Dating – estimates

Year known

In most cases the year of design, realisation and issue of a medal is the same and is known. In this case the three database fields “Year”, “Begin Period” and “End Period” are the same.

In some cases a medal is also hand engraved with a later date – and sometimes month and day. The database field “End Period” then contains the year of engraving (awarding). The field “Year” also contains this year of inscription / awarding – and possibly the month and day. The field “Begin Period” still contains the year of design and fabrication.

An example is inventory number 0766: NEH medal of honour, designed in 1947, which was presented with engraving to professor Oud on 1 September 1957. Therefore, “Begin Period” = 1947. “End Period” = 1957. “Year” = 1957-09-01.

Year of design uncertain

Sometimes medals do not feature the year of design while they have also not been described in literature known to us. The fields “Year”, “Begin Period”, “End Period” now contain best estimate of the period in which the medal was made and awarded..

Example: Inventory number 1722. This medal has the reverse engraving: “1951”, which clearly denotes the year it was awarded. Based on style we estimate that the medal was made in 1920 or later. In the registration database this is entered as: “Begin Period” = 1930, “End Period” = 1951 and “Year”= ~1930 – 1951, with “~1930” indicating the estimated begin period.

Year of design and issue uncertain

A further example is inventory number 1197. This medal has no information or text at all. Based on style and the fact that in 2000 the medal entered the collection, the production period was estimated to be 1970 – 2000.
This leads to: “Year” = (~1970 – ~2000), “Begin Period” = 1970, and “End Period” = 2000.