Gold Medal of Hero of DPRK, Type 1, Variation 2, Silver gilt, enamel; early to mid-1950s.
Very early variation with engraved inscription on the reverse, made by the Soviet Mint. Soviet origin is clearly evident from the telling signs like surface stippling and construction of the suspension device.
Medallion is 33.81 mm wide, 37.17 mm tall including the eyelet, and weighs 15 grams.
This is probably a Korean War award (later issues had two line raised inscriptions on the reverse).
Very fine to excellent condition, with light, even wear throughout. Enamel is intact and most of original gilt is present. Comes with original suspension device in silver and original, uncut connecting link. There is a small area on the lower right quadrant of the reverse where there are a few very fine, very shallow scratch marks - probably the result of someone testing the star's metal content.
The screw plate is original and closely resembles screw plates for the Soviet Hero Stars, although without the mint logo (since the late 1940s Soviet Union didn't place identifying marks on the decorations it produced for "brotherly" Communist regimes such as North Korea, Mongolia or - much later - Afghanistan).
/See page 47 in "Military and Civil Awards of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)" by Sessler & McDaniel/