In corporate law, a stock certificate is a legal document that certifies ownership of a specific number of shares or stock in a corporation. Certificates may have been required to evidence entitlement to dividends, with a receipt for the payment being endorsed on the back. Over time, these functions have been rendered redundant by statutory schemes to streamline the administrative burden on corporations, to facilitate and streamline trading on a stock exchange. For example, most jurisdictions now impose an obligation on corporations to pay dividends to shareholders registered at a relevant point of time without the need to produce the share certificate as proof of entitlement and the certificate is no longer required to be produced with a transfer of a shareholding. In some jurisdictions today, the issue of paper stock certificates may be dispensed with, at least in some circumstances, many corporations now provide a holding statement in lieu of a share certificate for each parcel of shares owned.
Most jurisdictions now require corporations to maintain records of ownership or transfers of shareholdings, do not permit share certificates to be issued to bearer. Ruben Schalk, history student at the Universiteit Utrecht, discovered the so far oldest share certificate in the world in the Westfries Archief in Hoorn; the certificate was issued by the VOC-chamber Enkhuizen. It was sold to Pieter Hermanszoon Boode; the second page records the payments of dividend. In the United States and other countries, electronic registration is supplanting the stock certificate, with both public and private companies no longer being required to issue paper certificates. In the United States over 420 of the 7,000-plus publicly traded securities do not issue paper certificates; the United States' Central Securities Depository, the DTC, has continued to promote efforts to eliminate paper stock certificates, a process called dematerialization. Countries around the world have adopted similar initiatives with many countries setting deadlines for statutory dematerialization.
Brokers may charge up to $500 for issuing a paper certificate, though this fee can be avoided by either holding share in street name or registering shares directly with the stock transfer agent and having them issue the certificate. Another alternative to both paper and electronic registration is the use of paper-equivalent electronic stock certificates. Forty-seven states have enacted legislation equivalent to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, which formalizes equivalency for electronic signatures "in writing" requirements. This, together with the enactment of legislation permitting the use of "facsimile" signatures on certificates, has given rise to software as a service technology for private companies to create and manage paper-equivalent electronic stock certificates. In Sweden, share certificates have been abolished, people using electronic shares instead. Share certificates may exist in Sweden, but only if the shares are not listed on any stock exchange in Sweden, the availability of share certificates has nothing to do with voting in shareholders' general meetings.
Sometimes a shareholder with a stock certificate can give a proxy to another person to allow them to vote the shares in question. A shareholder without a share certificate may give a proxy to another person to allow them to vote the shares in question. Voting rights are defined by the corporation's charter and corporate law. Stock certificates are divided into two forms: registered stock certificates and bearer stock certificates. A registered stock certificate is only evidence of title, a record of the true holders of the shares will appear in the stockholder's register of the corporation. A bearer stock certificate, as its name implies is a bearer instrument, physical possession of the certificate entitles the holder to exercise all legal rights associated with the stock. Bearer stock certificates are becoming uncommon: they were popular in offshore jurisdictions for their perceived confidentiality, as a useful way to transfer beneficial title to assets without payment of stamp duty. International initiatives have curbed the use of bearer stock certificates in offshore jurisdictions, tend to be available only in onshore financial centres, although they are seen in practice.
A stock certificate represents a legal proprietary interest in the common stock or assets of the issuer corporation. The certificate evidences a chose in action against the issuer to collect dividends and to influence the issuer through voting pursuant to the issuer's charter and bylaws, which are implied or incorporated by reference as terms on the face of the certificate. Stockholder rights are subject to the solvency requirements of issuer's general creditors and to any terms and conditions validly placed upon the face of the stock certificate which are part of the total agreement between the particular stockholder and the issuer. Stock certificates are transferred as negotiable or quasi-negotiable instruments by indorsement and delivery, issuer charters require that transfers must be registered with the issuer in order for the transferee to join as a member o
A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated d/b/a OCLC is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs". It was founded in 1967 as the Ohio College Library Center. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the largest online public access catalog in the world. OCLC is funded by the fees that libraries have to pay for its services. OCLC maintains the Dewey Decimal Classification system. OCLC began in 1967, as the Ohio College Library Center, through a collaboration of university presidents, vice presidents, library directors who wanted to create a cooperative computerized network for libraries in the state of Ohio; the group first met on July 5, 1967 on the campus of the Ohio State University to sign the articles of incorporation for the nonprofit organization, hired Frederick G. Kilgour, a former Yale University medical school librarian, to design the shared cataloging system.
