Commemorative medal was instituted in three classes to mark the 50th jubilee of the enthronement of Ernst I Friedrich Paul Georg Nikolaus von Sachsen-Altenburg (16.09.1826-07.02.1908) as the ruler of the Duchy of Saxe-Altenburg, one of the smallest states German Empire comprised of. Medaille zum 50.Regierungsjubiläum 1903 was awarded on August 03, 1903 to participants of the state reception held in Altenburg.
The golden medal, or that of the 1st class, was conferred on members of the reigning family and heads of other German states who honoured celebrations with their presence. The silver medal was issued to generals, high officials and court ladies. Other court officials and officers were decorated with the bronze medal.
Design of the decoration was elaborated by the court engraver Max Haseroth (1856-19??).
An obverse showed bust of Ernst I facing right with a hallmark of engraver in capital letters “M.Haseroth” placed at the lower left section of the neck.
A reverse bore the title of the ruler in capital letters in five lines: “Ersnt Herzog von Sachsen-Altenburg”, followed by the date of the jubilee “3 · August · 1903 ·”.
Medals were presented in rectangular cardboard boxes measuring 69х59 mm covered with natural leather for those conferred with the golden medal and with glossy red paper for all the other recipients. The inner part of the box was covered with green velvet.
Medaille zum 50.Regierungsjubiläum 1903 was worn on the left part of the chest suspended from a 30 mm wide green ribbon with two white vertical stripes closer to its edges. Female holders of the decoration wore the medal on traditional bow.
Circular medal with loop for ribbon suspension was 32,2 mm in diameter and weighed 16 g (silver medal) or 18 g (golden one).
Totally 2,448 bronze medals were issued, while awards of two highest classes were limited to 30 pieces only.