The establishment of the Ewald Prize, for outstanding contributions to the science of crystallography, was announced in February 1986 and was given wide publicity. The name of the Prize was chosen with the kind consent of the late Paul Peter Ewald, to recognise Professor Ewald's significant contributions to the foundations of crystallography and to the founding of the International Union of Crystallography, especially his services as the President of the Provisional International Crystallographic Committee from 1946 to 1948, as the first Editor of the IUCr's publication Acta Crystallographica from 1948 to 1959, and as the President of the IUCr from 1960 to 1963.
Shortly after the death of Professor Ewald, his family informed the President that Professor Ewald had wished to make a bequest to the IUCr. After consulting Mrs Ewald, this generous bequest, together with a donation from the Ewald family and a donation from the IUCr, was used as starting capital for the Ewald Prize. The interest from this capital and further donations from the IUCr are used to finance the Prize.
The Prize consists of a medal, a certificate and an award of USD 30,000. It is presented once every three years during the triennial International Congresses of Crystallography.