Medal "For the Accession of Prince Alexander I in 1879"
Date established: Some time during the second half of 1879
Number of classes: one
Being awarded for: Personally by the monarch and by His own good will
Shape and dimensions: Circular, 27mm in diameter
Ribbon: White in colour, edged with thin green and red stripes on both sides.
Obverse: The obverse depicts the effigy of the young Prince Alexander I in profile, circumscribed by His royal title in Bulgarian language – “АЛЕКСАНДРЪ I. КНЯЗЬ НА БЪЛГАРIЯ” / translation: Alexander I. Knyaz (Prince) of Bulgaria /.
Reverse: On the reverse is engraved the Bulgarian coat of arms – a Germanic heraldic shield, charged with a crowned lion rampant, and crowned with the royal Hessen crown on top. On either sides of the shield there is a lion-supporter, who are standing upon a decorative floral element. Above the arms is located a scroll which states “ЗА СПОМЕНЪ 1879“ / translation: In memory 1879 /, and in the base of the medal there is a similar scroll bearing two dates – 17th April and 24th June („17 АПРИЛIЯ 24 ЮНIЯ“) - the first being the date of the Prince's election to the Throne and the second of His arrival in His new domain.
The commemorative medal "For the Accession of Prince Alexander I" of 1879 is the first Bulgarian award, even though that theoretically, it was a personal award, given on behalf of the newly elected Monarch. This has to do with the fact that, as the initial text of the Bulgarian Constitution has explicitly stated that orders, medals or any other forms of distinction are banned from official usage in Bulgaria.
The medal has been minted of solid silver.
The few recipients of this medal were the members of the first Bulgarian cabinet, members of the Prince's private suite; His relatives from the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Imperial Russian generals serving in Bulgaria etc. Due to the very low number of recipients, this commemorative medal remains one of the rarest Bulgarian awards today.
The medal has been designed by the famous engraver Karl Schwenzer and struck in Austro-Hungary, hence the high quality of the medal itself.