Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (King Abdulaziz Order of Merit), Special Class Grand Cordon (early version)
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The Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud was officially established by King Faisal by Royal Decree on March 20, 1971, however, the Order may have been unofficially awarded prior to this date. The Order is conferred in commemoration of the founder of the Saudi Kingdom, Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Order is presented in 6 Classes as the highest civilian honour of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to recognize meritorious service provided to a government office, extraordinary deeds of bravery, or other services made to the state. Saudi Arabian nationals, members of the house of Al-Saud, and other foreigners may be eligible for the award of the Order. The Order may also be known as the King Abdulaziz Order of Merit.
The Great Badr Collar (see SAU100) is believed to be an early version of this Order, however, more research is necessary.
All appointments of Saudi Arabian nationals are initially made to the IV Class, with membership into a higher class being made upon an additional 5 years of service. These requirements may be waived for members of the house of Al-Saud and foreigners, who may immediately be made a member of a higher class. Recipients who hold a ministerial position, have performed exemplary deeds of heroism, or who have provided meritorious service to the state, may also have the membership requirements waived.
The Special Class Grand Cordon is worn from a sash and awarded along with a Breast Star as the highest rank in the Order. The contingent of members admitted into the Special Class Grand Cordon is uncertain.
The Special Class Grand Cordon features an Arabic inscription on the obverse which translates to "Abdul-Aziz al-Saud."
There may be additional versions which vary by manufacturer, and earlier versions which vary by design.
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