Gold Graduation Honor Medal of a Summa Cum Laude Military
Academy graduate, 1957 - 1991.
Silver, gold and copper alloy (Soviet "375 gold", equivalent
of approx. 9 K gold content) with 23 K gold plating.
Measures 26.1 mm diameter, 2.2 mm thick; weighs 11.0 g.
Features Soviet military emblem of star with hammer &
sickle, a book and a wreath, with raised inscription along
the top edge "Armed Forces of the USSR". The reverse is
inscribed "For excellent graduation of a military academy".
In excellent, near mint condition. Shows no wear detectable
by the naked eye; the details and stippling are pristine and
beautifully defined. Completely free of the common edge
knocks or nicks from gold testing.
Issued to graduates of higher military colleges and
academies for achieving excellent GPA. The gold medal was
originally established in 1950; the early versions had the
profile of Stalin and the name of the particular school that
issued it. In 1959, at the peak of "de-Stalinization
campaign" launched by Khrushchev, it was replaced with a
generic gold graduation medal which no longer showed
Stalin's portrait or identified the school.
/"Avers 8" p. 503, fig. 2415 - note that the date of
the institution of the "generic" medal is shown incorrectly
in the book/.