Diary of a Medal Maker | The Royal Mint

Diary of a Medal Maker

The Royal Mint brings more than 1000 years of experience to every project we are involved in. For production of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic medals we have been required to maintain standards of precision and craftsmanship that few companies in the world can match.

A project such as this begins many years before the event itself. For us, the medal design process began way back in 2005 when we submitted initial prototypes. Since then, we have evolved the design, developed many new techniques and prepared ourselves for one of the most prestigious minting jobs The Royal Mint has ever undertaken.

(Can't see the videos below?  You can also watch them on The Royal Mint's Youtube Channel)

Part One

It begins with a blank piece of metal. We take that blank, rough-cut disc, and we begin to apply our art. The edges are softened, the die is set, and the first strike is made. Immediately, the simple blank disc is transformed into a beautiful, but as yet unfinished, victory medal.

Part Two

These medals are designed to be worn, and a medal cannot be worn without its mount. The mount must be securely attached as it will need to endure many years of proud display and the possibility of being swung in joyous celebration by its eventual owner. We meticulously attach each mount by hand, before passing the medal on to the next stage of production.

Part Three

Once the medal is struck and the mount attached, each medal undergoes painstaking and precise finishing. Each medal must be perfect; no lesser standard would be acceptable. The processes we use for our fine coins are applied, by hand, to each and every medal to ensure a finish that we can be proud of.

Part Four

Finally, and with a delicate touch, each medal is hallmarked and engraved. The ribbon is attached, and the finished medal is proudly boxed and securely stored prior to transportation and its eventual emergence to celebrate and commemorate the peak of sporting achievement on a stage viewed by the world.

For more pictures from the medal making process, why not view the slideshow on The Royal Mint blog?

This is our part in the story, we are proud to share it, and we are equally proud to offer a range of coins for you to commemorate the events of 2012.