Original German WWII Iron Cross First Class 1939 with 800 Marking - EKI
Original Items: Only One Available. This a very good condition example of a WWII Iron Cross First Class 1939, with a Magnetic core, flat design, and straight pin attachment. It does not have a maker mark, which is not uncommon for WWII production. It does however have an 800 stamped on top of the pin, for .800 silver content used in making the award. This is one of the standard silver purity contents used in Germany, and is usually seen on higher end awards, which have solid silver alloy components.
The medal is in really good condition, with the silver retained very well, with only moderate to light oxidation. The black paint on the central cross is lovely, with little wear, and a lovely pattern of check marking. Really just a great example that would make a worthy addition to any collection.
The basic design of the WWII crosses is a central cross patee struck from iron and mounted in a silver frame which has a raised crenulated decorative border. The obverse of the cross bears the date 1939 under a "mobile" swas (hook cross). Second class crosses would have a ring at the top where a ring was attached, and had more markings on the back. The first class award, however, was meant to attach directly to the front of the uniform.
Please note the edge seam for authentication, which is not present on reproductions. Iron crosses were commonly constructed from an iron core sandwiched in a surrounding two part silver frame, normally the seam of these two silver parts is visible around the edge of the cross as is seen on this fine example.
The Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz, abbreviated EK) was a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and later in the German Empire (1871–1918) and NSDAP Germany (1933–1945). It was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louise on 10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars (EK 1813). Louise was the first person to receive this decoration (posthumous). The recommissioned Iron Cross was also awarded during the Franco-Prussian War (EK 1870), World War I (EK 1914), and World War II (EK 1939, re-introduced with a swas added in the center).
The Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. Two examples of this were civilian test pilots Hanna Reitsch who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and 1st Class and Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, who was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class, for their actions as pilots during World War II.
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