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Hi New World,

The temporary status applied only for the Austrian Awards I am not familiar with the Awards That was passed as information to me

The asterisk is the mark for Brass and I am 100% sure about that

If you are not sure about this information take your St Alexander Award to a jeweler and test it


Here is some information from Military  dealers from around the world-,Austria, North America and UK

-FRANZ JOSEPH ORDEN, Ritterkreuz mit der Kleindekoration zum Offizierskreuz mit KD.
AE - vergoldet und emailliert, im ovalen Bandring Sternchenpunze(Starmark)

  Note:  AE is  Bronze/Brass,  AR is Silver AU is Gold

-Military Merit Order 3rd class (Commander) with original full length ribbon. WW1 period (late Ferdinand issue). Most likely of Austrian manufacture (probably Schwerdtner). Suspension eye marked with a 'star punch' which was customary for Austrian decorations marked for replacement in gold/silver gilt after the War. Ultimately, we are uncertain why the mark is there (for this is not an Austrian decoration) but interesting never the less - undoubtedly of War period manufacturing. Gilded

Note: This is Bulgarian Award


- Order of Franz Joseph Knight badge in bronze gilt with star hallmark


However, perhaps we can ask the Members in the Austrian Section who are more knowledgeable  for more clarification


Edited by Graf
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Hi New Word,

I have more information regarding your question

It is from a Austrian Dealer and expert on Austrian Decoration and Orders

"I send you scans. Gold and silver punches until the end of 1918.

The circled ones are the most common.

The Sternchenpunze is always only on bronze. Attention there are different,

depending on the manufacturer." See the scans above.


One is for sure Star mark is for Bronze made decorations and Orders


I also made a request on the Astro-Hungarian Forum. You can follow it as well






Edited by Graf
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Thank you, this is very interesting info!

We now established that these badges were made in Austria.

I don't think the asterisk marks Red Cross badges for being war period (these were approximately from 1890-1900s, there was no war in Austria at the time).

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Hi New World,


So far It is for sure that the Star mark is for items made of bronze and it is an Austrian mark. It looks like that they are made at any time not just war time Also that there are different Star marks used by the different makers

. I have to follow the link about the info for the practice of replacement of some of the Decorations to prove it or to rule it out

Back to the detective work ha ha ha






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HI New World,


this is the  latest reply from the Austrian dealer expert it was very kind of him


yes, this was true. It was planned to replace the Bronze decorations after the war but due to the end of the Habsburg monarchy, quite understandable no replacements took place.


Best regards,








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Hi New World,


Further detective work found

1 The Star mark is not a hallmark It was a  mark  stamped on products manufactured in the most common materials available to jewelers such bronze, copper, nickel and (especially) tombak.

-the star-mark denotes "unedles Metall", so not gold, platina or silver, and is not a hallmark, but is believed to be an (Austrian) jewellers mark to assist in identification of the type of metal used (and thus: the commercial value) of the piece.
2. During the WW1 the jewelers were being asked to refrain from the usage of .all precious metals and also zinc and nickel and several other alloys( needed for the military purpose). The use of copper/bronze/brass and tombak (a brass/copper/zinc alloy) was introduced and the items were marked with the Star mark and sometimes the maker mark. 

3.The different makers used different Star marks, because it was not an approved hallmark and the awarded people were advised that they can replace them precious metals when the time allows

4. Precious metals were still but the Orders and decorations were very expensive

5 Because many Orders for other countries, including Bulgaria, were made in Austria, the makers used the Star mark when the Order was made from copper/bronze/brass and tombak i suspect that many of those countries during and around WW1 period ordered  decorations  from  copper/bronze/brass and tombak due to the high cost. ONLY for special occasions they ordered expensive decorations

That is why not many Bulgarian decorations exist made of Gilded Silver and only handful luxury.

We know that later King Boris III was very modest person , and also very well controlled by the Bulgarian Government. During his period even much less decorations from precious metals were made

This trend was followed by other countries as well The extravaganza of the earlier periods before  WW! period was not there any more The use of precious metals was significantly reduced due to economic and other factors






Edited by Graf
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It started during WW! period however continued later on, which is obvious from your St Alexander Officer Cross and other Decorations from a later periods. I have to check my Decorations...till now I never looked fro this mark

From all the information i managed to get  nobody knows exactly when this mark was introduced, because there is not official document The year 1916 is the most speculated one

It is believed that one of the makers introduced it and the rest followed with their own star marks

When was stopped no one is sure, however it continued well  after WW1

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  • 5 months later...
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badge for british soldier medic for 1912-13 wars , sold on DNW 


Orderly J. R. Waight, British Royal Red Cross Society

1914 Star (J. R. Waight, B.R.C.S. & O. St. J.J.); British War and Victory Medals (J. R. Wright, B.R.C.S. & St. J.J.) note variation in surname; British Red Cross Society Balkan War Medal, 1 clasp, Bulgaria, silver-gilt and enamel, hallmarks for Birmingham 1912, reverse inscribed, ‘John R. Waight’, with brooch bar, ‘Balkan War 1912-13’, enamel damageBulgaria, Medal of Merit, with royal crown suspension, Ferdinand I, bronze, unnamed; Bulgarian Red Cross Badge of Honour, silver-gilt and enamel, pin-backed, good very fine except where stated (6)




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  • 2 months later...

Nice discussion of Red Cross badges and medals, however there are still some badges we didn't cover.

For example, this and similar badges are sometimes called Air Chemical Defense badge, however I am not sure that's accurate, as it has Red Cross elements to it. 

Any thoughts?





Similar Badge without Air Defense shield.

It says 'For Service'




Another one without shield, seller calls it badge for pilot-medic...





and one more without the shield





Edited by new world
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  • 3 months later...
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bge 2.jpg


It has golden crowne I allways see silver that look strange to me and now is in my collection


I post only the rare model all others are more les common variations



But orders are much nicer 


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Hi Jovanmara,


If the those red cross badges are from your collection  then Congratulations.

The Queen Eleonora badges are very nice -also the 1st Class Star is a very rare and desirable

I am still looking for one There is a dealer who has 2 of them however i am not prepared to pay  the price he demands -over 3500 US$


Here is my collection  of this Order - plus the miniature in Gold (French made)

My information is that the 1st Class was given in two separate boxes -One for the Star the other one for the neck cross/badge





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Hello Graf

Yes all fotos are from my collection You can see on my Facebook I am posting every day Red Cross orders and medals Jovan Mara and on photos -albums-timeline there is collection of all my posts .

I do not post Bulgarian ordersa simply because this is badge page but they are beautifyl I have lot more.

the gold one is stunding I never see it.


Best regards

Jovan Mara

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Graf--astounding mini, thank you for posting it!   It is only the 4th that I have seen in over 40 years!  And a better example than the others too.   Seem to be at least one mark on the ring, have you identified it?

Somewhere I have an image of an Honorary distinction "For Incentive of Philanthropy" first class set in a case--case lid has only Ferdinand monogram on lid.  Maybe for foreign recipient?     

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