Medal and coin

Often the question arises: what is the difference between a medal and a coin? What do they have in common? If we take as a basis the definition of the concept of "medal" in the "Explanatory dictionary" of V. Dal, it is "a sonorous but not walking coin, embossed into the memory of something: victory, peace, accession, coronation, etc.". The German numismatic dictionary of H.Fenler, G.Girou and V.Ungera defines the medal as "coin-like memorable sign that is not a legal tender". As can be seen from these definitions, there is a difference, and significant. But was it always like this? Consider this is not such a trivial matter in the historical context.

Commemorative coin for the final part of the European Football Championship 2012

Coins in Rus appeared before medals. The first Rus metal money was minted at the end of the 10th century under Prince Vladimir Svyatoslavich. These were gold coins weighing 4.6 grams. On the front side there was an image of Christ, on the back portrait of the prince and the birthmark of the Rurik. Around the prince's portrait there was an inscription: "Vladimir, and its zlato" or "Vladimir on the table" (throne). At that time there was no single established system of rewards, and the "awards" depended on the generosity and wealth of the prince. Usually the prince's druzhinniki his constant army and the support of his power received generous gifts from both trophies captured from the enemy and from the princely treasury. They were presented with weapons, military equipment, rich clothes, furs. The higher the prince estimated the merits of the warrior, the greater was his reward. Polovtsy moved to Kiev in the beginning of the 11th century. The crowd of Kyivans was led by the legendary voevoda Alexander Popovich. The enemy army was defeated. Noting merit, the prince presented the governor with a gold hryvnia. In 1016, after defeating Svyatopolk, Prince Yaroslav generously presented his vigilantes, without bypassing the fighters of the people's militia. The village elders were granted 10 hryvnias, the smerds on hryvnia. Citizens at the award equated to rural headmen, and therefore all Novgorodians - participants in the battle received 10 hryvnia each.

Under Ivan the Third, the Hungarian gold ducats began to be re-engraved into coins, which, in the main, were used for rewarding feats of arms. They were called "paid coins". As you can see, the form of the award by the type of the medal has already become to some extent known, but has not yet acquired a title or binding character. Nevertheless, the "gnocchiks" were already sewn on to the clothes or were worn on a special chain. In such cases, they were awarded "with a cap". The English traveler D. Fletcher, who left interesting notes about visiting Russia during the reign of Fyodor Ivanovich, wrote: "To the one who excels at bravery before others or does any special service, the king sends a gold with the image of St. George on a horse, which is worn on a sleeve or hat, and it is considered the greatest honor. " The awarding of gold coins became commonplace. When in January 1654 the Pereyaslav Rada adopted a decision on the reunification of Ukraine with Russia, boyar Buturlin handed over the banner, mace, fern, cap and sables to Bogdan Khmelnitsky at the meeting of the court on behalf of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. The presentation of each item was accompanied by a speech explaining the purpose of the gift. Somewhat later, royal memorable awards were received and sent to Ukraine, which received tens of thousands of Cossacks. Awards were of different dignity from a gold penny to a triple tchervonets. The hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky received a gold of 10 chervonets with a mass of about 34 grams. Under Peter the Great, the presentation of awards in the form of a ruble (silver to soldiers, gold officers) became a mass phenomenon. After the victory at Poltava, the tsar awarded many participants to the battle. Warlords and commanders were presented with "great villages", just villages, new ranks, gold portraits "with diamonds" and gold medals "on the dignity of ranks." Soldiers were awarded silver medals and "money was given". The medal has acquired the kind that it has today, that is, it became a distinction, which is attached to clothing on the ribbon.

There is one more circumstance, which brings together two types of chased production. In Russia, in the production of newly made coins, stamps of medals were often used. Thus, the front side of the stamp of the medal of 1789 "For courage on the waters of Finnish" served as the minting of newly created rubles in 1789, 1791, 1792 and 1795. For the minting of the new rubles of 1801, a stamp of the front side of the coronation medal with the portrait of Alexander the First was used. In the thirties of the 19th century, so-called medal commemorative coins first appeared. Their release was dedicated to a solemn event. The coins were not made according to the usual canons accepted for coins of regular coinage (for example, they did not always bear the image of the state emblem), they were made according to original drawings, that is, they were in some way memorable medals, but at the same time they had a denomination of face value, just simply the word "ruble". Medal coins were issued in small print runs and were not put into circulation in the usual way. They were sold to those who wished. Among the medal commemorative coins is the silver ruble of 1836 in commemoration of the construction of the pillar of Alexandria on the Palace Square in St. Petersburg. On the medal coin of 1839, a monument was erected in the Borodino field. In 1912, a centenary of the Battle of Borodino was celebrated as a coin-medal. In 1914, the medal commemorative ruble was honored in honor of the bicentennial of the victory of the Russian fleet in the Northern War near the Gangut Peninsula. By the way, the first Soviet medal was also memorable and appeared in 1920. It was made in connection with the triennium of the October Revolution. The medal was handed to the members of the Petrograd Soviet for the participants of the gala evening, which took place in the Assembly Hall of Smolny. On the front side of this medal, against the backdrop of a five-pointed star, is a worker standing at the anvil. In one of his hands is a rifle, and in another is a hammer. At the top right of the semicircle is the slogan: "Workers of all countries, unite!". On the reverse side there is a sickle and a hammer and two inscriptions: "RSFSR" and "October 1917-1920". It is not difficult to see that this medal had a noticeable effect on the graphic design of Soviet coins, work on which began already in 1921. The star, the anvil, the hammer, the sickle, the figure of the worker, the slogan "Workers of all countries, unite!" All this later became the basis for the compositions of the first coins of the young state.

In 1965, in honor of the twentieth anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, in the USSR jubilee coins were first issued. Simultaneously, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR approved a jubilee medal for rewarding participants in the war and servicemen. As the main element of registration of the face sides of the medal and the coin, the statue "Warrior-Liberator", located in Berlin's Treptow Park, was taken. The face of the medal "To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilich Lenin" and the anniversary ruble of 1970 differ only in the turn of the profile of Lenin. A single story was also taken to decorate the jubilee medal "Thirty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945" and the 1975 Rublevika. This is a statue of "Motherland-Mother", which is a part of the memorial complex in Volgograd. And the front side of the coin in an artistic sense is made easier and more expressive.

One of the last original coins, which can only be used as a gift or a reward, is a commemorative coin issued by mutual agreement between the National Banks of Ukraine and Poland in commemoration of the finals of the 2012 European Football Championship. The coin has two denominations - 10 zl and 10 hryvnia.

As we see, in our days the roll between the medal and the coin continues. Developing, medal art makes the picture of our coins more and more perfect. The jubilee coins of the latest issues testify to this.