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The medals in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature are identical on the face; it shows the image of Alfred Nobel and the years of his birth and death (1833-1896). The Peace medal and
the medal for the Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences have a slightly different design.
The areverse varies according to the institution awarding the prize.

All medals made before 1980 were struck in 23K gold. Today they are made from 18K green gold plated with 23K gold. The weight of the medal varies with the value of gold, but averages about 175g for each medal. The diameter is 66mm and the thickness varies between 5.2 and 2.4mm.

The medals have looked the same since 1902.


The Medal in Physics and Chemistry

The medal of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences represents Nature
in the forms of a goddess resembling Isis, emerging from the clouds and holding
in her arms a cornucopia. The veil which covers her cold and austere face is
held up by the Genius of Science.

The inscription reads:

Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by new found mastery."
(Word for word: inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.)

The words are taken from Vergilius Aeneid, the 6th song, vers 663;
Lo, God-loved poets, men who spake things worthy Phoebus' heart;
and they who bettered life on earth by new-found mastery

The name of the laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures,
and the text "REG. ACAD. SCIENT SUEC" stands for
The Royal Swedish Academy of Science.

Designed by Erik Lindberg

The Medal in Physiology or Medicine

The medal of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute
represents the Genius of Medicine holding an open book in her lap,
collecting the water pouring out from a rock in order to quench a
sick girl's thirst.

The inscription reads:

Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by new found mastery."
(Word for word: inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.)

The words are taken from Vergilius Aeneid, the 6th song, vers 663;
Lo, God-loved poets, men who spake things worthy Phoebus' heart;
and they who bettered life on earth by new-found mastery

The name of the laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures,
and the text "REG. UNIVERSITAS MED. CHIR. CAROL" stands
for the Karolinska Institute.

Designed by Erik Lindberg

The Medal in Literature

The medal of the Swedish Academy represents a young man sitting under a
laurel tree who, enchanted, listens to and writes down the song of the Muse.

The inscription reads:

Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by new found mastery."
(Word for word: Inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.)

The words are taken from Vergilius Aeneid, the 6th song, vers 663;
Lo, God-loved poets, men who spake things worthy Phoebus' heart;
and they who bettered life on earth by new-found mastery

The name of the Leaureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the
text "ACAD SUEC" stands for the the Swedish Academy.

Designed by Erik Lindberg

The Peace Prize Medal




The face of the medal of the Norwegian Nobel Committee shows
Alfred Nobel in a pose slightly different from that of the other medals.
The inscription is the same.

The other side of the Peace Medal represents a group of three men
forming a fraternal bond.

The inscription reads:

Pro pace et fraternitate gentium

translated "For the peace and brotherhood of men."

The name of the laureate and Parlamentum Norvegiae
(The Norwegian Parliament) are engraved on the edge of the medal.



Designed by Gustaf Vigeland

The Medal for the Prize in Economic Sciences
in Memory of Alfred Nobel




The medal for the Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory
of Alfred Nobel shows the North Star emblem of the
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, dating from 1815,
with the words "Kungliga Vetenskaps Akademien"
(The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) around the edge.

The upper half of the face of the medal depicts Alfred Nobel, but in
a pose different from the one appearing on the Nobel Prize medals.

Around the upper edge are the words
Sveriges Riksbank till Alfred Nobels Minne 1968
"The Bank of Sweden, in memory of Alfred Nobel, 1968."

The lower half displays the Bank's crossed horns of plenty.
This design distinguishes it from the medals of the five prizes
awarded under the terms of Alfred Nobel's 1895 will.

Designed by Gunvor Svensson-Lundqvist

Edited for ENM by Carolina Linnman

Copyright© 1997 The Nobel Foundation

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