A coin is a commemorative exhibition or embossing, the embossed on special occasions, awarded an honorary award or as jewelry or art object ( then also medallion ) is created.

Disambiguation: Medal - Coin - Plaque

The word comes from the French medal and goes beyond the medieval Latin Medallia " small coin " back to Latin Metallum " metal ". During the Renaissance, medals were first used as art objects, thereby serving the Roman heavy money as a model. Originally medals were cast from metal. Ever since Münzprägeverfahren have prevailed, except for a few exceptions also medals are marked. Medals can be made in a positive or negative character. In greater depths, the motives they may assume the character of a small sculpture.

Medals should not be confused with coins. Coins are minted as legal tender and with a face value. They can be prepared and issued only by the state or official. In contrast, medals can be made ​​(subject to a few restrictions ), for example, by companies, associations or individuals.

The medal is similar to the plaque and is sometimes confused with it. Plaques usually show a unilateral sublime representation, whereas Medals have on both sides motifs or writing.

The fact that medals have sometimes only one aspect, has also led to the saying of the " downside ". This is expressed that the mentioned facts may have not only advantages but also disadvantages.

Areas of application

Medals are particularly common

  • As awards for outstanding athletic, academic, professional or cultural achievements
  • As Gedenkprägungen no par value, for example, on the occasion of an event or anniversary or to honor a personality

Especially in sports a tribute to the best three athletes or teams by a gold, a silver and a bronze medal as an alternative or in addition to handing over a trophy known. According to the above definition, not infrequently, these are however to plaques. So the numismatic precise wording is not reflected in the current language.

Chance of Medals of remelted metal parts specific origin are influenced, eg pieces of a crashed airship or a locomotive, copper sheet from the roof of a city hall or a church.

Known Medals

Sports Medals

Medals are awarded in many important sporting events. Well-known examples are the gold, silver and bronze medals for first, second and third place in

  • Olympic Games (since 1904)
  • World Championships
  • European Championships and other continental championships
  • National Championships

In cases where several athletes achieve the same result, the corresponding medal can be awarded multiple times. The multi- awarded places will be omitted in further placement, that is, there is then, for example, no second or third place and thus no silver or bronze medal winner. In some activities with the achievement of a semi-final already guaranteed a bronze medal. There, the small final will not be played between the losers of the semi-finals and both received the bronze medal. This is the case for example in the Olympic Boxwettbewerben.

Medals in the education system

  • Lessing Medal of the GDR in gold and silver

Science Medals

For outstanding scientific achievements are awarded (selection):

  • Physics: Max Planck Medal, awarded by the German Physical Society
  • Physics: Otto Hahn Medal for the promotion of young scientists of the Max Planck Society
  • Physics: Max Born Medal, awarded by the British Institute of Physics
  • Physics: Cantor Medal
  • Mathematics: Fields Medal
  • Computer science: Konrad -Zuse- Medal for services to the computer science, awarded by the Society for computer science
  • Psychology: Hugo Münsterberg - medal German Professional Association of Psychologists
  • Psychology: Wilhelm Wundt Medal for outstanding scientific work
  • Medicine: Paracelsus Medal from the Bureau of the German Medical Tags
  • Parasitology: Rudolf Leuckart Medal from the DGP
  • Entomology: Fabricius Medal, Escherich Medal and Medal Meigen
  • Carl Friedrich Gauss Medal for outstanding scientific achievements, awarded by the Brunswick Scientific Society
  • Leibniz Medal of the Academy of Sciences and Literature in Mainz
  • Leibniz Medal (Berlin)
  • Different medals of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, such as the Gregor Mendel Medal
  • Different medals of the Royal Society

Medals from the artistic field

For services to social areas will be awarded:

  • The Kainz Medal of the City of Vienna for outstanding actors and directors
  • The Hermann Kesten Medal for outstanding services in the field of literature
  • The Johann Christian Reinhart Medal of the City Court for special artistic and cultural achievements
  • Orlando di Lasso medal awarded by the Bavarian Choral Society, as well as by the General Association of St. Cecilia
  • The Medal for Merit in artistic folk art of the GDR

Military medals or award

For military service, bravery, as well as Wound Badge, are or have been awarded, for example:

  • Military Merit Medal ( Austria )
  • Friedrich August Medal
  • The medal winter battle in the East 1941/42, the so-called frozen meat medal
  • The American Medal of Honor
  • The American Wound Badge Purple Heart

See also:

  • Honour of the Bundeswehr

Merit and Medals of Honor

In addition, give the public bodies Awards for special achievements in science, culture and art, economy and national defense.

Give overviews about this:

  • List of German medals and decorations
  • List of Merit of the Republic of Austria

More Medals for Merit:

  • Florence Nightingale Medal for nurses, awarded by the International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Goethe Medal for the promotion of the German language and culture, awarded by the Goethe -Institut

Medals and badges of self-help groups

Medals and pins for recognition and self-motivation in so-called 12-step self-help groups such as Etc. Narcotics - Alcoholics Anonymous, Al Anon, Anonymous NA Above all, common in the U.S. and Canada.