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Polish Cross of Merit


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Hello Evreryone,

This post will really show my ignorance regarding Poland and the former USSR but here goes. This is one of two medals I just got in from a trade I made last week. I believe this to be the Cross of Merit 1st Class. There are others on this forum so I am fairly confident that the dealer has given me the correct identification. The ribbon shows some soiling but the medal is pristine with the enamel work in perfect condition. My question is based on the condition of this medal.

Is this an original or from old never issued stock or a fake. The value was $35.00 Canadian so it was not a lot especially considering it was in trade. I would like to add the silver and bronze (2nd and 3rd Class) in time if this one is the real deal. I know nothing about the medals of Poland or even whether I should have posted this in another area. Actually I like getting into unknown areas of collecting as it reminds me of me original excitment many years ago when I bought my fist military medal (WW I British War Medal) in the mid 1960s. Man, :sleep: that makes me feel old!

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Here is Igor's selection:

http://collectrussia.com/showcat.htm?cat=poland

so looks like you did about right. I don't know how you tell a 1960s one from a 1980s one, either. I have an orphan 2nd Class as my lone example:

Strange maker (?) mark on back of mine:

These aren't particularly prestigious, but they ARE :love:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Everyone,

After my post of a couple of weeks ago I have managed to pick up the 2nd and 3rd class Cross of Merit. I was attending an Antiques Fair with my wife and two other couples, none of whom had any interest in medals or military in general. After two hours of looking at glassware and smelly old cupboards that looked like they had fallen off a truck I was getting pretty bored. There were a few dealers with medals but none that I thought had any items that I "needed". My wife says collectors use the word "need" incorrectly. One dealer had the silver Cross, 2nd class and I knew I had to buy it. Again with the misuse of a word, in this case "had".

The price was very high and even after some bartering the price we settled on was about 3 time too high. I didn't care bcause I was NOT going home empty handed. A fool and his money! :rolleyes: The third class I purchased through an on line auction at a fair price.

The obverse is plane except for the 2nd Class which has "KW" stamped on it. I see Rick's has "AZ" so it must be a different manufacturer. I'm not going to clean it as I like the patina.

I hope you like the set.

Cheers :cheers:

Brian

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Aha! That is interesting! I wonder why only one grade is ? maker marked and the others aren't?

I had assumed the "silver" grade was some alloy, and not "real" silver, but maybe they are?

Is the mark on yours as slap-dash as the one on mine? NO effort whatsoever to line it up right side up or centered. :speechless:

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  • 2 years later...

Came across this post while looking through "things Polish" in the forum. Living in Warsaw, I see a lot of these Merit Crosses at the local flea market - in all three classes. Interestingly, of the dozens I have picked up (including both RP and PRL issues), I have only found two PRL issues with makers-marks on the reverse. Of course, I immediately chose those PRL examples for my collection.

The 1st Class (Gold) is marked AZ (exactly like Rick's 2nd Class). My 2nd Class (Silver) is marked S. These both appear strongly stamped into the medal; more or less in the center, but not oriented north/south. (Sorry, no way to scan.)

I have never seen here at the Warsaw flea market a 3rd Class (Bronze) with a mark.

My feeling is that the marked ones are older than non-marked ones. But that is just a feeling based upon the fact that I have not seen more than my two at the flea market with marks. I am very pleased to find Rick's with the same mark (AZ) as one of mine; helps reinforce genuineness.

:beer:

Last week I saw an RP 2nd Class with swords; issued by the WWII Govt in Exile. It was not marked.

Might go tomorrow and see if I can get the price where I would like. :P

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Closer........the 3rd pic is a detail of the little red flag n the centrepiece of the Order of The Banner of Labour nd Class. Sorry, this is really just an excuse to post a few pics I took with a little electronic microscope some months ago.

Edited by leigh kitchen
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Last week I saw an RP 2nd Class with swords; issued by the WWII Govt in Exile. It was not marked.

Might go tomorrow and see if I can get the price where I would like. :P

Went to the flea market to see if I could get away with the 2nd Class with swords, but no luck. Even with a rainy drizzle, the guy wasn't even willing to bargain. In fact, his starting price went up about $5 bucks from when I asked him a couple weeks ago. I hoped the rain would give me an edge, but no luck. :(

Also, saw a couple RP 1st Class with swords that were most certainly fake due to the extremely cheap (almost plastic like) material from which the swords were made.

Oh, and another PRL 2nd Class with a makers-mark - "AB"

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  • 8 years later...

I just bought my first set of Polish Awards today when I ran across a deal that I couldn't refuse.  I got this entire set of 3 crosses for 15 Euros (5 Euros for each cross).  Too bad they didn't have swords.

 

 

!!My 3 Crosses of Merit--gold,silver,bronze 15Euro.jpg

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  • 11 months later...

First of all: You only find swords on 2nd Republic; Allied (Exile) and current 3rd Republic. During the Communist era swords were abolished.

Secondly: The letters and numbers you sometimes find on the reverse are "approval marks". All these PRL crosses were made by the National Mint, so numbers and letters just define, that the quality of the enamel (!) was approved - hence you won't find stamps on bronze crosses. I have encountered around 30 different combinations of stamps - the ring can be stamped too on Polonia Restituta. This was done from around mid 1950s - early 1960s, but it peaked on all enameled medals from 1956-1958.

Thirdly: I have not yet encountered any fake PRL Crosses of Merit (Krzyz Zaslugi), and I have some 5000 Polish medals in my collection. Fakes are normally 2nd Republic crosses (both the official and the replacement crosses), Exile crosses and the early 1944-45 Moscow crosses. If you see cheap looking PRL crosses it's just due to a poor Communist regieme in late 1980s.

Best regards Aahauge

Edited by Aahauge
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