Kilgour wished to merge the latest information storage and retrieval system of the time, the computer, with the oldest, the library. The plan was to merge the catalogs of Ohio libraries electronically through a computer network and database to streamline operations, control costs, increase efficiency in library management, bringing libraries together to cooperatively keep track of the world's information in order to best serve researchers and scholars; the first library to do online cataloging through OCLC was the Alden Library at Ohio University on August 26, 1971. This was the first online cataloging by any library worldwide. Membership in OCLC is based on use of services and contribution of data. Between 1967 and 1977, OCLC membership was limited to institutions in Ohio, but in 1978, a new governance structure was established that allowed institutions from other states to join. In 2002, the governance structure was again modified to accommodate participation from outside the United States.
As OCLC expanded services in the United States outside Ohio, it relied on establishing strategic partnerships with "networks", organizations that provided training and marketing services. By 2008, there were 15 independent United States regional service providers. OCLC networks played a key role in OCLC governance, with networks electing delegates to serve on the OCLC Members Council. During 2008, OCLC commissioned two studies to look at distribution channels. In early 2009, OCLC negotiated new contracts with the former networks and opened a centralized support center. OCLC provides bibliographic and full-text information to anyone. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat—the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the largest online public access catalog in the world. WorldCat has holding records from private libraries worldwide; the Open WorldCat program, launched in late 2003, exposed a subset of WorldCat records to Web users via popular Internet search and bookselling sites.
In October 2005, the OCLC technical staff began a wiki project, WikiD, allowing readers to add commentary and structured-field information associated with any WorldCat record. WikiD was phased out; the Online Computer Library Center acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification System when it bought Forest Press in 1988. A browser for books with their Dewey Decimal Classifications was available until July 2013; until August 2009, when it was sold to Backstage Library Works, OCLC owned a preservation microfilm and digitization operation called the OCLC Preservation Service Center, with its principal office in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The reference management service QuestionPoint provides libraries with tools to communicate with users; this around-the-clock reference service is provided by a cooperative of participating global libraries. Starting in 1971, OCLC produced catalog cards for members alongside its shared online catalog. OCLC commercially sells software, such as CONTENTdm for managing digital collections.
It offers the bibliographic discovery system WorldCat Discovery, which allows for library patrons to use a single search interface to access an institution's catalog, database subscriptions and more. OCLC has been conducting research for the library community for more than 30 years. In accordance with its mission, OCLC makes its research outcomes known through various publications; these publications, including journal articles, reports and presentations, are available through the organization's website. OCLC Publications – Research articles from various journals including Code4Lib Journal, OCLC Research, Reference & User Services Quarterly, College & Research Libraries News, Art Libraries Journal, National Education Association Newsletter; the most recent publications are displayed first, all archived resources, starting in 1970, are available. Membership Reports – A number of significant reports on topics ranging from virtual reference in libraries to perceptions about library funding. Newsletters – Current and archived newsletters for the library and archive community.
Presentations – Presentations from both guest speakers and OCLC research from conferences and other events. The presentations are organized into five categories: Conference presentations, Dewey presentations, Distinguished Seminar Series, Guest presentations, Research staff
International Standard Serial Number
An International Standard Serial Number is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, interlibrary loans, other practices in connection with serial literature; the ISSN system was first drafted as an International Organization for Standardization international standard in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for maintaining the standard; when a serial with the same content is published in more than one media type, a different ISSN is assigned to each media type. For example, many serials are published both in electronic media; the ISSN system refers to these types as electronic ISSN, respectively. Conversely, as defined in ISO 3297:2007, every serial in the ISSN system is assigned a linking ISSN the same as the ISSN assigned to the serial in its first published medium, which links together all ISSNs assigned to the serial in every medium.
