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Anniversary Medal

Anniversary Medal.  A medallic item issued on the occasion of a significant anniversary. While centennials and bicentennials receive, perhaps, the most attention, anniversaries in a variety of multiples of 10, or 25, or 100-year periods have been celebrated. American anniversaries of the centennial of Independence in 1876, and the bicentennial in 1976, were occasions for a tremendous outpouring of medals. Likewise

the 400th anniversary (quadricentennial) of the discovery of America by Columbus – in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1898-93 – was also the occasion for hundreds of medals and related items to be issued.

            Anniversary medals are often called jubilee medals, where “jubilee” does not have a fixed year meaning. Silver jubilee, however, indicates a 25-year anniversary. golden jubilee a 50-year anniversary and diamond jubilee a 60-year or even a 75-year anniversary. Britain’s long reigning sovereign, Queen Victoria, celebrated all three of these with a silver jubilee in 1862, gold in 1887, and 60-year diamond in 1897.

The anniversary does not have to be an even multiple, absurdly one of the strangest was a Washington Medal (Baker 371). Since everyone was issuing a medal in 1876, the Brooklyn Sunday School Union put out a 47th anniversary medal that year! Later, in 1954, the Penn Mutual Company issued a 107th anniversary medal. Collectors like to track an organization or institution and collect the anniversary medals throughout their history. (See illustration of New Haven 200th and 300th Anniversary Medals under entry: after).

In America we do not have the historical heritage or are even aware of specific events which occurred, say, 1000 years ago. Despite this a 2000-year anniversary bimillenary medal was struck in 1930 by Medallic Art Company in America for the birth of the classical Roman poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) for the American Classical League (1930-8).

The adjacent chart lists the names for each anniversary from 1st through 40th and other significant years.


Word List  #3

                     Anniversary Names                  


     1st –  Anniversary                                 

     2nd – Biennial                                    

     3rd – Triennial, Triennium                         

     4th – Quadrennial                                 

     5th – Quinquennial                                

     6th – Sextennial, Sexennial                       

     7th – Septennial                                  

     8th – Octennial                                   

     9th – Novennial                                                                                       

    10th – Decennial                                   

    11th – Undecennial, Undecennary                     

    12th – Duodecennial                                

    13th – Tridecennial                                

    14th – Quadridecennial                             

    15th – Quindecennial                               

    16th – Sextdecennial                               

    17th – Septdecennial                               

    18th – Octodecennial                              

    19th – Novedecennial                               

    20th – Vicennial 


    21st – Unicennial                                  

    22nd – Duovicennial                                

    23rd – Trivicennial                                

    24th – Quadrivicennial                             

    25th – Quinvicennial, Silver Jubilee, Semi Jubilee 

    26th – Sextevicennial                              

    27th – Septevicennial                              

    28th – Octovicennial                               

    29th – Novevicennial                                


    30th – Tricennial                                  

    31st – Untricennial                                

    32nd – Duotricennial                               

    33rd – Tertricennial                               

    34th – Quadritricennial                            

    35th – Quintricennial                             

    36th – Sextetricennial                             

    37th – Septetricennial                              

    38th – Octotricennial                              

    39th – Novetricennial                              


    40th – Quadricennial                               

    45th – Quinquadricennial                           

    50th – Quinquecennial, Semicentennial,             

               Semicentenary, Jubilee, Golden Jubilee      


    60th – Sextecennial, Diamond Anniversary           

    70th – Septecennial                                

    75th – Quinseptecennial, Diamond Jubilee           

    80th – Octocennial                                 

    90th – Novecennial                                 


   100th – Centennial, Centenary                       

   125th – Quasquicentennial                           

   150th – Sesquicentennial                            

   200th – Bicentennial, Bicentenary                   

   250th – Semiquinquecentennial                       

   300th – Tricentennial, Tercentenary                 

   350th – Semiseptecentennial                         


   400th – Quadricentennial                            

   500th – Quincentennial, Semimillennium              

   600th – Sextecentennial                             

   700th – Septecemtennial, Septcentennary             

   800th – Octocentennial                              

   900th – Novecentennial                              


  1000th – Millennium, Millenniary, Millennial         

  1500th – Sesquimillennium                             

  2000th – Bimillenary                                 

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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