Sobriety Medallions are an amazing mode of commemorating achievement, by recognizing the length of time a person has been sober. The tale of these, typically aluminum medallions seems to go back to the late 1930s when a man by the name of Clarence H. Snyder, also known as the Home Brewmeister, took his last drink and to commemorate that day, kept with him a silver coin that he carried with him for the next 46 years of his life.
Through various Alcoholics Anonymous groups and evolutions, the practice of giving a commemorative coin at the first day of sobriety and then each month for a year, and then each year began to take hold. These special medallions become a keepsake and a touchstone for a committed and life changing journey.
Often, despite the many medallions a recovering addict will collect, the very first one, the one that commemorates their first 24 hours sober, is the one they carry throughout their entire lives.
Each medallion has a specific color to signify the amount of time a person has been sober. 1 month sober is red, 2 months sober is gold, 3 months sober is green, 6 months sober is blue, 9 months sober is purple, and so on. This happens for the entire first year, and then with the person in recover reaches a year, the medallions change to the color bronze and mark each year of sobriety. The metal of these medallions vary, but are significantly heavier than their aluminum counter parts.
Some of the common symbols used in the creation of sobriety medallions are the inclusion of the length of time it represents, the AA circle and triangle logo, the words ‘to thine own self be true”, three pillars of service – unity, recovery, service, and the serenity prayer on the reverse side.