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Miniature.  A small medal of reduced size and exact design from a larger size issue. The smaller size medal serves several purposes, it offers a second variety, it facilitates several such miniature medals to be displayed together, and it offers a lighter weight badge for wearing. The dies for striking miniature medals are made from the same PATTERN, MODEL or DIESHELL as the larger medal. There are three kinds of medals where this term is used:

Miniature decorations are half the diameter of DECORATIONS and CAMPAIGN MEDALS of the United States and other countries. Miniature medals are intended to be worn as are the larger size (called FULL SIZE). Where the large size version is intended to be worn on uniforms, the miniature medals have restricted use—as for formal occasions – and several are usually mounted on a BROACH to display all so authorized.

U.S. Mint Presidential List Medals. The medals of Presidential Medal Series (national medals of the United States Mint) beginning in 1978 were reduced to 1 5/16-inch (33mm) size from the larger 3-inch (75mm) size. The intent of the smaller size, called mini medals, were more for children than for collectors (but this just gave numismatists another variety to collect). The design is identical but relief has been lowered (and with higher rims on both sides) to be diestruck in a coining press, not a medal press. These miniature medals are struck at the Philadelphia Mint (with P or no mintmark), at the Denver Mint (D mintmark) and San Francisco (S mintmark).

Ladies Badges. Ladies medals are often reduced from a full size fraternal or convention medal made into a badge for wearing. The ladies version is an exact miniature design of the larger version, made from the same pattern, and of lesser weight. An example is the ladies medal of the American Numismatic Association yearly convention medal. Developed by William T. Louth of Medallic Art Company, 1969, the miniature size was not only issued as a badge (with integral loop) for ladies  but also in a set of large and small size medals in a set of four, both sizes struck in bronze and silver (without loops).


excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


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