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Campaign Medal

Campaign Medal.  A medallic item awarded to an individual who renders military service during a specific time or military campaign. Campaign medals are usually round in contrast to medals of valor, usually in distinctive shape. See decorations, service medal. Not to be confused with a political campaign medal, which is termed a political medal.

            American military campaign medals are designed by staff members of the INSTITUTE OF HERALDRY – or with their approval by an outside artist. The Institute maintains a list of medal manufacturers on their bid list. Once the designs have been finalized and approved the Institute sends invitations to bid with a list of specifications for the medal to these manufactures. It awards the contract to one or more of these manufacturers.

            The specifications spell out every detail of the medal and the ribbon drape. Few details are left to the manufacturer, however, collectors of campaign medals have leaned to recognize the style and fabric of each individual manufacturer. Some of these medal makers are well known, as Medallic Art Company, His Lordship Products; others were obscure, as the first maker of the World War I Victory Medal.

            Another longtime maker was Joseph K. Davison Sons, Later medal dealer George W. Studley in 1928 entered his first order of these. These were noted for their style of thicker planchets and milk-chocolate brown patina. Collectors term these as Studley restrikes.


NE42 {1982} Doty, p 44-45.

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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