The format of the ISSN is an eight digit code, divided by a hyphen into two four-digit numbers. As an integer number, it can be represented by the first seven digits; the last code digit, which may be 0-9 or an X, is a check digit. Formally, the general form of the ISSN code can be expressed as follows: NNNN-NNNC where N is in the set, a digit character, C is in; the ISSN of the journal Hearing Research, for example, is 0378-5955, where the final 5 is the check digit, C=5. To calculate the check digit, the following algorithm may be used: Calculate the sum of the first seven digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right—that is, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, respectively: 0 ⋅ 8 + 3 ⋅ 7 + 7 ⋅ 6 + 8 ⋅ 5 + 5 ⋅ 4 + 9 ⋅ 3 + 5 ⋅ 2 = 0 + 21 + 42 + 40 + 20 + 27 + 10 = 160 The modulus 11 of this sum is calculated. For calculations, an upper case X in the check digit position indicates a check digit of 10. To confirm the check digit, calculate the sum of all eight digits of the ISSN multiplied by its position in the number, counting from the right.
The modulus 11 of the sum must be 0. There is an online ISSN checker. ISSN codes are assigned by a network of ISSN National Centres located at national libraries and coordinated by the ISSN International Centre based in Paris; the International Centre is an intergovernmental organization created in 1974 through an agreement between UNESCO and the French government. The International Centre maintains a database of all ISSNs assigned worldwide, the ISDS Register otherwise known as the ISSN Register. At the end of 2016, the ISSN Register contained records for 1,943,572 items. ISSN and ISBN codes are similar in concept. An ISBN might be assigned for particular issues of a serial, in addition to the ISSN code for the serial as a whole. An ISSN, unlike the ISBN code, is an anonymous identifier associated with a serial title, containing no information as to the publisher or its location. For this reason a new ISSN is assigned to a serial each time it undergoes a major title change. Since the ISSN applies to an entire serial a new identifier, the Serial Item and Contribution Identifier, was built on top of it to allow references to specific volumes, articles, or other identifiable components.
Separate ISSNs are needed for serials in different media. Thus, the print and electronic media versions of a serial need separate ISSNs. A CD-ROM version and a web version of a serial require different ISSNs since two different media are involved. However, the same ISSN can be used for different file formats of the same online serial; this "media-oriented identification" of serials made sense in the 1970s. In the 1990s and onward, with personal computers, better screens, the Web, it makes sense to consider only content, independent of media; this "content-oriented identification" of serials was a repressed demand during a decade, but no ISSN update or initiative occurred. A natural extension for ISSN, the unique-identification of the articles in the serials, was the main demand application. An alternative serials' contents model arrived with the indecs Content Model and its application, the digital object identifier, as ISSN-independent initiative, consolidated in the 2000s. Only in 2007, ISSN-L was defined in the
American Numismatic Association
The American Numismatic Association is a Colorado Springs, Colorado organization founded in 1891 by Dr. George F. Heath, it was formed to advance the knowledge of numismatics along educational and scientific lines, as well as to enhance interest in the hobby. The ANA has more than 25,000 members who receive many benefits, such as discounts, access to website features, the monthly journal The Numismatist; the ANA's Colorado Springs headquarters houses its administrative offices and money museum. The ANA received a Federal Charter from the United States Congress in 1912. A Board of Governors are in charge of the ANA. Numerous advisory committees help to operate it properly; the ANA has a Young Numismatists program intended to promote interest among youth. The ANA has held annual conventions throughout the nation in most years since 1891, with two per year since 1978; the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award is bestowed upon the most dedicated members. The ANA maintains a Numismatic Hall of Fame. Dr. George F. Heath of Monroe, gained knowledge of world history by studying his collection of coins.
