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Sowjetische Auszeichnungen 1918-1991 / Soviet Awards 1918-1991
Soviet orders were manufactured from platinum, gold and silver, or a combination thereof. Some medals were also made of silver. Pure metals, however, were never used. Soviet orders and medals were not marked with a gold or silver content. Unless otherwise noted in the catalog, the composition of precious metal per mil is as follows: platinum 998-999.3, gold 925-950, alloyed with silver, silver 905-925, alloyed with copper.
Until 1943, all ribbons were red. After that, special ribbons, as well as pentagonal suspensions and ribbon bars, were introduced for daily wear. At first, suspensions were manufactured using brass, bronze and white metal - later aluminum was used. Early pentagonal suspensions consisted of two layers and involved the partial use of iron as a front plate. Ribbons for star-shaped orders were only worn with ribbon bars.
As with all collectables that have high value, fakes of Soviet orders and medals have appeared in the market. The fakes differ in quality. Some are easy to identify, and others are almost indistinguishable from originals. For these pieces, an expert is required to tell the difference. Many of the best fakes are made from modifying later types into earlier types, or changing lower classes into higher classes. Recent professional literature on the sobject has made it easier to distinguish fakes from originals.
Hammer und Sichel hammer and sickle
Inschrift, Aufschritt inscription
Mittelstreifen middle stripe(s)
Mondwor, Monetnyj Dwor mint, mint court
Neusilber German silver
Randstreifen border stripe(s)
Kl. class, degree
Rs. revers, back side
verg./vg. gilded, gold plated
Verl.-Nr. serial number
vers./vs. silvered, silver plated
Vs. obverse, front side