Metal & Manufacture of
The Victoria Cross

The bronze from which all Victoria Crosses are made is supplied from the Central Ordnance Depot, Donnington and all the Crosses made throughout this century have been made from the same source of metal. This was taken from captured enemy cannon.

When more Crosses are required Hancocks request a supply of metal and this is then delivered to them by COD Donnington.

In fact, the metal is of Chinese origin and not Russian as if often stated. The medal is engraved with both the name of the recipient and the date of the action for which the medal is awarded. Pressure of events leading to 26 June is apparent because Hacocks only received the final lists of names of the recipients to be engraved on 19 June!

Unlike any other award for gallantry the Victoria Cross is not made in a die. It is not struck, as are coins and many other medals, it is cast. Traditionally it is sand cast in moulds usually containing four specimens at a time. The medals are removed from the sand moulds when the metal has cooled, and then the hand finishing process begins. The obverse and reverse is hand chased even to the minutest detail and the whole medal has a special bronze finish applied at the end of the process. This gives even colour to the medal, because the bronze from which it is cast never has an overall attractive appearance.

The suspender bar from which the cross itself is hung, is cast at the same time as the medal and receives the same hand finishing. It has been customary to produce 12 Victoria Crosses at a time.

Interested in more of Hancocks history? Select one of the following links:

Charles F. Hancock

The Devonshire Parure

The Victoria Cross
- The medal itself
- Metal & manufacture
- Supply
- Recipients

19th Century Exhibitions


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