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National Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stamped

Article about: This is the early version of the NVA 10 year loyal service medal. Early because it is made from 900 purity silver (900/1000 ie 900 parts pure silver per 1000 - European standard is 800/1000

  1. #1

    Default National Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stamped

    This is the early version of the NVA 10 year loyal service medal. Early because it is made from 900 purity silver (900/1000 ie 900 parts pure silver per 1000 - European standard is 800/1000 and Sterling is 925/1000) whereas later medals are made of a brass type alloy which is plated the appropriate coour.

    For anyone used to handling silver of any purity the patina is a sure giveaway. Otherwise there is the 900 stamped at the bottom of the wreath on the reverse.
    The 15 and 20 year grades were produced in the same metal but plated a gold colour (not with actual gold but another elemental material like Rhodium perhaps?).

    The case is of the typical "pre-plastic" type.

    All comment or input is welcome.

    Regards

    Mark

    National Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stampedNational Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stampedNational Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stampedNational Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stamped
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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  3. #2

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    Very nice that Mark.
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.



    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  4. #3

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    Quote by Gunny Hartmann View Post
    Very nice that Mark.
    Yep, if you place the earlier next to the later they look so different.

    Most collectors shy away from cleaning but medals that don't have a plated finish to lose would always have been cleaned by serving soldiers. So that is a matter of collector aesthetics!

    If you dip one of these in silver dip and give it a gentle buff with a special polishing cloth (not some skanky old duster) it will sparkle and you would think they are two different things.

    Regards

    Mark
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  5. #4

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    Beautiful, well done Mark! A great investment too, these are the kinds of DDR items that will continue to increase in value.

  6. #5
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    Default My example

    Here's my example of the NVA Treue Dienst medal. I'm of the impression that this is a silver plated version. Lovely wear on the ribbon and beautiful patina on the medal itself, IMO.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture National Volksarmee Fuer Treue Dienst (Loyal Service Medal) 900 silver stamped  

  7. #6

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    Quote by ericfg View Post
    Here's my example of the NVA Treue Dienst medal. I'm of the impression that this is a silver plated version. Lovely wear on the ribbon and beautiful patina on the medal itself, IMO.
    Wonderful medal indeed, thanks for sharing! I too appreciate it when an item has visible age and wear, makes it feel like there's a real story behind it. Much different from unissued surplus that was never used!

    -Joel

  8. #7

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    Quote by ericfg View Post
    Here's my example of the NVA Treue Dienst medal. I'm of the impression that this is a silver plated version. Lovely wear on the ribbon and beautiful patina on the medal itself, IMO.
    Yep that is definately the plated and therefore the latest incarnation of the medal. The defining indicator is the absence of the 900 at the bottom of the reverse (versions exist with the 900 either above or below the laurel branch intersection) as I have described above which on the very earliest pieces is stamped (incuse) into the edge of the medallion rather than in relief on the revese.

    Something to remember when considering the later plated versions is that the early gold grade (15 & 20 years) were in fact plated 900 stamped silver. The bronze (5 years) grade was not made in silver and so the difference between early and late is less obvious.

    Another indicator of period which did carry over from the silver to the plated version initially is the pin mechanism on both the medal suspender and the interimspange (ribbon bar/clasp) so one can observe the later medal with the earlier pin. Would that be enough to call it transitional? Not really is my feeling but a good thing to be aware of.

    Another point to note with the very earliest of these is that the German flag on the obverse did not bear the Staatswappen (DDR national symbol with hammer & divders) which was added to the DDR National flag on 01 Oct 1959. From 1949 - 59 both the DDR and BRD (East & West Germany) used the same black/red/gold tricolour flag.

    I will post an example without the Staatswappen as soon as I have time to photograph it.

    I hope this is of interest.

    Regards

    Mark
    PS I have encountered some very early DDR medals (KVP medals for example) with Soviet Russian suspension devices but let's not over complicate the matter in this thread!
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  9. #8

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    Quote by Watchdog View Post
    Yep that is definately the plated and therefore the latest incarnation of the medal. The defining indicator is the absence of the 900 at the bottom of the reverse (versions exist with the 900 either above or below the laurel branch intersection) as I have described above which on the very earliest pieces is stamped (incuse) into the edge of the medallion rather than in relief on the revese.

    Something to remember when considering the later plated versions is that the early gold grade (15 & 20 years) were in fact plated 900 stamped silver. The bronze (5 years) grade was not made in silver and so the difference between early and late is less obvious.

    Another indicator of period which did carry over from the silver to the plated version initially is the pin mechanism on both the medal suspender and the interimspange (ribbon bar/clasp) so one can observe the later medal with the earlier pin. Would that be enough to call it transitional? Not really is my feeling but a good thing to be aware of.

    Another point to note with the very earliest of these is that the German flag on the obverse did not bear the Staatswappen (DDR national symbol with hammer & divders) which was added to the DDR National flag on 01 Oct 1959. From 1949 - 59 both the DDR and BRD (East & West Germany) used the same black/red/gold tricolour flag.

    I will post an example without the Staatswappen as soon as I have time to photograph it.

    I hope this is of interest.

    Regards

    Mark
    PS I have encountered some very early DDR medals (KVP medals for example) with Soviet Russian suspension devices but let's not over complicate the matter in this thread!
    An excellent post Mark, thank you for sharing your insights. I'm always eager to learn more about these things!


    -Joel

  10. #9

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    I've only just picked up on this... and they are indeed lovely medals. Mine is the same as yours Mark, with the '900' below the laurel branches. This was the last version of the solid silver medal. The position of the '900' indicates the period of use of the medal, and the '900' stamp below the branches dates the medal to between 1964 and 1966.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  11. #10

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    Quote by HARRY THE MOLE View Post
    I've only just picked up on this... and they are indeed lovely medals. Mine is the same as yours Mark, with the '900' below the laurel branches. This was the last version of the solid silver medal. The position of the '900' indicates the period of use of the medal, and the '900' stamp below the branches dates the medal to between 1964 and 1966.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Therefore to expand for reference purposes;

    1. Medal without state emblem (Ohne Staatswappen) and 900 stamped above the laurel branch intersection = 1956 - 59.

    2. Medal with state emblem (Mit Staatswappen) and 900 stamped above the intersection = 1959 - 64

    3. Medal with state emblem (Mit Staatswappen) and 900 stamped below the intersection = 1964 - 66.

    4. Medal with state emblem not made of silver therefore no 900 stamp = 1966 - 90.

    NB Only the 10, 15 & 20 year wards from 1956 - 66 were struck in 900 silver.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Regards

    Mark
    PS The 15 and 20 year medals were first issued after the introduction os the Staatswappen so they will not of course be found without it!!
    Last edited by Watchdog; 11-30-2019 at 04:59 PM. Reason: typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

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