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Iron Cross Identification


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We are helping a widow in the neighborhood determine what some of her husbands collections include, and one of them is this Iron Cross. I suspect it may be real, but in searching this site and others it seems that there are some good fakes out there. I've done as many of the recommended tests which include determining if it is ferrous (is does stick to a magnet), shaking it to see if the iron insert is real (it is very slightly loose in the setting), slipping a piece of paper between the iron insert and silver (I can, confirming it is two separate pieces). It does have some characters stamped on the ring, but I can find no stamps or markings of any kind on the cross itself. I polished a very small edge of the cross with silver polish and it brightened right up. I took these photos with hopefully enough detail to help determine if it might be real, or just one of those good reproductions. I appreciate any help or comments. Thanks!

 

Iron1.jpg

Iron2.jpg

Iron3.jpg

Iron4.jpg

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Hi there, welcome to the forum, the Iron cross is original.  

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Kenny Andrew said:

Hi there, welcome to the forum, the Iron cross is original.  

Thanks Kenny! What about the cross confirms that it is original? Is it the stampings on the ring, or some other detail on the cross? Also, was the Iron Cross an award, or the designation of a specific rank in the military?

Edited by Ebbsspeed
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The Iron Cross was a decoration awarded for outstanding service in the field, to all ranks.   It was awarded in two classes, the example in your photo is the Iron Cross 2nd Class, which belongs on a black/white ribbon.
Undoubtedly silver and iron. The marks on the ring look like 800, which is the silver content, an imperial crown and a half moon, which was a hallmark for silver after 1871. There are two further unclear letters which look like an N and something else, unclear stamping, which has partly worn down. There is a further article about iron crosses under this section, which lists all the main makers of the period. Recommend reading this.
Be careful not to drop the cross, as the iron core can easily break, as often seen.

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