Thanks to you all
It's been interesting to listen to a good cross section from the forum.
I will now "upgrade" the EK from my "box of junk"
I tried a 1200 bit scan on the ring to try and get a clearer view of the mark.
This was the result.
This is a perfectly original Ek2. The square punch mark on
the ribbon ring is a common ( but still unknown) makers mark
that can be found on both 1st and 2nd class Eks. That along
with certain other charactoristics in the crosses frame leave
no doubt that this is an original.
Yes, a fine original as others have said. the square mark and rounded outer corners of the cross was an indicator of an original to me. I have yet to see any Imperial item marked with this mark that is a fake, instead, EVERY item I have ever seen with the mark is of superior quality.
Recently, an "L" marked (post 1934) EKI turned up that also had this mark. I have searched and debated for years as to whether it was a maker or silver mark. My thinking that this may have been a transitional example (very rare one by the way) that incorporated the old contract indicator marking with the new "L" number syatem.
Also, I thought it may be a silver content mark, but I have seen Imperial period original flight badges that were silver plated with the mark, so that doesn't make sense either.
So, my new theory concerning the mark as stated above, is that it could be an indicator of early contract mark for issue items. So far, I have seen this mark on period silver cliche' and silver plated buntmetal flight badges and silver-framed WWI EK's I & II classes. All of these items have the common characteristic of being exceptional quality as seen in early war awards and qualification badges.
I have two early flight issue badges in silver that both bear this mark on the pin, one Bavarian (pierced crown) and a Prussian example (which by the way was created in 1913). I have been told that early in the war (in the case of the Prussian flight badge - pre-war) examples were in silver. i do know that later, the issue pieces were in silvered steel, and eventually, the qualified pilot was given a certificate only and required to purchase their own badges -hence the abundance of two piece private silver examples.
So, for the reasons above, that is my way of thinking concerning this obscure mark.
[B][COLOR=Black][SIZE=3][FONT=Book Antiqua][I] Steve[/I][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/B]
[CENTER][I][FONT=Georgia][COLOR=orange]Did you ever get the feeling that the world was a tuxedo and you were a pair of brown shoes?[/COLOR][/FONT]
[SIZE=3][COLOR=lemonchiffon][I][CENTER][FONT=Georgia]"Fly on dear boy, from this dark world of strife. On to the promised land to eternal life"[/FONT][/CENTER]