Order of Labor, Type 3, #53620, circa 1960s issue.
In gilded brass and high quality "hot-baked" enamel; 52.8 mm x 47.2 mm. Features vertical pin and slightly concave reverse. Surface uniformly gilded with no silver plating on the cogwheel. Massive construction with crisp details on the obverse. This piece is apparently among the earliest of the Order of Labor manufactured in North Korea as opposed to Soviet Union or Czechoslovakia.
In very fine to excellent condition. The enamel is nicely preserved, completely free of the usual chips or flaking. The red banner has some small internal hairlines in the upper left corner - not threatening the integrity of enamel in any way - plus a couple of tiny contact marks and a single miniscule, barely noticeable bubble (result of a micro impact) in its central portion. None of it is very noticeable or detractive; the enamel fully retains its beautiful original luster. Details of the center medallion are perfect and extremely crisp. The original gold finish is intact and bright on both sides of the badge. Overall, this is a very attractive early piece.
Established in 1951, this Soviet-inspired - and possibly Soviet designed - decoration was drastically changed in the 60s or 70s to a more bland, traditional "socialist" look without the workers in the center. Type 1 to Type 3 Orders of Labor, whether manufactured at the Soviet Mint or, as here, somewhere in the People's Republic, are all extremely scarce.
/See page 214-217 in Military and Civil Awards of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) by Sessler & McDaniel/
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