Almost all the official medals in the collection have had some form of parliamentary initiative or sanction behind them. The most notable instance is the Victoria Cross, which was suggested in 1854 in a motion from a backbench MP, Thomas Scobell, an ex-naval captain. In more recent times new medals have been instituted and regulated through Royal Warrants laid as Command Papers before the House of Commons.
The collection of coins comprises examples of English silver coinage from the reigns of Henry III to George VI, presented to the House of Commons by the London Numismatic Club in 1950. These coins were assembled on the basis that their dates coincide with certain key events in parliamentary history. In 1971 this collection was augmented by the coinage of the present reign, given by the Royal Mint.