The obscurity of his community was an obstacle towards obtaining certain specimens, made meeting fellow numismatists difficult. In 1888, he printed and distributed a four-page leaflet, NUMISMATIST, in which he listed his coin needs, advertised duplicates for sale, discussed numismatic topics; the nascent publication found many friends among other isolated collectors. As Heath's subscription list increased, a need for a national organization of numismatists was evident; the February 1891 edition of The Numismatist printed a question, "What is the matter with having an American Numismatic Association?" A follow-up statement was included: "There is nothing like the alliance of kindred pursuits to stimulate growth and interest."On October 7 and October 8, 1891, five men—Heath, William G. Jerrems, David Harlowe, J. A. Heckelman and John Brydon—holding 26 proxies, met in Chicago with 61 charter members; the result was the founding of the ANA, which has since become the largest non-profit numismatic organization in the world.
Heath introduced the idea of a numismatic convention, where members could make personal contact with other numismatists. The first convention was held in 1891 annually until 1895, in 1901 and 1904. After the 1907 convention in Columbus, Ohio, it was decided to hold annual conventions thereafter. On June 16, 1908, Dr. Heath died. Farran Zerbe president, assumed the task of editing and publishing THE NUMISMATIST, soon purchased the publication from Heath's heirs. In 1911, W. C. C. Wilson of Montreal, Canada, purchased THE NUMISMATIST from Zerbe and presented it to the ANA. Since the magazine has been owned and published monthly by the ANA. On May 9, 1912, the ANA attained national prominence as it was granted a Federal Charter signed by President William H. Taft. In 1962, an amendment to make the Charter permanent and allow for a larger Board was introduced and passed by Congress and signed into law by John F. Kennedy on April 10; the amendment was presented by Congressman Wilbur Mills and Senator John L. McClellan, both of Arkansas.
An ANA national headquarters building fund was established on April 29, 1961. A site in Colorado Springs, Colorado was selected as the headquarter's location and a ground breaking ceremony was held on September 6, 1966. On December 20, the $250,000 building fund goal was reached and the new headquarters was dedicated and opened on June 10, 1967; the ANA's administration operates from its Colorado Springs headquarters. The ANA's monthly journal, The Numismatist, is produced here. Many articles are contributed by ANA members; the facility houses the largest circulating numismatic library in the world. Books, educational slide programs and instructional videotapes are loaned to members without charge other than costs to cover postage and insurance; the ANA has many affiliate club members throughout the United States, such as the Beverly Hills Coin Club and the Chicago Coin Club. ANA headquarters contains the ANA Money Museum, which includes over 250,000 objects encompassing the history of numismatics from the earliest invention of money to modern day.
The Harry W. Bass Collection features American gold coins, experimental pattern coins and paper money; the museum offers changing exhibits about money in history, archeology and economics, coin collecting. Members may study the items on display and, by prearrangement, can use other museum materials for research purposes; the ANA has more than 25,000 members. Memberships last three years, five years, or a lifetime; the cost of the latter is $800 to $1,200, depending on a member's age and whether the ANA's magazine, "The Numismatist", is mailed or emailed. The ANA is run by a nine-member Board of Governors composed of the President, Vice-President, seven Governors, each elected by ANA members in odd-numbered years. Governor candidates must have been ANA members for at least three years. President and Vice President candidates must have served at least one term as a Governor. Total service on the Board is limited to 10 years; the current Board of Governors was elected in 2017. The President and Vice President positions were uncontested.
