Civil Merit Medal, Silver Medal
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This medal was founded by Emperor Karl I, who intended it to be a sign of special recognition for Austrian Officials, civil servants, and civilians that had rendering exceptional service to the Emperor and Austria. Although the idea was originally conceived in 1907, it only came to fruition on April 30, 1918. The medal was designed by Rudolph Marschall.
The decoration could be earned by any individual in any civil position. It was designed to fill the gap where the achievement was too great for the Order of Franz Joseph and not enough for the Cross of Merit. The medal was awarded retroactively as well.
The classes only differed in designed. The I class for ‘special imperial recognition’ was gold plated, and the II class medal for ‘imperial recognition’ had an old silver patina. If the medal was awarded to the same recipient a second time a silver clasp was added to the ribbon. If the medal was awarded to the same recipient a third time two silver clasps were added to the ribbon.
This medal was the last award instituted by the Austro-Hungarian Empire before its collapse in 1918. It was manufactured by the Austrian Mint, however it is believed that very few were made.
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