Miniature circular silvered metal medal with claw and ribbon bar suspension; the face with the crowned head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, circumscribed ‘ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F.D.’ (Elizabeth II by the Grace of God Queen, Defender of the Faith); the reverse inscribed ‘’FOR / CONSPICUOUS / GALLANTRY’, a line below, all within a laurel wreath, a crown above; diameter 18.41mm (0.72 inch); on original ribbon for the Royal Air Force.
The Medal was instituted in 1855 to be awarded to Petty Officers and Seamen of the Royal Navy and Non-Commissioned Officers and other ranks of the Royal Marines for gallantry. It was extended to the Royal Air Force in 1943, the medals being identical, the awards being differentiated by their ribbons.
It is one of the rarest British medals, only three full-size medals having been awarded during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1993 it was replaced by the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.