Candidates ran for seven Governor seats. The election results were as follows: The ANA is served by various advisory committees. There are temporary advisory committees for searches, one formed for forming a Strategic Vision for the board in 2012. There are several more permanent advisory committees: Bylaws & Ethics Community Education Community Relations Convention & Dealer Relations Exhibits & Awards, to set rules and work to oversee collector exhibiting
In numismatics, token coins or trade tokens are coin-like objects used instead of coins. The field of token coins is part of exonumia and token coins are token money. Tokens have a denomination either implied by size, color or shape. "Tokens" are made of cheaper metals: copper, aluminium and tin were used, while bakelite, leather and other less durable materials are known. A key point of difference between a token coin and a legal tender coin is that the latter is issued by a governmental authority and is exchangeable for goods. However, a token coin has a much more limited use and is issued by a private company, association or individual. In the case of "currency tokens" issued by a company but recognized by the state there is a convergence between tokens and currency. Currency tokens issued by a company sometimes ceased to be "trade" tokens when they were sanctioned by a local government authority: due to a severe shortage of money or the government's inability to issue its own coinage. In effect, the organization behind the tokens became the regional bank.
A classic example of this is the Strachan and Co trade tokens of East Griqualand in South Africa, which were used as currency by the indigenous people in the region from 1874. Their initial success resulted from the scarcity of small change in that remote region at that time. In times of high inflation, tokens have sometimes taken on a currency role. Examples of this are Italian and Israeli telephone tokens, which were always good for the same service as prices increased. New York City Subway tokens were sometimes accepted in trade, or in parking meters, since they had a set value. Coin-like objects from the Roman Empire called spintriae have been interpreted as an early form of token, their functions are not documented, but they appear to have been brothel tokens or gaming tokens. Medieval English monasteries issued tokens to pay for services from outsiders; these tokens circulated in nearby villages, where they were called "Abbot's money". Counters called jetons were used as small change without official blessing.
From the 17th to the early 19th century in the British Isles and North America, tokens were issued by merchants in times of acute shortage of coins of the state. These tokens were in effect a pledge redeemable in goods, but not for currency; these tokens never received official sanction from government but were accepted and circulated quite widely. In England, the production of copper farthings was permitted by royal licence in the first few decades of the 17th century, but production ceased during the English Civil War and a great shortage of small change resulted; this shortage was felt more keenly because of the rapid growth of trade in the towns and cities, this in turn prompted both local authorities and merchants to issue tokens. These tokens were most made of copper or brass, but pewter and leather tokens are found. Most were not given a specific denomination and were intended to substitute for farthings, but there are a large number of halfpenny and sometimes penny tokens. Halfpenny and penny tokens but not always, bear the denomination on their face.
Most such tokens show the issuer's full name or initials. Where initials were shown, it was common practice to show three initials: the first names of husband and wife and their surname. Tokens would normally indicate the merchant establishment, either by name or by picture. Most were round, but they are found in square, heart or octagonal shapes. Thousands of towns and merchants issued these tokens from 1648 until 1672, when official production of farthings resumed, private production was suppressed. There were again coin shortages in the late 18th century, when the British Royal Mint ceased production. Merchants once again produced tokens, but they were now machine made and larger than their 17th century predecessors, with values of a halfpenny or more. While many were used in trade, they were produced for advertising and political purposes, some series were produced for the primary purpose of sale to collectors; these tokens are known as Conder tokens, after the writer of the first reference book on them.
These were issued by merchants in payment for goods with the agreement that they would be redeemed in goods to an equivalent value at the merchants' own outlets. The transaction is therefore one of barter, with the tokens playing a role of convenience, allowing the seller to receive his goods at a rate and time convenient to himself, the merchant to tie the holder of the token coin to his shop. Trade tokens gradually changed into barter tokens, as evidenced by the continued circulation of former trade tokens when the need for their use had passed. In the United States of America Hard times tokens issued from 1832 to 1844 and Civil War tokens issued in the 1860s made up for shortages of official money; because of weight, the U. S. Treasury Department does not ship coins to the Armed Forces serving overseas, so Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials chose to make pogs in denominations of 5, 10, 25 cents; the pogs are about 38 mm in diameter, feature various military-themed graphics. The collecting of trade tokens is part of the field of exonumia, includes other types of tokens, including transit tokens, encased cents, many others.
