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Contribution Medals

Contribution medals are fund raising medals which are sold for a set price or given as a thank you gift to those who made a donation above a specified minimum amount. The concept is simple enough but many times these medals are confused with military medals. The medals illustrated below are a classic example. These are the Swiss medals issued for donations to the Swiss national fund raised to support the families of the Swiss men called up to active duty on the borders during WWI. Military pay was only a fraction of civilian pay and if they were farmers replacement help had to be hired to run the farms. The medals depict a Swiss soldier wearing a helmet similar to the German helmet which often causes these medals to be mistakenly attributed as German. The medals were issued with a loop but are also found with pins mounted on the back. All the pin back versions that I have seen are later modifications and have evidence that the loops have been removed.