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The  “Hero of Socialist Labor” was the highest labor distinction awarded in the USSR, and was established in 1938.  The Gold Sickle and Hammer Order was established in 1940 as a visible means of identifying a “Hero of Socialist  Labor” recipient. Joseph Stalin was the first person upon whom the title “Hero of Socialist Labor” was bestowed on December 20, 1939, and he was also the first person to receive the Gold Sickle and Hammer Order. Many of the country’s top weapons designers, aviation engineers, and industrialists were awarded the title. The medal itself is made of solid gold and the suspension is made of silver. (The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals, Paul McDaniel and Paul J. Schmitt).

Established:  1940;   No. issued:  19,000;   Metal Content (gr.):    Gold: 12.0;  Silver:  14.6

    # 4,383

   Issued:   1949


This order is generally given for labor achievement.  Initially the order was a screw type; however, after 1943, the order was attached to a five-sided metal ribbon holder.  The reverse of the order comes in several variations from solid to a concave hollowed out later version.  Documents with photos of recipients are rare.

Established:   1935;  No. issued:   1,500,000;   Metal Content (gr.):   gold:   .04;  silver:   29.8

    # 3,934

   Issued:   1937

    # 52,256

   Issued:   1944

It’s unusual to have the silversmith’s initials on an order as it is on # 3,934

Proud recipient wearing his award #3,934.  The bottom left corner of the photo shows an official stamp of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR which indicates that the photo is the one originally attached to the page.  The round screw plate of # 3,934 is silver which is an indication of the quality of the award.  Most screw plates are non-silver. The recipient received the order at the height of Stalin’s purges.

Later versions of the award were hung from a ribbon suspension.  The final version had the back hollowed out to save silver because substantial amount of this precious metal was utilized in the manufacture of the earlier versions.  Note also that the gold-plated CCCP was attached separately to the award in the earlier versions and made part of the award to simplify manufacturing in the final version.

    # 1,244,053

   Issued:   1976

The number 1,244,053 is engraved with a mechanical rotating engraver, while numbers 3,934 and 52,256 have been hand carved.  Also note the raised straight line under number 1,244,053.  Also, the CCCP on number 3,934 are separate items from the face of the medal, while those on the 1,244,053 are part of the face structure.

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There are numerous murals and monuments in every Moscow subway station dedicated to the memories of the Great Patriotic War.

This mural was being restored.

“Stenka Razin”, Russian Army Chorus

“For Mother Russia”



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