A medalist (or medallist) is an artist who designs medals, plaquettes, badges, metal medallions, coins and similar small works in relief in metal. Historically, medalists were typically also involved in producing their designs, and were usually either sculptors or goldsmiths by background. In modern times, medalists are mostly primarily sculptors of larger works, but in the past the number of medals and coins produced were sufficient to support specialists who spent most of their career producing them. From the 19th century, the education of a medalist often began with time as an engraver, or a formal education in an academy, particularly modeling and portraiture. On coins, a mark or symbol signifying the medalist as the original designer was often included in a hidden location and is not to be mistaken for the symbol of the mint master. Artistic medals and plaquettes are often signed prominently by the artist.