The Czech Mint issues commemorative medals on the occasion of special anniversaries, or regularly in the form of collector's series. Their relief is dedicated to living and historical personalities, milestones of history, architectural gems, cultural or technical monuments and other important domestic and world topics. A separate group of commemorative medals consists of replicas of historical coins.
Because the issuance of medals, unlike coins, is not guarded by state authority, there are no limits of their design. Therefore, unusual pieces of art that offer a wide selection of almost any weight, shape, and especially themes - including the controversial ones, can be created.
Sets of commemorative medals
Thematic sets of two or more mintages dedicated to a common theme offer collectors a unique opportunity to acquire comprehensive collections of commemorative medals of the Czech Mint. In most cases, the medals included in the set are not for sale separately and cannot be obtained individually.
The difference between commemorative medals and coins lies in the authority that issues them. The issuer of medals is usually a private company, such as the Czech Mint, not the central bank. For this reason, medals do not have a nominal value (one of the decisive attributes of coins), so they are not legal tender.
Schedule of issuance
One of the biggest advantages of commemorative medals is their significantly limited schedule of issuance - in some cases it can even be only dozens of pieces. This limits the number of owners and greatly increases the value of medals in the collection.
Commemorative medals are minted from gold and silver. Their purity, i.e. the content of precious metal, is always maximal - in the case of silver "999/1000", in the case of gold "999.9 / 1000". Medals classified as gold ducats, the purity of which is different with regard to historical tradition, are considered as the only exception. The purity of the metal used can be determined according to the certificate of authenticity or a hallmark embossed on the medal.
The word ducat refers to a representative of a group of historical coins minted and used in the Czech Republic since the 14th century. The Czech Mint gave the same name to the modern medals, whose technical specifications and design are inspired by these period coins. They contain 3.49 g of ducat gold (or multiples of this weight) with a purity of 986/1000.
Most commemorative medals of the Czech Mint are marked with the term "proof". These are mintages made with the help of special polished stamping dice - they have a mirror-shiny surface and a matte relief (this effect is usually shown as a dark reflection in the product photographs). Removal from the protective packaging will devalue the medal in quality proof - it will expose it to external influences. In some cases, the mintages are issued in quality "standard" (also common quality) and their surface is completely matt - these are usually replicas of historical coins and mintages of higher weights. However, it is not recommended to remove them from protective capsules.
Commemorative medals are intended primarily for collectors. However, precious metal, limited schedule of issuance and quality processing promote the collector's item to an investment, and a comprehensive collection can exceed the simple price of the precious metal many times.
An example of a significant appreciation can be the commemorative medal issued for the 75th birthday of Karel Gott. A mintage weighing one troy ounce (31.1 g) of pure gold with serial number 77 and an issue price of 55,000 CZK was auctioned for 80,000 CZK immediately after the issue was sold out.
Another example of appreciation is a gold medal weighing one half of a troy ounce issued in honor of the memory of Václav Havel. In less than two years, the value of this mintage increased by 20% - the issue price was 25,000 CZK and the market price increased to 30,000 CZK. The price of the medal increased despite the decline in the price of gold on the stock exchange from 1,650 $ to 1,240 $ per troy ounce.