Gary, could not resist :-)
The medal took about 30 mins to make, using images supplied by Glenn M. Stein, FRGS
who I contacted to obtain permission/licence for their use. The images were used both as difuse maps and bump maps. The bump map is what makes the medal look 3d. Its not really sculpted rather the shadows are being introduced referencing a grey scale image of the coins faces.
Lighting the scene to look like I wanted (an exhibit in a museum case) took me another 2 hours.
The short video I uploaded of the coin spining took 1hr 14mins to render.
I will also send the images to Mr Stein for allowing use of the original coin 2d images.
Used with permission:http://license.icopyright.net/creator/use.act?n=gmsteinfrgs-1386