Original German / Prussian WW1 Military Long Service Medal for 12 Years' Service, A VERY FINE EXAMPLE IN PERFECT CONDITION, ON NEW RIBBON, A GOOD PIECE WITH A HIGHLY POLISHED ALMOST GOLDISH FINISH
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
Prussian 12-Year Military Long Service Medal (12 Jahre Dienstauszeichnung) was instituted in 1913 to replace the Militär Dienstauszeichnung Schnalle 3. Klasse. It was awarded to military active duty NCO's and enlisted personnel for 12 years active service and required the recommendation of their Commanding Officer. Awards of this medal continued until the 3rd Reich introduced a series of new medals. These medals are often found on WWI German medal groups and identifies the wearer as a Prussian. Originally, only one long service award could be worn, so this medal could not be worn with any other (as well as any of the Landwehr long service awards). It's important to remember that the Prussian Landwehr had a similar award which is very often confused with this one. During the 3rd Reich era, the rules were changed which allowed for the wearing of 2 long service awards. The 12-Year Long Service Medal was made of a golden coloured metal with a ring loop soldered on for the suspension ring (which is often of a dissimilar metal) through which a blue silk woven ribbon (UV-negative) is worn. The diameter varied over the years from about 32 mm to 35 mm and was relatively thick at slightly over 2 mm. The obverse had the Prussian crown centered with Treue Dienst (Faithful Service) arching the upper portion and bei der Fahne (with the colors) arcing in the lower portion. The reverse carried only a XII, which represented 12 years. No attachments were authorized but you sometimes encounter one with a 3rd Reich eagle device - which is absolutely incorrect. The presence or absence of a miniature 3rd Reich eagle device on a ribbon bar helps in identifying which medal is represented since the ribbons were often exactly the same.