Order of St. Alexander, Type I, Civil Division, Grand Master's Collar (Ferdinand I)
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This Order was founded by Prince Alexander I of Bulgaria, and he named it to honour St. Alexander Nevsky.
The Order was awarded by the Bulgarian sovereign to Bulgarians and foreign citizens in recognition of loyal service within civil and military spheres that benefited Bulgaria and the Monarch.
In 1886 crossed swords were added to the Order awards to reward wartime merit, and courageous acts rendered in peacetime. The crossed swords for wartime merit were added through the centre of the cross, while the swords for peacetime courage were added to the surmounting suspension ring.
In 1888 an official Decree was passed which added the IV Class silver cross, the Grand Master’s Collar, and the Lesser Collar. This Decree also amended the upper classes, allowing the Monarch to confer them with diamonds as a sign of his favour and to recognize special merit.
The Order was discontinued on June 15, 1948.
The obverse features inscriptions which translate to "God with Us", and in the centre of the medallion “St. Alexander”.
The reverse features an inscription which translates to "18 February 1878".
The I-III Class Type I grades feature a surmounting Princely crown suspension.
In Type I the awards issued by Alexander I were manufactured in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the awards issued by Ferdinand I were manufactured in Vienna, Austria, or Paris, France.
The Grand Master's Collar issued during the reign of Alexander I is composed of 30 oval links featuring alternating images of Alexander I's cypher surmounted by a Princely crown and an eight pointed Church-Slavonic cross. These links are connected by two chains and a lion wearing a Princely crown.
The Type I version of the Grand Master’s Collar issued during the early reign of Ferdinand I is composed of 30 oval links featuring alternating images of Alexander I's cypher surmounted by a Princely crown and an enamelled eight pointed Church-Slavonic cross. These links are connected by two chains and a lion wearing a Princely crown.
The Grand Master’s Collar was only worn by the Bulgarian Sovereign.
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