Order of St. Alexander, Type II, Military Division, Grand Master's Collar
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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".
In Type II the surmounting Princely crown was replaced with a surmounting Imperial crown. As well, Ferdinand I divided the I Class Grand Cross into two separate grades, Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star and I Class with I Class Breast Star.
The Grand Cross and Grand Cross Breast Star retained the design of the I Class Grand Cross set, while the I Class Cross was given green enamel, and the I Class Breast Star had the centre medallion inscription replaced with a crowned lion. Ferdinand I also made changes to the III Class, changing the enamel colour to green, and replacing the centre medallion inscription with a crowned lion.
The Type II Grand Master’s Collar is composed of 24 oval links featuring enamelled alternating images of Alexander I's cypher surmounted by an Imperial crown without pendelia and an eight pointed Church-Slavonic cross. These links are connected by one chain and a lion without a crown.
The Grand Master’s Collar was only worn by the Bulgarian Sovereign.
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