Skip to content


Replica.  A copy of a numismatic or medallic item, similar to but differing somewhat from the original piece. A replica is a copy and while the terms are not that precise in their difference from each other, a replica is somewhat more liberal in its exact replication; a major portion of the original design must be used for the replica. Most replicas are made after the death of its original artist and the art work is in public domain.

While a copy is generally an exact duplication of the original (often with malicious intent), there exists a large body of replicas, most of which are highly legitimate and issued in good faith. A coin example would be the silver dollar bullion coin of 1986 which replicated Adolph Weinman's Liberty walking design of the 1916 half dollar.

Medal examples are more varied. All six medals made for the fledgling American

states, authorized by Congress and struck in France before 1800, were replicated by the Philadelphia Mint and issued anew, even as late as 180 years after their first issue. The United States Diplomatic Medal, originally engraved by Augustin Dupre and struck in 1791, was among this group. It was reissued in 1876 (illustrated under the entry on reissue).

The Botetourt Medal, originally issued in England in 1772, and engraved by John Pingo, was given to students of William and Mary College in Virginia. It was so rare no description could be given by Betts in his work on American Colonial Medals (#528). In 1941 the College of William and Mary (who had one of the medals, of course) asked Medallic Art Company to replicate it. (It is discussed by Brown in his book, British Historical Medals, 1760-1960.)

In 1959, another medal by John Pingo was replicated and reissued. His Gibraltar Siege Medal of 1782 was struck by Medallic Art and issued by Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Other replica examples are illustrated under entries on contraposition (a replication of a Pasteur Medal) and after  (a replication of a 200th anniversary medal for a 300th anniversary). Thousands of replica examples exist.  See copies and replicas.


O2  {1894} Betts 528, p 234.

O40 {1980} Brown 154, p 35; 248 p 58.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

NNP is 100% non-profit and independent // Your feedback is essential and welcome. // Your feedback is essential and welcome.