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Sowjetische Auszeichnungen 1918-1991 / Soviet Awards 1918-1991
Ein Katalog / A Catalogue

Abkürzungen:

Kl. Klasse

M./Med. Medaille

Ii. links

No. Numero

O. Orden

re. rechts

Rs. Rückseite

Verd. Verdienter

verg./vg. vergoldet

Verl.-Nr. Verleihungs-Nr.

vers./vs. versilbert

Vs. Vorderseite

Introduction to the Fourth Edition

The interest in awards and commendations of the USSR appears to have stabilized. This interest holds true for private collectors, as well as for official institutions. Museums, in particular, have reflected this interest with their exhibits and with their magazines on the subject. There still remains great interest in the former superpower, the Soviet Union, and many would like to know more about events and developments in that strange world. It has been established that Soviet awards were, for the most part, produced carefully and attractively. They display a unique symbolism and were manufactured, at least partially, from precious metals such as gold and platinum.

Now, nearly eleven years after the publication of the first edition of the Sowjetische Auszeichnungen catalog, this edition is in hand. Since the last publication of the catalog, new discoveries have been made, new types of orders and awards have been identified, and prices have changed. Conversions of prices by us from DM to EUROs are provided. This new edition of the catalog reflects all these changes in an improved format and with improved print quality. The appearance of a fourth edition indicates that the catalog has become a major reference tool and will continue to be a valuable guide for the serious collector. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all contributors to the third edition, especially to those who provided appraisals, read the final edits, and helped expand the foreign language sections. Representative of the whole group, I would like to thank M. Gietzelt, P. McDaniel, J. Olden, A. Paretski and I. Zimmermann.

Price Quotations in the Catalog

Prices - noticed now in EURO - apply for items that are in good condition, have their original components and show signs of having been worn. The prices quoted are the average market prices for Soviet awards in Germany and other European countries at the time of publication. Prices are frequently lower in other sectors - for example, the second-hand market and among collectors. Items that are accompanied by their original certificates of award command significantly higher prices. Although the number of asterisks (*) in this edition is reduced compared to the previous editions, they still appear for items that have not been previously in the market or are rarely available. In such cases, prices will vary depending of the location and the time of purchase.

Price Trends

In 2003/2004 the following price trends have been observed:

for rare items increasing greatly

for uncommon items increasing or remaining constant

for common items constant or decreasing.

Manufacturing Specifications

As a rule, Soviet decorations were produced by the government mints in Moscow and Leningrad. A list regarding the place of manufacturers are given below. They are usually found on the decoration itself, or on the screwback plate:

ГОЗНАК - Administration of the Production of Money or other Valuable Documents - this agency printed award certificates for both honorary and meritorious decorations

МОНДВОР - contraction for mint.

МОНЕТНЫЙ ДВОР - mint (for both Moscow and Leningrad)

МД and ММД - abbreviations for the (Moscow) mint

ЛЕНИНГРАДСКИЙ МОНЕТНЫЙ ДВОР - for the Leningrad mint.

Serial Numbers

Serial numbers are engraved or stamped on the back or rim of an award. The serial number of an individual award can be higher than the number of officially distributed medals because more decorations were struck than presented. This is especially true for war decorations, since the outcome of battles could not be predicted. Medals were also awarded simultaniously on many fronts, out of numerical sequence. Awards not distributed were returned to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet or the mint for storage. Today some of these holdings have reached the international market.

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