Continuing our look at the single most iconic German medal, today we have an Iron Cross Second Class on the left with the rarer ‘next of kin’ or ‘widow’s ribbon’. This ribbon would have been presented to a family member of a deceased soldier, with its distinction being only in the ribbon itself.
Additionally, there is the Iron Cross First Class, which is a ‘pin back’ and a domed type. This is a privately purchased item that fits snugly to the pocket when worn. This particular example is marked with ‘800’ on the pin, signifying the standard German silver mark.
The final photograph displays the Iron Cross Second Class with both the regular and widow’s ribbons, alongside the full-sized and miniature versions of the Iron Cross. Such miniatures are rare since Germans typically wear them in the form of stickpins or on chains.
Collectors commonly refer to the Iron Cross as either ‘EK’ or ‘EK2’. It should also be noted that, just as with coins, medals should neither be cleaned nor stored long-term in plastic packets.