25th Congress of the Communist Party of the USSR, Delegate's Badge, 1976 issue.
Silver gilt, enamels; measures 34.7 mm tall, 23.0 mm wide. Riveted three-piece construction. The reverse shows circular mint mark of the Moscow Mint. An interesting detail: although the quality of this piece is next to none, the mint "cut corners" in one respect. The red enamel on the Kremlin star is by design the "cold" variety - as opposed to the beautiful "hot-baked" enamel on the banner and plaque. This feature is observed on the other original badges of the XXV Congress and was apparently a necessary compromise due to the difficulty in precisely filling a detail as tiny as the star with the "hot" enamel. The "substitution" technique was occasionally used by the mint on other Soviet decorations of the period, e.g. a tiny strip of red enamel next to the furnace on the Order of Labor Glory 1st cl.
The badge is in excellent condition. The enamel is perfect, free of even microscopic contact marks, and shows beautiful luster. The original fire gilt finish on the Lenin's bas-relief, lettering and wreath is well-preserved and although somewhat obscured by silver patina, still clearly visible. The details of the Kremlin tower and bas-relief are pristine.
Issued only to the delegates of the XXV Congress of CPSU, unlike souvenir and commemorative badges. There were reportedly just under 5000 delegates at this congress, so approximate the same number of badges were ever made. For reasons that are not yet clear, the 25th Congress badge is among the hardest to find in the CPSU Delegate series.