Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


WYON, Benjamin: England, 1849, Bronze, 89 mm
Obv: Cameos of Royal Family: Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales and the Princess Royal around Queen Victoria    NEW COAL EXCHANGE OPENED OCT. 30TH 1849, BY H.R.H. PRINCE ALBERT ON BEHALF OF HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA
Rev: Interior of coal exchange on either side of which is Italian foliated work. Around:  THE RT HONBLE SIR JAMES DUKE LORD MAYOR –JOHN WOOD ESQRE. CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE–JAMES B. BUNNING, ESQRE. ARCHITECT. In exergue are oak branches with oval shield charged with the City arms.
Signed: B. WYON SC.
Mintage: 350
In original case of issue (see Appendix)
Ref: Welch 6; BHM 146/2357; Eimer 171/1435; Eidlitz 29/160;  Weiss BW294

The building was designed to provide a place of business where the buyers and sellers of coal were able to exchange contracts. During excavations for the foundations it was found to be on the site of a Roman bath.

The architect, James Bunstone Bunning (1802-1863), constructed the Coal Exchange using an inner skeleton of cast iron, with an integral system of decoration, largely based on the rope motif symbolic of the coal miners and colliers, a motif which is seen on both sides of the medal.  Bunning also built the new
City of London School, largely at his own expense.

This medal of the New Coal Exchange is said to be the finest architectural medal in the entire British series and is generally considered to be Benjamin Wyon's masterpiece (Eimer).  It also was the largest medal struck in Britain.