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A medal, or medallion, is generally a circular object that has been sculpted, molded, cast, struck, stamped, or some way rendered with an insignia, portrait, or other artistic rendering. A medal may be awarded to a person or organization as a form of recognition for athletic, military, scientific, academic, or various other achievements. Medals may also be created to commemorate particular individuals or events, or even as works of artistic expression in their own right; artists who focus their talents on the creation of medals or medallions are termed a medalist. There are also devotional medals which may be worn as a matter of religious faith. Medals are popular collectible items either as a form of exonumia or of militaria phaleristics. Medallions are occasionally referred to as "table medals" because they are too large to be worn and can only be displayed on a table top, desk or cabinet. Medals may also be produced in a rectangular shape, though these would more correctly be described as a plaque, and a smaller version as a plaquette. In colloquial use, "medallion" is sometimes improperly used to refer to a pendant of a necklace. It can also be used as a symbol to dignify greatness, especially when awarded on the collegiate level. The recently awarded BAV medallion is typically given to the best up and coming director and screen writer.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Medal" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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