, marking the beginning of a new era in British and Commonwealth history.

Factors Influencing the Medal’s Worth

Rarity and Historical Significance

The value of the 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal is significantly influenced by its rarity and the historical context of its issuance. Notably, only 25 gold medals were minted, categorizing these as particularly rare and valuable collectibles. The standard silver medals, while more common, still hold considerable value due to their association with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a key historical event.

Condition and Market Demand

The condition of the medal plays a crucial role in determining its worth. Medals in ‘Extremely Fine’ condition, which exhibit minimal signs of wear and maintain most of their mint lustre, are highly sought after. Furthermore, market demand can fluctuate, influencing prices. For instance, the standard version of the medal currently holds an estimated market value of around £350.00, but can reach much higher prices, depending on the level of preservation of the coin.

Design and Artistic Value

Crafted by Cecil Thomas, the medal’s design features a sophisticated portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II and reflects high artistic standards. Collectors often value the aesthetic and craftsmanship of commemorative medals, which can enhance their market value.

1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal side 2

Provenance and Personalization

Provenance can also affect a medal’s worth. Medals awarded to notable individuals or those with documented historical significance are often more valuable. Additionally, personalization options such as engraving, which costs an additional £15.00, allow for individual distinction but may not necessarily increase the medal’s market value.

Where to Buy or Sell the 1953 Coronation Medal

Online Platforms and Local Dealers

  1. The Royal Mint: This company not only sells the medal at prices such as £350.00 but also offers additional services like medal mounting, engraving, repair, and display frames. They are a reliable source for collectors seeking comprehensive services.
  2. Online Medals and eBay: For those interested in purchasing or selling the 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, platforms like Online Medals and eBay offer a wide range of options. Prices on eBay can vary significantly, from £250.00 to £750.00 depending on the condition and completeness of the medal set.

Retail Options and Authenticity Verification

  • The Royal Mint and Specialty Retailers: The Royal Mint provides collectors’ items such as a silver 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, measuring 32mm. Additionally, medals are available on specialized retailers’ websites with options for shipping, mounting, and engraving services.
  • Verification Before Purchase: It is crucial to verify the authenticity of the medal before engaging in any purchase or sale. This ensures the value of the transaction and the genuineness of the medal.

How to Determine Your Medal’s Worth

Detailed Characteristics of the Medal

  1. Physical Description: The 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal is circular, measuring 32mm in diameter and crafted from silver. This standard dimension underscores the uniformity and formal specifications of commemorative medals.
  2. Artistic Elements: On the obverse, the medal proudly displays a crowned effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, symbolizing her ascension and reign. The reverse is equally detailed, featuring the Royal Cypher EIIR surmounted by a large crown, accompanied by the inscription ‘QUEEN ELIZABETH II CROWNED 2ND JUNE 1953’. These elements are crucial in understanding the medal’s thematic and royal connections.
  3. Ribbon Specifications: The accompanying ribbon is 32mm wide, dark red with two narrow dark blue stripes in the center and a narrow white stripe along either edge, reflecting the regal colour scheme traditionally associated with British royal decorations.

Factors Affecting Collectible Value

  • Material and Weight: The medal’s composition includes versions made from 18-carat gold, weighing 35.80 grams, and having a diameter of 38.00 millimeters. These specifications are vital for appraisals, especially for the rarer gold versions.
  • Condition and Presentation: The state of preservation significantly impacts the medal’s value. Options for presentation, such as Swing Style or Court Style mounting, play a role in its display and preservation, potentially affecting its desirability among collectors.
  • Engraving and Personalization: While the medal can be engraved with the recipient’s details for an additional cost, this personalization might influence its collectability and worth, depending on the preferences of collectors and the historical significance of the individual recipient.

Authentication and Historical Significance

  • Provenance Verification: Ensuring the authenticity of the medal through provenance checks is essential. The historical significance, particularly if linked to notable recipients or events, can exponentially increase its value.

By considering these detailed aspects and characteristics, collectors and enthusiasts can more accurately determine the worth of their 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medals, appreciating not just their monetary value but also their historical and artistic significance.


Throughout this exploration of the 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal, we’ve delved into the profound historical, artistic, and cultural significance attached to this commemorative item. From its ceremonial inception to signify Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation to its status among collectors, the medal’s value transcends mere financial worth, encapsulating a piece of British and Commonwealth history. Factorial determinants such as rarity, condition, and provenance have been outlined, illuminating how these elements intricately influence the medal’s desirability and market value.

Embarking on the journey of acquiring or evaluating one of these medals necessitates an appreciation of its symbolic legacy alongside an understanding of its physical and artistic merits. For enthusiasts and collectors, the 1953 Elizabeth II Coronation Medal embodies a timeless connection to a pivotal event in the monarchy’s narrative, making it not just an object of collection but a keepsake of heritage. This understanding, coupled with a methodical approach to verifying authenticity and worth, ensures that the medal remains a cherished and revered artefact for generations to come.

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