After the Romanian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were united under Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1820-1873), the prince attempted to create a national system of awards. None of Cuza’s awards were officially instituted during his reign, because of Austrian and Ottoman opposition, since Romania was still a vassal of the Ottoman Empire.
The Medal of Loyalty and Courage (Pentru Devotament si Curagiu) was one of these awards and was created in 1864. It was a round medal made of silver with a diameter of 34 mm, with the bust of Prince Cuza on the obverse, surrounded by the text “Alessandru Ion I 1864”, and the text “Devotamentu si Curajiu” surrounded by a laurel wreath on the reverse. The medal is surmounted by a laurel wreath and has the name of the engraver on the obverse (Cague F. or CT). The colour of the ribbon is not known but some sources claim it was half red and half yellow.
It is believed to have been awarded to civilians or policemen for bravery during the catastrophic floods that hit Romania and Bucharest during that year.
It is interesting to note that, according to the Romanian Official Bulletin, Carol I (1839-1914), the first king of Romania, awarded in 1877 a total of 14 Medals of Loyalty and Courage, six of the “gold” class and eight of the “silver” class. It is not known if these were similar to the medals with the same name minted by Alexandru Ioan Cuza (Cuza’s medal had only one class). It is speculated that Carol I intended to keep this medal in the Romanian award system (as he kept other medals instituted by Cuza, such as the Medal of Military Virtue), but the project was later abandoned for unknown reasons.