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    South African - Decoration for Meritorious Service


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    Posted (edited)

    The South Africa Decoration for Meritorious Service:


    This was an honour conferred by the Government of the Republic of South Africa for exceptionally distinguished service to South Africa.  Service usually were for political, but also in other areas of civic contributions to the country including cabinet ministers, judges, captains of commerce and industry, Afrikaner academics and church leaders, prominent figures in the arts and medical communities. The appointments were made by the State President of South Africa.  Instituted in 1970 a total of 109 decorations were awarded until superseded by the Order for Meritorious Service in 1986.


    There were men's and woman's variations (neck and bow) which was normally worn around the neck on a ribbon or the left shoulder on a ribbon bow in the national colours on formal and State occasions.  The insignia is a made of 18kt gold and silver with five diamonds which are set on the points of the lower of two gold five-pointed stars in the center of the obverse.  It is a large decoration measuring approximately 80 cm in diameter and over 200 gm in 18kt gold.  The weight of these decorations varied over the years it was manufactured with the later awards being lighter.  All decorations are named, numbered dated and appropriately mint marked.


    This honour came with the post-nominal letters DMS (English) or DVD (Afrikaans).


    Two are known to have been sold at auction.  One at Dix Noonan & Webb (now Noonan's) on 8 Dec 2016 https://www.noonans.co.uk/auctions/archive/lot-archive/results/285020/?keywords=Decoration+for+Meritorious+Service&x=0&y=0

    and another at City Coins (auction ref unavailable at this time).


    reference articles:



    and the book South African Orders, Decorations and Medals by Alexander, Baron and Bateman, 1986 Cape Town


    DMS male - Copy.jpg

    DMS Female - Copy.jpg

    Edited by OnceRetired
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    • OnceRetired changed the title to South African - Decoration for Meritorious Service

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