Medals and more ... Exonumia


The National Collection has a number of medals which show the portrait of a number of different rulers or Grand Masters, namely Charles V, De Omedes, De La Sengle, De La Vallette, De La Cassiere, De Verdalle, Alof De Wignacourt, Lascaris Castellar, De Redin, Zondadari, De Vilhena, Pinto, Ximenex, De Rohan and Hompesch and the British Queen Victoria and Qeeen Elizabeth. Some were made to commemorate special events such as De La Valletta’s Melita Renascens medal which was made when the foundations of the new city of Valletta were laid.

An interesting group of medal are those referred to a Maltese Blockade medals. These medals were given to some Maltese insurgents for their courage. The gold ones were awarded to the leaders who defended their country during the rebellion against the French. The silver ones were given to those locals who guarded the various villages from the French or for contributing personal funds, at times even mortgaging their property in order to buy grain from Sicily. Four such medals were awarded to Paolo Borg, Giovanni Maria Cassar, Felice Borg and Andrea Attard.

Large medals and accessories

Medals vary in size and some of them, as can be seen in this section were quite large. Their exact use is not known. Moreover the actual coins were later utilised in different formats, such as these two belts made out of coins of the Order of St John. The larger belt is composed of 22 Silver coins whereas the shorter one is made out of 10 silver coins.

Dies, proofs and related coins

The introductory panel has shown how the coins were minted. The last part of this showcase show a number of the dies which were used in order to produce the actual coin or medal. Apart from that there are a number of coins issued during the British period which were issued as proofs only and were never meant to be in circulation.

Courtesy of the National Museum of Archaeology

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