08 January 2008

Duplicate, Replacement and Replica or Copy Medals

One of the most common questions I am asked is how to obtain replacement medals.
The first thing to understand is the terminology that is being used. Duplicate medals are those which are officially provided by the Government when originals have been lost. These are also know as Replacement medals. The duplicate/replacement medal is named like the original but there is a 'D' stamped on the medal to indicate that it is an official duplicate. Some times an 'R' may be stamped on the medal. I've added a couple of  photos below as an example.
In most circumstances only the serviceman can apply for official duplicate medals. Once the serviceman has died it is usually the policy that medals will not be replaced. However, there is some flexibility being applied at the moment after many medals were lost in recent natural disasters in Australia. The policy and the application process for replacement of lost medals can be found on the Defence Honours and Awards web site.

That being said, there are replica (or reproduction or copy) medals available for purchase. I don't endorse any particular company but examples of replica medals can be seen here. Replica medals should be marked somewhere with the word 'replica' or 'copy'. There are some photos below to illustrate what I mean.
When medals have been lost for a couple of generations and it is unlikely that the originals will ever be found the acquisition of replica medals for display purposes is popular.
These photos are of replicas of the Australian Defence Medal and the Australian Active Service Medal. The photos were updated on 17 Jul 11 with the REPLICA mark highlighted.

This is a photo of a medals marked COPY. They have also been engraved with the soldiers service details.


  1. Colonel Floyd Stanley Walsh RL (*Carrington) Deceased. 2/13 battalion.
    I am trying to get replicas of the minatures of his medals for our grandson. Ethan Lewis Bowe. As he remarried and lived in Germany for the last 20 years his medals are not available .Ethan served in the Airforce Cadets for several years and would be proud to wear them on Anzac day.
    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you Ailsa Helen Walsh.

  2. Hi Ailsa, can you please email me at llanwarne80 at hot mail dot com

  3. Looking to locate & have made, & framed medals that my wife's Grandfather (WW1) & father (WW2) earned ? Don't know where to start ? Is there a register that i can source them from or can you do it ?

    1. Can you please email me the name and service details:
      llanwarne80 at hotmail dot com

  4. I would like to get replicas of my grandfather's medals & my husbands grandfather's medals as well. Could you please direct me with where to start?

  5. Can you please email me at llanwarne80 at hotmail dot com Glyn