Thursday, August 28, 2008
Indipendence MEDAL of 26 january 1950
A medal is usually a coin-like sculpted object of metal or other material that has been engraved with an insignia, portrait or other artistic rendering. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for athletic, military, scientific, academic or some other kind of achievement. Medals may also be created to commemorate individuals or events or even as works of artistic expression in their own right. There are also devotional medals, which may be worn as a matter of religious faith. Medals are popular collectable items either as a form of exonumia or “paranumismatica”, or of militaria phaleristics.
The most common form of medal is round and made of bronze, but they may be produced in any shape desired and formed of any material that is suitable for sculpting, molding, casting, striking or stamping. A medallion is a large medal which may be commemorative or produced as a work of art or souvenir, and occasionally referred to as a “table medal”; in colloquial use, the term medallion is sometimes used to refer to ornamental jewelry worn as a pendant as part of a necklace. Art medals can also be produced in a parallelogram shape as a plaquette or larger plaque (the latter term also having non-medallic applications
A medal has three basic parts: the obverse (the “front” surface of the medal, which will contain the portrait if one is present), the reverse (the “back” surface of the medal, which may be blank or engraved with a design), and the rim (the outer edge of the medal.) The rim of an art medal is usually blank, but may be inscribed with a motto, privy mark, engraver symbols, an assayer’s purity markings for precious metals, or the series number of a medal intended to be produced as a pure objet d’art in a limited-quantity production run.
Medals intended to be worn, such as military and some prize medals, have additional parts. A suspension is added to the top of the medal to hold it to a suspension ring, through which a ribbon is run and folded during the mounting process. The other end of the ribbon is usually run through a top bar, and a brooch pin is affixed to the back of the top bar for attaching the medal to the wearer’s garment. The front of the top bar often has an inscription, name, symbol or other design. Some worn medals may lack certain of these features, while others may have additional devices or attachments.
Although bronze has been the most common material employed for medals, a wide range of metallic and non-metallic media have also been used. These include precious medals like silver and gold, as well as base metals and alloys such as copper, brass, iron, aluminum, lead, zinc, nickel, white metal, pewter, and German silver. These medals might be gilded, silvered, chased, or finished in a variety of other ways.