The medal was designed to mirror Middlesex University’s shield crest that features three reversed seaxes with a crown above them. This crest has been a long standing symbol of Middlesex County as far back as Anglo-Saxon times and represents bravery, courage and resourcefulness – elements that are significant to
Middlesex University’s heritage and location.
The crest is attributed to King Athelstan, King of the Anglo- Saxons, who used it on a penny during his reign, the earliest form of crown associated with an English Sovereign.
The Middlesex County crest was reflected in the design of the medal and forms the core of the Middlesex University logo.
Two metals were chosen as materials to create the medal. The first was Argentium, a type of silver that was developed by Middlesex University Jewellery Technician Peter Johns. He invented the silver that is brighter than platinum and won’t fire stain or tarnish, unlike sterling silver. The metal also went on to win the AJM award for Innovation at the 2004 New York Expo. Argentium was used to cast the three upside down seaxes on the crest.
The other metal used was gun metal. Middlesex University has partnered with artists and the Manchester charity CARISMA with the goal to develop public sculptures, fashion and jewellery from the safe recycling of metals from long-barrel firearms sourced from police custody. The project named ‘Guns to Goods’ celebrates community response to violent crime and building social cohesion in local communities by eventually eradicating armed violence in our streets. The gun metal was produced as part of this project and was handcrafted to make the crown for the crest.
For the shield crest, toughened glass was used with the sides then painted red, to reflect the colour of Middlesex University, by using a traditional jewellery technique called cold enamel.
The medal is supported by a hand-crafted silk sash, made by members of the Fashion Textile department. A new state-of-the-art Digital Jacquard Loom has been used to create a bespoke woven design in tones of silver and grey, incorporating the three Middlesex seaxes featured in the crest.