The end of the school year is not far off. This means that many graduates will receive medals for excellent studies. By the way, these medals have a very long and interesting history. The best graduates of gymnasiums were honored with awards in Russia at the beginning of the 19th century. Moreover, each educational institution produced medals at its own discretion. In 1835, Emperor Nicholas I banned such liberties, approving a sample of a single medal. For a long time, only graduates of men's gymnasiums received them. Honors girls began to issue medals in 1870. In the Soviet Union, until the end of the Great Patriotic War, there was no single award for graduates. Only on May 30, 1945, the Council of People's Commissars decided to establish gold and silver medals for the best students. Holders of gold awards had the right to enter universities without exams.
Moreover, the awards were, indeed, gold, for the manufacture of each of them it took about 12 grams of 583-carat gold. The winner of the # 1 award was Evgeny Shchukin, a graduate of school # 110 in Moscow. In 1954, the country's leadership considered that too much gold was spent on medals, now graduates were awarded medals made of 375-carat gold. Silver medalists, as before, received awards of the 925th test. In 1960, the production of awards from precious metals was stopped. Gold medalists received a token from tombak, silver ones from cupronickel. And Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev in 1968 completely canceled silver medals in schools, they were returned only 17 years later. Benefits continued to be retained for school award holders. True, it was impossible to enter a higher educational institution without exams at all - it was required to pass only one, profile, entrance exam with excellent marks.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the rules for awarding school medals have changed more than once. Currently, the law passed in May 2014 is in force. The new award does not contain the terms "gold" or "silver", it is called the medal "For special achievements in learning." It is interesting to note that many of our "stars" graduated from school with medals. For example, singer Philip Kirkorov and football player Sergei Semak. But footballer Andrei Arshavin and actor Sergei Zhigunov did not differ much in their craving for knowledge. Arshavin was even kicked out of school for tearing up a class magazine, and Zhigunov admitted that the troika was the highest mark for him.