How Rare is the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal? An In-Depth Look at Its Value and Collectibility

The 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal marks a significant piece in the United Kingdom’s numismatic history, commemorating George IV’s era before his coronation as part of the British monarchy. Crafted by the renowned Irish artist James Tassie, this medal showcases a distinguished bust of George on its obverse, while the reverse celebrates his support for the arts and sciences. Struck by the Royal Mint in 1759, its creation coincides with a pivotal period in the Kingdom of Great Britain, adding layers to its historical value and appeal.

Highly coveted by collectors, the rarity and collectability of the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal magnify its significance within the realm of British collectibles. Measuring approximately 2.5 inches in diameter and made of bronze, its material and craftsmanship speak volumes of the era’s technological and artistic advancements. This article aims to delve into the depths of its rarity, factors influencing its value, and guidelines for authentication, offering a comprehensive overview for enthusiasts and scholars alike, intent on uncovering the legacy of the Prince of Wales within the Royal Mint’s storied past.

The Historical Context

The 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal, often referred to as the ‘Majority of George,’ was struck to mark a significant milestone in the life of George IV—his coming of age. This event not only celebrated his majority but also symbolized his impending responsibilities as the future monarch. The medal itself, crafted in bronze, serves as a tangible representation of this pivotal moment, encapsulating both the personal growth and the public role anticipated of him.

Key Design Elements

  1. Obverse Side: The medal features an armoured bust of George, Prince of Wales, looking to the left, which symbolizes his readiness to face the responsibilities awaiting him.
  2. Reverse Side: It depicts a scene rich in symbolic imagery: a female figure of Tellus, seated between lions, plays a cymbal while figures dance joyously around an oak tree. This imagery signifies fertility, peace, and prosperity under his anticipated rule.

Historical Significance

The medal not only commemorates George’s personal milestone but also his tenure as the Prince of Wales. During the latter part of his father, George III’s reign, Parliament bestowed upon him the powers to act as Prince Regent, due to his father’s illness. This period was crucial as it marked his transition from a ceremonial figure to an active ruler, a role that he would expand upon ascending to the throne.

Commemorative Context

Struck in 1759, the medal also signifies George IV’s receipt of the freedom of the City of London, an honor highlighting the city’s recognition of his potential as a future leader. This accolade, represented through the medal, underscores the intertwined relationship between the British monarchy and the City of London, reflecting mutual respect and expectations.

By examining these elements, the medal not only emerges as a collector’s item but also as a piece steeped in the rich tapestry of British royal history, offering insights into the ceremonial and practical aspects of monarchy in the 18th century.

Rarity and Collectability

The 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal is highly sought after by collectors due to its rarity and historical significance. This medal, listed under the ‘Medals’ section of the Royal Mint, is considered a more limited edition piece compared to regular coin offerings. Its rarity is further underscored by its condition and the limited stock available.

Key Rarity Factors

  1. Condition: The medal is in Extremely Fine (EF) condition, showcasing mint lustre, sharp detailing, and only faint evidence of circulation, which enhances its desirability among collectors.
  2. Limited Availability: With only a few pieces available, the scarcity of the medal increases its demand and potential value in the collectibles market.
  3. Numista Rarity Index: The medal scores 100 on the Numista Rarity Index, indicating its exceptional rarity among collectors.

Collectibility Attributes

  • Dimensions and Weight: The medal measures 55mm in diameter and weighs 65.72 grams, making it a substantial piece that stands out in any collection.
  • Quality Assurance: Each medal comes with a Royal Mint certificate of authenticity, ensuring its quality and origin, which significantly boosts its collectibility.
  • Reputation of the Royal Mint: Known for its high-quality production of collectible coins and medals, the Royal Mint’s reputation adds to the allure and perceived value of this medal.

Collectors and historians alike value the medal not only for its aesthetic and historical appeal but also for its rarity and the prestige associated with owning a piece crafted by the Royal Mint. The limited stock and exceptional condition make the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal a coveted item, promising to be a highlight in any collection.

Factors Influencing Value

Several factors determine the value of the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal, each contributing to its market price and desirability among collectors. Understanding these factors can help enthusiasts and potential buyers make informed decisions when assessing the worth of this historical piece.


The condition of the medal is paramount in influencing its value. The 1759 George the Prince of Wales Medal is in Extremely Fine (EF) condition, showcasing mint lustre and sharp detailing with only faint signs of circulation. This high level of preservation significantly enhances its attractiveness to collectors.

