Medals come in all shapes, sizes and metals, and this superb guide to the world of medals, orders and decorations considers every aspect of this important branch of numismatics. This wide-ranging work details the history of the medal from its earliest beginnings in ancient Greece and Rome, through the medieval era which saw the birth of the Orders of Chivalry, to the gallantry and campaign medals of today. The first part of the book examines medals and decorations intended for wear. It explores the enormous range of medals awarded for service in wars, campaigns and even individual battles or sieges, together with medals for long service and good conduct. The Orders of Chivalry and other decorations, which confer status and honour on the recipient, are considered in detail; although primarily associated with monarchical regimes this system of honours is also widely followed in republics. The directory covers more than 3000 medals, orders and decorations from every country of the world, arranged by continent and country. It details not only the highest orders of chivalry but also many of the humbler long-service medals of the police, fire and ambulance services. In between are the campaign and general service medals bestowed on all military personnel, regardless of rank, to mark their participation in a particular war, campaign or even in some cases in specific battle, as well as the medals and crosses awarded for distinguished military service or specific acts of gallantry.