Legion of Merit, Type I, Grand Officer
Image courtesy of Numismatic Notes and Monogram”, No. 56, “South American Decorations and War Medals” by Harrold E. Gillingham
Estimated market value:
Established in Chile to commemorate and glorify the country's recent independence from Spanish rule, the Legion of Merit (Legión de Mérito) was established by Liberator General Bernardo O'Higgins on June 1, 1817. It was awarded to military personnel and civilians from both Argentina and Chile, who fought in the Battle of Chacabuco that led to Chilean declaration of independence on February 12, 1818.
It was awarded to civil and military personnel either national or foreigners, who rendered extraordinary service to the nation independence, as well as to the principles of the new Chilean republic.
The Order was created with three classes; they were Grand Officer, Officer, and Legionnaire. Three years later, the Sub-Officer was added, and presumably the badge insignia was modified. The grade denotes the rank of the recipient.
The highest ranks exhibits several precious stones and fine gold.
The Order was abolished in 1825.
The insignia features different inscriptions according to the rank and service of the recipient. The insignia features the inscription "Libertad" (Freedom) and "Vencedor de Chacabuco" (Winner of Chacabuco), to those who fought in Chacabuco.
In MB, the Order is classified into Types. Type I includes the awards between 1817-1820, and Type II consists of the awards between 1820-1825.
It is a very scarce and expensive award.
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