Germany (Prussia) WW1 Iron Cross 2nd Class


Iron Cross 2nd Class



    Established by Frederick William in 1813 for gallantry in action, the decoration was revived several times for later conflicts. The bulk of the issues are divided into 1st and 2nd class versions, but a rare and superior 'Grand Cross' was also awarded. During WW1 The lower decoration was freely awarded with 5 million second class types issued.
   The basic design of the WW1 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 1914 under a crowned 'W' monogram. Reverse bears an oak leaf cluster with the date of the decoration's  institution, 1813 underneath -  the crowned initials of Frederick William are in the top arm above the oak leaf cluster. Suspension for second class types is by means of a ring, and frequently this ring bears a maker's stamp.



Kaiser Wilhelm II

Edge Seam. (click for larger image)
Iron crosses are commonly constructed from a 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

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