Order of Saint Alexander Nevsky, Type I, Cross (with diamonds)
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Conceived as a purely military order by Peter the Great, this Order was never awarded during the Czar's lifetime. Empress Catherine I began to award the Order after her husband's death, although she did not award it solely for military pursuits. The USSR adopted this Order and secularized it.
This Order could be awarded, at the sovereign's discretion, with diamonds to a particularly deserving individual. The badge could be worn on the left hip.
There were many variations of this badge, including a non-Christian version with the Russian Imperial Eagle in the centre, as opposed to a likeness of the saint. Saint Alexander Nevsky may be facing either the left or right.
The badge can either be surmounted by a small crown, a large red crown or a large golden crown.
The versions with red glass are an earlier model of the Order, and the versions with swords are awarded for military merit.
This Order has been awarded approximately 3,750 times since its inception in 1724.
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