Product Description: We are pleased to be able to offer this amazing, evocative, and extremely desirable Oak Leaves and Swords to the Knights Cross by Godet. Only a mere 159 of these extremely high level awards were bestowed before the end of the war. This award is textbook in every regard, and has wonderful eye appeal, with light, even age toning. It is correctly maker marked on the reverse with the PKZ number “21,” indicating manufacture by the prestigious firm of Godet in Berlin. It is also stamped with “900” for the silver content (90 percent pure silver). This Oak Leaves and Swords to the Knights Cross is complete and sound, with intact suspension ring, and no damage. This set is accompanied with a Certificate of Authenticity by the community’s foremost authority on the Knight’s Cross and its subsequent grades, author Dietrich Maerz. Of note is that this particular example exhibits actual wear throughout, which is also stated in Maerz’s accompanying COA. This is a fantastic and rare set, that could be a centerpiece of a very advanced collection. The condition rates as excellent plus.
Historical Description: The Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross was instituted on September 1, 1939, and was awarded for skilled leadership, distinguished conduct, or individual acts of bravery in combat. At that time, it was the highest award for bravery that a German soldier could earn. On June 3, 1940, the Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross were introduced to further recognize extremely distinguished achievements by soldiers who had already been awarded the Knight’s Cross. The Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves award was in the form of a finely struck cluster of oak leaves, made of silver, and affixed to a suspension loop from which the Knight’s Cross would be suspended when worn. On September 28, 1941, two further grades of the Knight’s Cross were introduced. The Knight’s Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords was nearly identical to the Oak Leaves but featured two crossed swords beneath the leaf cluster. The new highest grade, the Oak Leaves with Swords and Diamonds, was intricately made, and recipients were given one set with rhinestones and a second set with real diamonds. On December 29, 1944, with the war coming to an end, a highest and final grade was introduced, the Knight’s Cross with Gold Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds. Originally intended for the 12 most distinguished service members in the German military, made of real gold and diamonds, only one set was awarded before the end of the war.
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