Chile - Republic of: Order of Merit, 5th Period (1929 to present), Knight Grade, silver with red enamel, and an early version of type.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
The Order of Merit (Spanish: Orden al Mérito) is a Chilean military order and was created in 1929. Succeeding the Medal of the Merit, which was created during the term of the President German Riesco through the Minister of War decree No. 1350 on September 4, 1906. This new national distinction was created to recognize the meritorious service provided by foreign military personnel to Chilean officials. The order is only awarded to foreigners.
In 1817, Bernardo O’Higgins created the Legion of Merit, with the aim of recognizing the ones who have provided help to Chile, specially during its independence. In 1823, when O'Higgins fled the country after his abdication, the Legion was extinct.
Nevertheless, in 1906, German Riesco created the Medal of the Merit, with the same aim as the current Order: award those who gave civil services to the Republic. The first 200 military medals were minted in gold and silver, giving them the title of First and Second Class. They were minted at the Casa de la Moneda, having a tricolor ribbon. The order had three classes: First, Second, and Third Class; but later a new class was added (Grand Officer) that would be awarded to heads of state.
In 1929, the Medal was renamed as the Order of Merit, the ribbon being switched to plain blue, and the current regulations where enacted in 2000, being slightly reformed in 2016.