Case of Issue
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The Medal for Zeal was instituted in 1895 by Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš. The Medal for Zeal was the first specifically civilian award to be issued in the Principality of Montenegro.
Nikola I Petrović-Njegoš (7 October [O.S. 25 September] 1841 – 1 March 1921) was the ruler of Montenegro from 1860 to 1918, reigning as a sovereign prince from 1860 to 1910 and as a king from 1910 to 1918.
This medal was awarded to the Royal Household personnel for long and loyal service as well as to individuals that had efficiently carried out their duties in the service of the State.
It had two classes, the first being in gold (1st Class) and the second in silver (2nd Class), both 30-31 mm in diameter.
Type I – wide suspension (oval suspension fastened to the medal with hinges) – maker Joseph Christelbauer, Vienna, Austria
Type II – roller shaped suspension – maker Vincent Mayer, Vienna, Austria
Type III – ball shaped suspension – maker Arthus-Bertrand, Paris, France
Except for the inscription on its revers, the Medal for Zeal is similar to the Medal for Courage of 1862.
Around the youthful portrait of Nicholas I, is the inscription: "НИКОЛА I. КЊАЗ ЦРНОГОРСКИ" (Nicholas I, Prince of Montenegro).
Surrounded by a wreath consisting of an oak branch and one of laurel leaves the inscription in the centre of the medal is written in two lines: "ЗА РЕВНОСТ" (For Zeal).
A box for the medal is red, with the golden Royal Montenegrin coat of arms on the cover of the box.
A ribbon for the Medal for Zeal is in the colours of the national flag (red - blue – white).
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