Original Austro-Hungarian Empire WW1 Iron Cross of Merit With Crown (Eisernes Verdienstkreuz mit Krone), IN VERY NICE CONDITION, ON GENUINE MILITARY TRIFOLD RIBBON, A VERY GOOD CLEAN EARLY MAGNETIC (IRON) EXAMPLE
HISTORY OF THE AWARD:
Iron Cross of Merit with Crown 1916-1918 (Eisernes Verdienstkreuz mit Krone) - Iron cross pattée alisée on swivel crown suspension; the face with a circular central medallion bearing the initials ‘FJ’ (for Emperor Franz Joseph I, 1848-1916) encircled by a ring bearing the inscription ‘VIRIBUS UNITIS’ (strength through unity); the reverse with a circular central medallion bearing the date ‘1916’ within a circular ring with a stylised laurel wreath. The cross was instituted on 1 April 1916 in two grades - Iron with and without Crown - as a need had been perceived for a grade below the existing Gold and Silver to reward the many people of lower ranks performing exceptional acts and services in wartime, especially in the support and auxiliary services. Early examples were in iron but as wartime shortages became more acute, zinc alloy (Kriegsmetall) was substituted.