Coin Versus Medallion

At California Gold and Silver Exchange we are often asked to evaluate coins from the United States and other countries.  Many times we find that people have medallions, not coins.  So, what is the difference between a coin and a medallion? Below is a detailed information about what makes a coin and what makes a medallion.

What is a coin?

A coin is made by a sovereign government, like the United States, China, or Great Britain for example.  A coin has a monetary value with a denomination or face value, for example, 50 centavos, 1 franc, or 25 cents.  Coins have a year of issue on them.  The coins from Europe often have the reigning king or queen from that time period on the front of the coin and the denomination or face value on the back of the coin. Pictured below is a Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Coin.

What is a Medallion?

So what then is a medallion?  A medallion is made to commemorate an event, person, or a place. It is round in shape like a coin, but it does not have a monetary value.  A medallion cannot be spent.  It can still be made by a sovereign government, like the Eisenhower Medal made by the US Mint, but more than likely it is made by a private mint.  A medallion can also be called a medal, token, or round. We see this very often with silver rounds.  Many people think they have a silver coin when in fact they have a silver round.  The silver round will say 1 oz .999 fine silver. Pictured below is a 1 oz silver buffalo round.

What do I have?

At California Gold and Silver Exchange we would be happy to look at your coins and/or medallions to evaluate the value of your items.  You may think that it is a very time consuming process, but our experienced representatives are ready to help you in a timely manner.  If you would like to make an appointment for an evaluation to sell your items call us at (909) 985-4653.  We will set up a convenient time for you to visit our business with your coins and medallions.

Buffalo silver coin back