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Relic Medals


In the field of military medal collecting sooner than later everyone learns about relic medals. Simply defined a relic medal is one that is made by recycling old metal usually in the form of captured cannons. This means that only winners issue relic medals though there is probably an exception to this rule out there somewhere that I don’t know about. When I started looking around as a young collector I was quickly amazed at how many well known medals are relic medals. The two best known examples are the British Victoria Cross and the United States Medal of Honor. So few of these are awarded that I don’t think they will ever run out of the metal needed to make them with. Others are much more common but just think of how many medals could be made out of just one old bronze cannon. The most common relic medal and one of my favorites would be the German Franco-Prussian War service medal for combatants. Each one of these have the edge inscription “AUS EROBERTEM GESCHUTZ” (with the two little dots above the letter u in the last word) which translates, from captured cannon.. While this was technically a Prussian medal it was awarded nation wide to every combatant regardless of which German state they came from.

About Fred Borgmann

Retired from KP after nearly 31 years as new issues editor and the Standard Catalogs.
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