The City & Guilds Medal for Excellence is a distinguished work of art whose design has remained largely unchanged since 1880.
One side bears the City & Guilds Award Seal. The seal consists of the Coat of Arms of the Corporation of the City of London in the centre, surrounded by the Coats of Arms of the 16 Livery Companies who were the original founders of City & Guilds, in two consecutive circles.
This seal was designed in 1880 by Charles John Shoppe FRIBA, who represented the Armourers and Brasiers' Company as a Founder Member on City & Guilds Council. The other side of the medal has changed slightly since 1880. It now carries the medal winner's name, their qualification and the year.
The Coats of Arms on the seal are as follows (in a clockwise direction):
1. City and Corporation of London - The cross of St George, with the sword of St Paul in the first quarter
Inner Circle (above the City of London shield)
2. Mercers - The head and shoulders of the Virgin Mary on a bank of clouds, and crowned with a celestial crown
3. Drapers - With three triple crowns
4. Fishmongers - With three fishes and three pairs of crossed fishes
5. Goldsmiths - With leopards' heads as used in hallmarks, and two goblets
6. Salters - With three salt-cellars
7. Ironmongers - With three wedge-shaped ingots of iron, and a chevron bearing three swivels
8. Clothworkers - With an ermine chevron between two habicks or tenterhooks, used for holding cloth taut, and a teasel for raising the nap
Outer circle (above the Mercers' shield)
9. Dyers - With three bags of madder (red) dye
10. Leathersellers - With three deer
11. Pewterers - With three roses on the chevron between three 'strikes' of silver
12. Armourers and Brasiers - With gauntlet, crossed swords and helmets (for the Armourers) and two ewers and a three-legged pot (for the Brasiers)
13. Carpenters - With three compasses and a chevron representing roof timbers
14. Cordwainers - With a chevron between three goats' heads representing the leather used in shoemaking
15. Coopers - With barrel makers' tools, a royne between two adzes on the chevron, between three annulets or barrel rings
16. Plasterers - With treble flatbrush, gauging trowel and two hammers
17. Needlemakers - With three needles