World War 1 German/Prussian 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class & 2nd Class

March 7, 2013

Today, I will be reviewing the basics of the World War 1 German/Prussian 1914 Iron Cross 1st Class & 2nd Class, (Eisernes Kreuz 1 - Eisernes Kreuz 2). These medals are highly desired by all collectors, and they are very affordable for a near 100 year old antique! Iron Crosses are beautifully constructed from 2 silver or silver/alloy frames with a center core made of Iron for Heer (Army) Crosses, and Brass for Kriegsmarine (Navy) Crosses. Contrary to what some un-informed sellers say, all genuine Iron Crosses from 1813-1957 were made with 3 piece construction and never from solid 1 piece construction. All others are to be considered commemorative, reproductions, or fake. The Iron Cross has been officially instituted 5 times: 1813 - 1870 - 1914 - 1939 - 1957, I will cover the remaining years in later installments.

AVERAGE PRICE:

EK1 unmarked: $100-$175

EK1 maker marker/silver mark: $175.00-$300.00

Premium Rare Cross: (Screw-back, Vaulted, cased): $300-$500

EK2 unmarked: $50-$70

EK2 maker marker/silver mark: $60.00-$100.00

Premium Rare Mint Cross: (Rare maker, cased): $100.00-$200.00

MARKINGS:

Crown: Prussian Crown.

1914: Instituted for World War 1.

FW: King Frederick William III.

Oak-leaves: Prussia/Germany National Tree Oak.

W: kaisers Wilhelm II.

WW1 EK1 MANUFACTURES CODES

WW1 EK2 MANUFACTURES CODES

FURTHER READING

 

Authentic 1914 Eisernes Kreuz 1 (EK1):

Notice the slight seams on the outside rim where the frames come together, near all EK1's will have at least 1 frame side where you can locate a seam. You can see the separation gap between the center core and the frames, this gap varies by manufacturer. Some cores are tight in the frames and other cores are loose in the frames, by holding onto just the frame you can shake it and hear the core rattle within the frames. EK1's came in several versions and variations including the most common pin-back and screw-back. You will often find a manufacturers mark stamped on the reverse side of the medal, on the pin-back, screw-back, or the back of the medal itself in various areas.

Authentic 1914 Eisernes Kreuz 2 (EK2):

Again with a EK2 you will notice the seams on the outside rim of the frames, and the gaps between the core and frames. This EK2 differs from the EK1 by having a second side with the date 1813 representing the medals 1st institution date and being suspended by a ribbon.  You will most likely find the manufactures mark stamped on the ribbon ring, or the suspension ring (the latter being more rare).

(REPRODUCTION) OLD  FAKE 1 PIECE CONSTRUCTION EK1

(REPRODUCTION) OLD  FAKE 1 PIECE CONSTRUCTION EK2

 

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