Product Description: It is a great pleasure of ours to offer an item of such caliber as this Luftwaffe Pilot Observer Badge in Diamonds. The diamond awards of the Third Reich are hands down some of the most beautiful, intriguing, and well crafted awards ever created. The detail and craftsmanship to produce these elite awards was tedious, labor intensive, and extremely costly. The pay for such a skilled jeweler even at that time was not cheap. The Third Reich hand selected only the very best jewelers to produce these elite awards. Of all the diamond awards, the Luftwaffe Pilot Observer Badge in Diamonds is among the top awards which stands out with more luster and sparkle than most. For the few of us who have had the opportunity to see and examine an award like this in person will be able to tell you their first reaction when seeing one for the first time, that reaction is always „WOW!“
This Luftwaffe Pilot Observer Badge in Diamonds was produced by the prestigious jeweler „Deutsche Goldschmiedekunst-Werkstatte, Berlin“. Of the four known types of the Luftwaffe Pilot Observer Badge in Diamonds, this type is known as the „Type 3“. The wreath is made of 14 karat (585) yellow gold with all of it‘s gold luster remaining. The oak and laurel leaves are highly detailed with signs of delicate hand enhancing to the details applied during initial construction. The eagle is constructed of multiple pieces of 14 karat (585) white gold. Each individual piece was produced and assembled by a highly skilled jeweler to form the eagle. The solder lines are so fine that a loupe is needed to see them. Approximately 170 individual diamonds adorn the front of the badge, each being hand mounted by the jeweler. The reverse of the badge features the typical jeweler style hardware seen on these badges, and the textbook style for these 3rd Pattern examples. The gold hinge is gold soldered directly to the reverse of the wreath. The gold pin is a slightly flattened needle pin. A small „585“ (14 karat) can be seen stamped directly under the hinge on the wreath indicating the gold content. The „coffin“ catch is the correct style of catch seen on these 3rd Pattern examples, which is complete with its hinged safety latch. The two small post and dome nuts holding the eagle to the wreath remain tight and have no evidence of tampering. During assembly, once the dome nuts were tightened to the posts holding the eagle and wreath together, the nuts were permanently held in place with gold solder. This was done by a highly skilled jeweler as it required a very high power magnifier to confirm the gold solder was in place. This was done by myself and my local jewelers at their jewelry shop.
This is an extremely rare award, with only roughly 50 recipients. Hermann Goring himself made the awards personally, and only to the most notable and elite. Notable recipients and wearers of the 3rd Pattern Luftwaffe Pilot Observer Badge in Diamonds were:
Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring – ReichsfuhrerHeinrich Himmler – Fighter Ace Erich Hartmann – Stuka Pilot Hans Ulrich Rudel – Generaloberst Ritter von Greim – Bomber Pilot Hajo Hermann
Historical Description: The Luftwaffe Combined Pilot Observer Badge was instituted by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring on January 19, 1935. It was among the earliest badges introduced in the German Wehrmacht and was worn by all qualified pilots in the German Air Force, similar to the “wings” worn by some other armies. The design of the badge featured a large, silver swooping eagle clutching the German national swastika emblem, surrounded by a golden wreath of oak and laurel leaves. The badge was normally presented in a blue hinged case. It was worn on the upper left uniform pocket, and a cloth version was also authorized for field use. In the nearly ten years from the introduction of this badge, to the end of WWII, the manufacturers of these awards made many changes in the features of the designs. Some companies, like Juncker, Assmann, and Deumer, had early first pattern badges which looked completely different from later pieces by the same manufacturers. Pilot Observer badges were made of aluminum, nickel silver, plated Tombak, and later on in zinc. The eagle was always a separate piece, riveted to the wreath, with different manufacturers using different rivet designs. As the war progressed, and dies wore out, many makers produced badges with subtle changes. All of these changes over time open up a large spectrum of variation collecting for Luftwaffe badge collectors.
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