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     Home > COMMUNIST COUNTRIES > North Korean Medals and Militaria

    Gold Medal of Hero of DPRK, Type 1 Variation 1, #547, circa early to mid 1950s issue.

    Gold Medal of Hero of DPRK, Type 1 Variation 1, #547, circa early to mid 1950s issue.

    Silver gilt, enamel. Medallion is 33.4 mm wide, 36.9 mm tall including the eyelet. This is the earliest version of the DPRK Hero award, with the serial number stamped in large numerals on the reverse. The inscription on the reverse of the medallion is different than on later types in that it appears in raised letters in one curved line. Features 3.9 mm thick screw post of the suspension device (much thicker than on the Type 2 issues). Like all early North Korean awards, this piece was manufactured by the Soviet Mint. Its Soviet origin is clearly evident from the clues like the surface stippling and construction of the suspension device. While Sessler and McDaniel express doubts at the present time about the numbering, we are completely convinced of the authenticity of both the serial number and the medal. As has been observed on Soviet awards, authentic examples can exist with serial numbers much higher that the actual number of documented awards; for example, a block of medals may have been set aside and never issued. To our knowledge, as of now no one has observed numbers on these lower than in the 400 range.

    Excellent condition. The apex of the star shows only very light wear whereas the facets and ridges of the star and sunburst are nearly pristine. Beautifully preserved enamel and gold plating. The suspension device is original and complete. Note that rectangular back plate and the hexagon nut of the suspension are practically identical to that of Soviet Hero Stars. The screw plate is likewise original and closely resembles screw plates for the Soviet Hero Stars, although without the mint logo. The reverse shows scratches, probably due to amateur testing for gold content - not too detracting. The old ribbon, almost certainly original to the decoration, is protected by a custom-made piece of translucent plastic, apparently added by the recipient.

    This piece is very likely one of the about 500 issued by the end of the Korean War.

    /See page 45 in "Military and Civil Awards of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)" by Sessler & McDaniel/


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