C’est Beau. 1971.

1971 World Championships at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins

The pins produced for the 1971 World Figure Skating Championships, held in Lyon, France, are among the most beautiful made to commemorate any major event. A combination of classic design, high production value, vivid colors, and unmistakable French flair elevate the pins to an elite class. These figure skating pins can be best summed up in one way: C’est beau.

It is perhaps the richly gold-toned and textured metal that most gives the 1971 World Championships pins their indomitable flair. The central design elements of the pin, a world globe and skate blade in gold on a blue enamel background, meld perfectly to create a striking symbol. Arranged above is the escutcheon from the city of Lyon coat of arms that carries a heraldic lion and three fleurs-de-lis. Note that the fleurs-de-lis are not reproduced crisply, instead looking a bit clumsy—nearly the only fault of any kind one can find in these exquisite pins.

At the top of the pin, left and right, are “ISU” and “FFSG” for the sanctioning union and the host federation for the event. ISU being, of course, International Skating Union and FFSG representing Fédération Française des Sports de Glace, the national governing body for ice sports in France. Below the globe motif, on the same blue background and in gold lettering, are the event name, location, and year: “Championnats du Monde, Lyon, 1971.” The all-capitals type is beautiful, even with varying size and exaggerated spacing used between words and dates to achieve right justification.

It is perhaps the richly gold-toned and textured metal that most gives the 1971 World Championships pins their indomitable flair.

In the gallery below are six different pins issued for an individual with a named role at the 1971 World Championships:

  • Officiel (Official)
  • Juge (Judge)
  • Equipé (Team)
  • Presse (Press)
  • Photographe (Photographer)
  • Television

Each pin features a differently colored bar suspended from the main pin by jump rings. Note the subtle differences in the size and style of type used for each role. For example, “Juge” is in plain gold letters while “Officiel” is in gold-outlined letters filled with red. These differences presumably helped to signify an individual’s level of prestige at the event.

There are conflicting stories as to whether a logo pin was produced and issued for the event. Many collectors contend there was no such a pin, while others contend differently. In the 1987 book Figure Skating Pins, a circular item is presented (presumably) as a pin but is believed to be a modified keyring medal. It has been confirmed that a keyring of extremely fine quality, using elements seen in the pins shown below, was produced and available at the event. In more than 40 years of collecting, The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins has never seen a logo pin from the 1971 World Championships. If anyone has such a pin, please contact The Netropolitan with details so this blog can be updated.

Enjoy C’est Beau. 1971.


1971 World Figure Skating Championships Pin Gallery

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  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.

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