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  1. Certainly U.S. military personnel may be decorated by foreign governments including the UK & SA. Any number of U.S. military personnel received [honorary] UK awards over the years; a very few got them from SA. Specific regulations govern acceptance procedures. For official military related regulations see: https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/Documents/DD/issuances/dodi/134833p.pdf?ver=2019-06-20-104911-377 Section 10. wiki has https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorized_foreign_decorations_of_the_United_States_military This list appears to be incomplete. 5 U.S. Code § 7342 available at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/5/7342 governs foreign awards to U.S. Federal government civilian employees. The UK decorated a number of U.S. Federal civil servants over the years as well, usually honorary appointments to diplomatic/consular personnel. I am aware of just a handful of SA awards to U.S. Federal employees, including Ambassador Edward Perkins who also received a Namibia award. Foreign awards to U.S. citizens not in Federal Service appear to have no restrictions except for the Constitutional ban on accepting a title of nobility.
  2. This cross usually identified as the ORDER OF HONOR & MERIT OF THE NATIONAL {CUBAN} RED CROSS. Based on suspension wreath & center medallions, this one looks to be French made--with variant [incorrect] inscription. These exist with the date 1909 in the obverse motto ring & other subtle die differences as well, especially in renditions of the Cuban arms. Firms from Vienna to Paris, Brussels to Lisbon, Madrid to Havana, and Berlin to Rome manufactured this award--not surprizingly many design types exist. Some include the badge superimposed on a gilt metal star!
  3. Commander grade most likely [if there's a star with it then First Class Commander]...send image of hall marks as these may help determine period. Probably inter World Wars issue.
  4. An ephemeral or self-styled group calling itself the Knightly Ecumenical Order of the Crown of Crete based in Italy used similar insignia as late as the early 1980's, and maybe beyond. This organization split from the 'original' Order of the Crown of Crete [headquarters in Greece] perhaps in the late 1970's. A late 1970's OMRS Journal piece & Gayre's Knightly Twilight describe the 'original' organization. This item looks to be of Italian manufacture and of higher quality than Order of the Crown of Crete insignia. A Belgian group used comparable style stars at about the same time -- no information on that one to hand. I'll ask colleagues and post whatever develops.
  5. Excellent development of this obscure but highly fascinating topic! Thanks to all participants!
  6. Possibly, variants distinguishing between republic and kingdom usages.
  7. Daniel's find bringing this topic back to life caused me to look at this thread for the first time. I wrote the 1976 "Medal Collector" article referenced above [Ulsterman's January 30, 2008 post]. I confirm that not only were facts scarce when I wrote the piece but that 'official Hungarian sources' actively ignored/discouraged my inquiries. From the above discussions, it appears that I saw a cast base metal 'copy' medal; not a silver original. The original material submitted for publication was edited a bit for the article; don't recall [other than dropping the Spanish colors stripe from the ribbon description] whether any salient facts got omitted. Knowing that editor quite well, I doubt that he cut anything worth-while; he explained that 'the printer' inadvertently skipped part of the ribbon description. Hundai's contribution certainly expands our understanding of this award and it's relative scarcity. As Gordon noted, the more we study, learn and -- especially -- share, the better our collective [sic!] knowledge.
  8. A fascinating thread! Is the fiver aluminum? Years ago someone reported that wound medals marked 1918 or '18 indicated post-war issue--cannot now locate that reference. Could initials indicate manufacturers? Recently saw an 'extremely rare' aluminum one [twoer] offered at $250...which seems an extreme price to me. Or is that now the going rate?
  9. EXCELLENT!! Sincere congrats!! Saw only one before [unissued in brown card box with same style title as case] in a private collection, Sofia 1980 & sure it 'escaped' from a central holding depot.
  10. BEWARE -- Fakes, some of excellent quality from the 1970's, abound especially of merit medals and Honor Crosses
  11. Regret that I replied hurriedly so confused Grand Officer with Commander. Both Grand Cross & Grand Officer have gilt star and Commander silver body star. As he wears neither sash nor neck badge and without sense of star body color cannot verify class. Current regulations at http://www.ordens.presidencia.pt/?idc=180.
  12. Grand Cross has a gold star body and Grand Officer a silver star body-- cannot determine color for this one.
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