In a narrow sense, trade tokens are "good for" tokens, issued by merchants. They have a merchant's name or initials, sometimes a town and state, a value legend somewhere on the token. Merchants that issued tokens included general stores, groce
A medal or medallion is a small portable artistic object, a thin disc of metal, carrying a design on both sides. They have a commemorative purpose of some kind, many are given as awards, they may be suspended from clothing or jewellery in some way. They are traditionally struck like a coin by dies. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for sporting, scientific, academic, or various other achievements. Military awards and decorations are more precise terms for certain types of state decoration. Medals may be created for sale to commemorate particular individuals or events, or as works of artistic expression in their own right. In the past, medals commissioned for an individual with their portrait, were used as a form of diplomatic or personal gift, with no sense of being an award for the conduct of the recipient. An artist who creates medals or medallions is called a "medalist". Medals have long been popular collectible items, in numismatics form a class called either exonumia or militaria.
In the proper use of the term, medallions are larger, starting at four inches across, are, as such too large to be worn comfortably, though in colloquial use, "medallion" is used to refer to a medal used as the pendant of a necklace, or for other types of medals. Medallions may be called "table medals" because they are too large to be worn and can only be displayed on a wall, table top, desk, or cabinet. Numismatists divide medals into at least seven classes: Awards: awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for sporting, scientific, academic, or various other achievements. Military awards and decorations are more precise terms for certain types of state decoration. Military decorations are in shapes such as crosses or stars, but are still loosely called "medals", as in the star-shaped American Medal of Honor. Commemoratives: created for sale to commemorate particular individuals or events, or as works of medallic art in their own right. Souvenirs: similar to a commemorative, but more focused on a place or event like state fairs, museums, historic sites, etc. and found for sale within their respective souvenir shops.
Religious: devotional medals may be worn for religious reasons. Portraits: produced to immortalize a person with their portrait. Artistic: made purely as an art object. Plaquettes are of this type. Society Medals: made for societies used as a badge or token of membership. First attested in English in 1578, the word medal is derived from the Middle French médaille, itself from Italian medaglia, from the post-classical Latin medalia, meaning a coin worth half a denarius; the word medallion has the same ultimate derivation, but this time through the Italian medaglione, meaning "large medal". There are two theories as for the etymology of the word medalia: the first being that the Latin medalia itself is derived from the adjective medialis meaning "medial" or "middle". Traditionally medals are stamped with dies on a durable metal flan or planchet, or cast from a mould; the imagery, which includes lettering, is in low relief. Circular medals are most common; the "decoration" types use other shapes crosses and stars.
These in particular come with a suspension loop, a wide coloured ribbon with a clip at the top, for attaching to clothing worn on the chest. The main or front surface of a medal is termed the obverse, may contain a portrait, pictorial scene, or other image along with an inscription; the reverse, or back surface of the medal, is not always used and may be left blank or may contain a secondary design. It is not uncommon to find only an artistic rendering on the obverse, while all details and other information for the medal are inscribed on the reverse; the rim is found only employed to display an inscription such as a motto, privy mark, engraver symbol, assayer’s marking, or a series number. Medals that are intended to be hung from a ribbon include a small suspension piece at the crest with which to loop a suspension ring through, it is through the ring that a ribbon is folded so the medal may hang pendent. Medals pinned to the breast use only a small cut of ribbon, attached to a top bar where the brooch pin is affixed.
Top bars may be hidden under the ribbon so they are not visible, be a plain device from which the ribbon attaches, or may be decorative to complement the design on the medal. Some top bars are contain a whole design unto themselves. Bronze has been the most common material employed for medals, due to its fair price range, ease with which to work when casting, the ample availability However, a wide range of other media have been used. Rarer metals have been employed, such as silver and gold, when wishing to add value beyond the mere artistic depiction, as well as base metals and alloys such as copper, iron, lead, zinc and pewter. Medals that are made with inexpensive material might be gilded, silver-plated, chased, or finished in a variety of other ways to improve their appearance. Medals have been made of rock, ivory, porcelain, terra cotta