Badge of Honor

                                                                        ORDER OF THE BADGE OF HONOR

The Order of the badge of honor was established at the end of 1935 and was awarded for achievements in labor.  Over 14,500 Order of the Badge of Honor were issued prior to the Great Patriotic War and more that 66,000 were given out during the war.  By the end of 1988, over 1,500,000 Orders of the Badge of Honor had been issued. The order was changed on December 28,1988 to replace the original Знак Почета at the bottom of the order with a gold-plated hammer and sickle and naming the award "Order of Honor".   This new Order was first awarded to Gustav Ernesaks, Estonian composer, on December 29, 1988, for writing the new national anthem of Soviet Estonia.   The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals, Paul McDaniel and Paul J. Schmitt. 

The original pre-1999 Order of Badge of Honor came in three versions.
           
1st version:


                       
      
                        
                    
The above photos of Order No. 3934 depict one of the earlier Order of the Badge of Honor which was first issued in 1937.  The early versions of the Order was attached by a screw post and a silver screw plate.  The Order #3934 above is unique because it had, in addition to the imprint of the order number, the silversmith's personal initials.  The Order is also unusual because the original order book has a photograph of the recipient.  The USSR ensured that the attached photo was original by putting an official state stamp over the left bottom corner as evident in the photo above.  The person above received his Order during the height of Stalin's purges and may have worn it on his trip to a Siberian gulag or to the Lubyanka prison.


2nd version:

                                

After 1943, the Order's attachment was changed from a screw type to a five-sided suspension. It retained its flat back as shown in Order No. 52256 above which was awarded in 1944.

3
rd version:

                  
In the mid-50s the Soviet government decided to reduce the amount of silver in the medal and started producing a carved out version as shown by Order No. 1244053 above issued in 1976.  

Metal content (for 1st and 2nd versions) :     .04 grams of gold  29.8 grams of sliver. 
                                                                            
Serial number:    3934      52256    70530      480486     1244053  1511638

Year of issue:      1937      1944                                        1976


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