What is the origin of the medal?

What is the origin of the medal?

- Catégories : Informations

Hello the Medaï Family,

To start our weekly review, we’ve chosen to tell you more about the history of the Medal.

Where does this timeless and so symbolic piece of jewelry really come from? 

Etymologically, the Medal comes from the Italian, “medaglia” which literally means: half-denier (more commonly, a “half coin” ...).

But if we go further, this term is initially a word derived from old Latin: "medlia" ("half-denier coin") which would later become "medilia".

The prestigious Académie Française defines the medal as being a “Piece of metal struck, or sometimes cast, in honor of an illustrious person, or to preserve the memory of a memorable action, an event, a company."

Gold, silver or bronze, the medal delivers a legend, in its purest form.

In history, the first medals appeared during the Roman Antiquity. They were initially made just like coins, with their unique manufacturing technique.

Thicker and heavier than a simple coin, the medal quickly became an accessory for emperors of the time, and would be worn around the neck until the end of the Middle Ages.

Did you know ? In the Louvre museum base in Paris, you can find one of the most emblematic medals: the one bearing the effigy of Catherine de Medicis, based on the work of the french sculptor and renaissance star, Germain Pilon.

Over time, institutions gradually appropriate this strong symbol.

The medal quickly became the jewel symbol of reward, and thus embodies the “holy grail” of the military, sportsmen, or religious representatives.

From the 20th century, it became very usual  to offer a medal during joyous life events.

Baptism, birth, religious ceremony, wedding gift: all occasions are good to have a key episode, engraved forever.

At MEDAÏ, the customer is the creative designer and can imagine a thousand and one ways to engrave a memory, or a symbol that means a lot to him or her. 

Gold or silver plated, with or without bail, sandblasted: our Medals could be declined from the most classic to the most extraordinary.

See you soon, the Medaï family!

Margot, Journalist at Medaï.