Instituted on February 21, 1913 by the Decree of the Russian Emperor Nicholas II in conjunction with the 300th anniversary of the Romanov House reign.
According to the statute of the decoration, medal with an award certificate was issued gratis to the following Russian subjects:
- cadets and pages of special classes;
- lower ranks of the Army, the Navy, the Special Corps of Border Guards, the Special Corps of Gendarmes and Police, as well as personnel of convoy detachments and prison guards on active service as of February 21, 1913;
- rural population who took part in celebrations in the presence of the Emperor.
Another, much larger group of Russian subjects was entitled to wear the medal, but had to purchase it from their own expenses upon presentation of an award certificate issued by authorities. That group consisted of representatives of the following individuals:
- court dignitaries as of February 21, 1913;
- officials of military, naval and civil authorities on government service as of February 21, 1913;
- members of the State Council and the State Duma, i.e. Parliament deputies;
- Orthodox clergymen and church attendants;
- Non-Orthodox clerics;
- elective office employees of nobility, district and municipal self-government institutions;
- male and female freelance employees in government bodies;
- retired officials of military, naval and civil authorities who kept the right of wearing uniform;
- male and female teaching and educational staff of higher, secondary and elementary state institutions;
- actors and actresses of Imperial theaters;
- nurses of the Russian Society of the Red Cross;
- rural district foremen and chief judges, village headmen, a.k.a. gmina woyts in Russian Poland as well as corresponding posts in administrations of villages and small rural districts;
- holders of the Decoration of the Military Order, i.e. Cross of Saint George;
- medalists, mechanics and workers of the Saint Petersburg Royal Mint engaged in production of medals;
- active participants in organization and arrangement of festivities related to the 300th anniversary of the Romanov House reign.
Design of an obverse was elaborated by Anton F.Vasyutinskij (17.01.1858-02.12.1935), senior medalist of the Saint Petersburg Royal Mint. The draft of the famous sculptor, medalist and engraver was approved by the Emperor on January 19, 1913.
An obverse had two busts, that of the ruling Emperor Nicholas II on the foreground and Mikhail Fyodorovich, the first Russian Tsar of the house of Romanov, on the background. Nicholas II was depicted wearing a tunic of the colonel of the elite Life-Guards 4th The Imperial Family’s Rifle Regiment, the unit he served in as a colonel-in-chief since November 02, 1894. As for the Mikhail Fyodorovich, the legendary ruler was shown wearing traditional Tsarist regalia comprising of barmy, i.e. wide incrusted collar and Monomakh’s Cap. An image described above is encircled with a fancy ornamental design made of alternate dots and dashes, unlocked at the bottom. Small plain area is situated at the very bottom of an obverse, but some medals of private issue lack that detail. Two types of official issue medals are known to exist, those with thin and wide border. On the whole, patterns with quite low profile are characteristic to the official issue decorations.
A reverse had an inscription in five horizontal lines in capital letters executed in several prints: “In Memory of 300 Years of the Reign of the Romanov House” (“Въ память 300-лѣтiя царствованiя Дома Романовыхъ 1613-1913”).
Round medal measuring 28 mm in diameter was manufactured of light bronze and was worn on the left side of the tunic suspended from a traditional pentagonal bar. Ribbon of the decoration reproduced the color of the national flag of the Russian Empire, introduced on June 11, 1858 and abolished on April 29, 1896, i.e. white, yellow and black stripes, equal in width.
Frock miniatures measuring 15-16 mm in diameter were manufactured as well.
Estimate requirements at the beginning of production were placed roughly at 2-3 million medals, with 400,000 pieces being intended for gratuitous decoration. Total amount worth 60,000 rubles was allocated from the state treasury based on the cost of one medal with ribbon totaling 15 kopecks. It’s worth mentioning here that private manufacturers were selling gilt bronze medals with extra fine details of design 1 ruble each. However, by March 12, 1914, 1,188,072 orders had been placed with the Saint Petersburg Royal Mint, and those figures rose to 2,028,166 by June 26, 1914. The main reason for such an increase was the requirement to issue medals to lower ranks transferred to the reserve.
As a result, the Saint Petersburg Royal Mint produced more than 1,5 million medals of an official issue within 1913-1914.
Depending on manufacturer, more than 200 variations of the medal differing in major and minor details are known to exist. Thus, the most significant type is that with the bust of Nicholas II wearing an Order of Saint Vladimir 4th class, the highest and the only long service decoration the Emperor was awarded at the moment of his enthronement.
Medals with an inscription on reverse in six horizontal lines were minted as well. In certain cases decorations were manufactured of gilt silver, extremely rare pieces are found struck in gold. Some medals bore hallmarks of manufacturer at the bottom of an obverse. Silver medals had hallmarks on obverse and reverse of an eyelet.