German WWI 1914 Iron Cross 2nd Class-This is a nice variant! The black iron core finish is intact, and excellent. The frame is very nicely toned. It has a very darkened look which gives the medal a great look. This frame has been purposely darkened for a funeral perhaps. This example comes with a very worn, extra wide portion of original ribbon! Overall, a very interesting variant, and is in very good condition. If anyone knows the story about this variant, we would love to know if it was a special occasion purchase or issue.
History: On March 10th, 1813, Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III established the Iron Cross as a temporary award for bestowal during times of war. The Iron Cross was introduced in three grades with a Grand Cross intended for award to Senior Commanders for successfully leading troops in combat and the First and Second classes for award to all ranks for bravery or merit in action. The second-class medal was for award to personnel who performed a single act of bravery in combat. The Iron Crosses were re-instituted by King Wilhelm I on July 19th, 1870 for award during the Franco-Prussian War and again on August 5th, 1914 by King Wilhelm II for award during WWI. 1914 pattern, die struck, three-piece, iron and alloy construction Pattée style cross with a single piece iron core and two-piece silver alloy frame. The obverse of the cross features an embossed, central, "W" cypher for King Wilhelm II, re-institution date, "1914", to the bottom arm and a King’s crown to the top arm. The reverse of the cross features an embossed, central, oak-leaf cluster, with the "FW" cypher for King Friedrich Wilhelm III, a King’s crown to the top arm and the original institution date, "1813", to the bottom arm.