British Numismatic Society

Promoting the study of coins, medals, tokens and banknotes

The below outlines the rules that the society follows in awarding its prizes and medals.


Blunt Prize Regulations

1. This Prize was instituted in 1986 as The Council Prize; its name was changed in 2005 to mark the outstanding contribution to the Society and to British Numismatics made by Christopher Evelyn Blunt (1904- 1987). The Prize will be awarded every three years to an individual, whether a member of the Society or not, who has made a significant contribution to the study of coins, medals or tokens, struck or used by the peoples of the British Isles and Commonwealth and the United States of America, and of such territories as may at any time be or have been subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Council’s intention in instituting this Prize is to encourage younger scholars, and preference will normally be given to suitable candidates under thirty-five years old at the date when the prize is awarded.

3. The Prize will be fixed at £100 or at such other amount as Council shall from time to time determine. [Increased to £300 in 2005, and to £400 in 2011.]

4. It shall be awarded to the candidate who receives two-thirds of the votes cast by members of Council in a ballot held at a Council meeting other than that immediately preceding the Annual General Meeting.

5. The requirement for a ballot may be waived at Council’s discretion if it appears that Council’s choice will fall on one generally acceptable candidate. 6. It is intended that the first award of the prize will be made during 1987.

(These Regulations were authorised by the Council of the British Numismatic Society at its meeting on 25 February 1986 and amended 22 March 2005 and 22 March 2011.)


1. The obverse of the medal shall bear a device representing Britannia on the seashore, surrounded by the legend THE BRITISH NUMISMATIC SOCIETY. The reverse shall bear the legend THE JOHN SANFORD SALTUS MEDAL AWARDED TO . . . . . . . . FOR SCHOLARLY CONTRIBUTIONS TO BRITISH NUMISMATICS . . . . . . (the name of the recipient and date of the award being engraved in spaces left for that purpose).

2. In case such device and legend, other than the name of Mr John Sanford Saltus, shall from constitutional changes or other unforeseen circumstances become inappropriate or obsolete, they may be changed or varied by resolution of the Society’s Council.

3. The John Sanford Saltus Medal shall normally be awarded every third year.

4. The medal shall be awarded to the person, being a member of the Society or not, who shall receive the highest number of votes from the Members as having in their opinion made the scholarly contribution to British numismatics most deserving of such recognition, as evidenced by published work or works, whether in the British Numismatic Journal or elsewhere.

5. A successful candidate shall not again be eligible for the award.

6. The award shall be by ballot, and a form for this purpose shall be sent out together with the voting papers for the election of President, Officers and Council, and shall be returnable and counted with them at the Anniversary Meeting in each year in which the medal is to be awarded. Such a form shall include the words ‘I vote for the award of the John Sanford Saltus Medal to . . . ’, with a space left for the Member’s signature. It shall also contain the names of those previous recipients who are therefore no longer eligible for the award.

7. Council, acting on the advice of a committee of such disinterested persons (normally being previous recipients of the medal) as in its absolute discretion it shall have appointed for the purpose, shall on every such occasion distribute to Members a list of such persons who are considered as particularly well-qualified for the award, together with a note of their principal publication or publications relating to British numismatics. Council shall also advise Members that publications of joint authorship should be considered as part of the total contribution by any of the individuals concerned, but should not by themselves be regarded as sufficient to qualify those individuals for the award.

8. Any canvassing by or on behalf of a candidate shall render his or her success inoperative, and the decision of Council shall be absolute on this head, nor need Council express any reasons for such a decision.

9. The result of the ballot shall be announced by the President or Chairman at the Anniversary Meeting in the year concerned.

10. The medal shall, if circumstances permit, be presented by the President or chairman to the successful candidate in person at a subsequent Ordinary or Anniversary Meeting of the Society. On this occasion he shall use the formula ‘You have been awarded the John Sanford Saltus Medal of the British Numismatic Society for the year . . . , by the vote of the Members of the British Numismatic Society, for your scholarly contributions to British numismatics’.

11. Council may in exceptional circumstances propose to Members that a special award of the medal be made to a distinguished scholar whose work has had an important bearing on the study of British numismatics.

12. The foregoing rules shall, so far as is possible, evolve with and upon any constitutional changes in the Society, but it shall be open to the Society’s Council to make such alterations to them, or authorise such temporary procedural variations, as shall from time to time be required.

North Book Prize Regulations

1. The North Book Prize was established in 2006 with a generous donation by Jeffrey North.

2. The prize shall normally be awarded every two years to the author or authors of the book which in the opinion of Council has made the best contribution to British Numismatics.

3. Eligible books shall be those that have been published during the current, or three preceding, calendar years, copies of which have been received by the joint library of the British Numismatic Society and the Royal Numismatic Society.

4. Council may appoint an advisory committee to assist it in determining the award. A Member of Council may be considered for the Prize as author or co-author of an eligible book, provided that he/she is not a member of the advisory committee and is absent from that part of any Council Meeting at which it is considered.

5. The recipient shall receive a cash sum the value of which shall be determined by Council from time to time.

6. The first award shall be made in 2006 and be of £500

Jeffrey North Medal REgulations

1. The Jeffrey North Medal for Services to British Numismatics was established in 2008 with a generous donation from Mr Jeffrey North.

2. The Medal shall be awarded to members of the Society or others in recognition of outstanding services to British numismatics, whether in the UK or overseas.

3. The Medal shall be awarded by Council, which may appoint an Advisory Committee to assist it. An award may be made at any time, but the Council should on a regular basis every second year consider whether or not to make one or more awards. A Member of Council may be considered for the Medal, provided that he or she is not a member of the Advisory Committee and is absent from that part of any Council Meeting at which the award is considered.

4. In making an award Council should have regard to the nature of the person’s contribution, and the length of time and degree of dedication with which he or she has worked for the good of the subject. If awarded for services to this or another society or organisation, an officer-holder should have done significantly more than would normally be expected of a person in that position. The fact that someone earns a living from numismatics or has been paid a fee for certain numismatic work is not in itself a bar to the award of this medal, but the contribution must have gone significantly beyond the duties for which he or she has been paid. Scholarly publications should not be taken into account, as these are recognised by other awards, but popular publications may be. Examples of the type of service, performed at an exceptional level, that may be recognised by the award are administrative work for a national or local society or other organisation concerned with British numismatics, educational work, lecturing or journalism promoting the subject, recording coin finds or coin collections, curating public collections as a volunteer, editing a journal or other publication, and organising conferences or courses.

5. These Regulations may be amended by Council.

Membership Medal Regulations

1. The bronze version may be ordered by any member.

2. The silver version may be ordered only by those who have completed 25 years or more of membership. 


Cnut (1016-1035), Penny, Short Cross type, London, Bruninc.