The rust resistant Iron Cross

Rounding off our short series on Germany’s most iconic military decoration is this fine brass example. These were particularly popular among naval officers who liked its resistance to rust, preserving the decoration’s appearance.

What distinguishes this piece is its practical blade-like fitting on the reverse, intended for easy wear and removal. This is a departure from the conventional pin and hook found on most Iron Cross First Class decorations.

Also noteworthy is the screw-back design, featuring a circular securing disc — a variation that was quite popular among private purchasers. Owing to their appeal among collectors and their considerable value, these types have become the most frequently replicated.

Included with this item is the original LDO-marked box. The LDO, or “Leistungsgemeinschaft der Deutschen Ordenshersteller” (Approved Community of German Medal Manufacturers), was established on 1 March 1941 to ensure the quality and prestige of military awards and decorations were upheld through controlled and licensed manufacturing. During this period, a numbering system was in place, with some makers adding an “L” prefix to their marks.

To purchase such an item, one would need to provide a certificate proving the award had been conferred, adding to the historical value of this distinctive Iron Cross.