Rarity and Provenance

Rarity plays a crucial role, with the medal’s limited availability making it a prized possession. Additionally, the provenance, or the history of the medal’s ownership, can add to its value, especially if previously owned by notable collectors or historical figures.

Market Demand

Current market trends greatly affect the value of collectibles like this medal. High demand in the collectibles market can drive prices up, whereas lower demand can decrease them. It is advisable to research recent sales and market conditions to gauge current interest and value.

Design and Historical Significance

The artistic merit and historical significance of the medal also contribute to its value. Featuring a bust of George, Prince of Wales, on the obverse and a symbolic scene on the reverse, the medal’s design reflects important cultural and historical narratives of the time, enhancing its appeal to collectors of historical and royal memorabilia.

Additional Factors

Other aspects such as the absence of scratches, contact marks, or other signs of wear also play a critical role. Collectors value the pristine condition as it reflects the item’s care and preservation over the years. Moreover, the rank of the recipient, in this case, the Prince of Wales, and the reputation of the Royal Mint, which produced the medal, further influence its overall market value.

Recent Sale Prices

Recent sale prices for the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal reveal its considerable value and demand among collectors. Highlighted below are some notable transactions:

  1. Extremely Fine Condition Sales:
    • A medal in Extremely Fine (EF) condition was sold for £1,010.00, highlighting its rarity and high demand.
    • Similarly, another piece in Extremely Fine condition was available for purchase at £805.00 from The Royal Mint website.
  2. Variations in Condition and Price:
    • An alternative listing offered the medal in good Extremely Fine (GEF) condition, featuring a dark chocolate brown color with minor scratches, priced similarly at £1,010.00. This indicates a consistent market value, irrespective of minor condition variations.
  3. Comparison with Other Collectibles:
    • For context, a Hammered Coins lot, specifically a Rose Ryal 30 Shillings James I Third Coinage from 1619 – 25 in Choice Good EF condition, realized a significant £31,000 at a recent auction. This comparison underscores the varied market for historical British coins and medals.

These prices not only reflect the current market status but also affirm the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal as a prized asset, maintaining a steady appeal in the collectibles arena.

How to Authenticate Your Medal

Provenance Verification

  1. Ownership History: Establish the provenance by securing documentation that traces the ownership and transfer history of the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal.

Physical Assessment

  1. Examine Condition: Assess the medal for signs of wear, tear, or damage. These physical characteristics are essential indicators of its age and authenticity.

Design and Inscription Analysis

  1. Compare Design Elements: Verify the authenticity by comparing the design and inscriptions with known authentic specimens. Specifically, the obverse should feature an armored bust of George, and the reverse should depict Tellus, seated between lions.
1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal 'Majority of George' obverse

Expert Consultation

  1. Numismatic Expertise: Consult with experts in numismatics or medallic art who can offer insights into the medal’s authenticity.

Professional Appraisal

  1. Engage Appraisers: Utilize the expertise of professional appraisers specialized in medals and numismatics to obtain a reliable assessment.

Community Engagement

  1. Collector Communities: Participate in discussions and seek advice from established collecting communities and online forums.

Auction Record Analysis

  1. Research Auctions: Look into past auction records and sales data of similar medals to gain insights into authenticity and market values.

Official Documentation

  1. Royal Mint Certification: Ensure the medal is accompanied by a Royal Mint certificate of authenticity.

Engraver Verification

  1. Check Engraver Details: Confirm that the medal is engraved by Thomas Pingo, adding another layer of verification.

Authenticity Confirmation

  1. Final Verification: Always ensure the medal’s authenticity is confirmed by a recognized numismatic expert or a professional appraiser.


Throughout this exploration, we’ve delved into the rich tapestry of history and collectability surrounding the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal. Its rarity, underscored by its limited availability and the exceptional condition of known specimens, combines with its historical significance to cement its status as a coveted piece among collectors. Factors such as condition, rarity, provenance, and market demand play pivotal roles in determining its value, affirming its allure in the realm of numismatics. This medal not only represents a tangible connection to the past but also highlights the intricate relationship between art, history, and monarchy during a formative period in British history.

The journey through the medal’s design, historical context, and factors influencing its collectability and value underscores its significance as more than just a collector’s item; it stands as a beacon of cultural and historical narratives. As we consider the broader implications of this collectibility, it becomes clear that the 1759 George the Prince of Wales Bronze Medal invites further exploration and appreciation of the convergence between historical artefacts and their modern-day guardians. Whether for the seasoned collector or the curious novice, this medal offers a unique window into the past, presenting an invaluable opportunity for discovery and reflection on the heritage it embodies.

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