Honoris Crux Diamond

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This article is about the Honoris Crux Diamond. For other uses, see Honoris Crux.
Honoris Crux Diamond
Honoris Crux Diamond medal.jpg
Awarded by the State President
Country  South Africa
Type Military decoration for bravery
Eligibility All Ranks
Awarded for Death-defying heroic deeds of outstanding valour
Status Discontinued in 1993
Post-nominals HCD
Established 1975
First awarded Never awarded
Ribbon bar

The Honoris Crux Diamond (Diamond Cross of Honour), post-nominal letters HCD, is a military decoration for bravery that was instituted by the Republic of South Africa on 1 July 1975, but never awarded. The decoration was intended for award to members of the South African Defence Force for death-defying heroic deeds of outstanding valour.[1][2]

The South African military[edit]

The Union Defence Forces (UDF) were established in 1912 and renamed the South African Defence Force (SADF) in 1958. On 27 April 1994 it was integrated with six other independent forces into the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).[3]

Orders, decorations and medals[edit]

In April 1952 a series of military decorations and medals was instituted, consisting of substitutes for many of the British and Commonwealth awards which had earlier been used. More decorations and medals, as well as an emblem for being mentioned in dispatches, were added between 1953 and 1970. In July 1975 the military decorations and medals of the Republic were revised. Some decorations and medals were carried over from the earlier series of 1952-1975 and new awards were instituted, followed by more between 1987 and 1991. Finally, all but one of these earlier awards were discontinued in respect of services performed on or after 27 April 2003, when a new set of nine decorations and medals was instituted to replace them.[2][3][4][5][6]

Fount of Honour[edit]

Until 1958 the top three awards were reserved for conferment by the Queen while the rest were awarded by the Governor-General, but in 1958 the Governor-General was authorised to also award the top three. In 1961 the State President became the Fount of Honour, and in 1994 the President.[3]

Award criteria for the Honoris Crux Diamond[edit]

The Honoris Crux Diamond, post-nominal letters HCD, was instituted to be awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for death-defying heroic deeds of outstanding valour. It was the most senior of a set of four classes of Honoris Crux decorations, the Honoris Crux Diamond, Honoris Crux Gold, Honoris Crux Silver and Honoris Crux that together replaced the discontinued Honoris Crux of 1952.[2]



The Honoris Crux Diamond is a silver-gilt Maltese cross that fits in a circle 45 millimetres in diameter, with two swords in saltire surmounted by a circular protea wreath, the arms of the cross in green enamel, with a roundel in the centre tierced horizontally in the orange, white and blue bands of the national flag, framed in a double circle containing eight diamonds set in green enamel.[7] Apart from the eight diamonds in the enameled circle, it is identical to the Honoris Crux Gold in all respects.[7]


The reverse has the pre-1994 South African Coat of Arms, with the decoration number underneath.[7]


The ribbon is 32 millimetres wide and orange.[7]


Since it was never awarded and now never will be, the Honoris Crux Diamond was no longer listed in the official order of precedence lists, as published in the Republic of South Africa Government Gazette, since 1993.[8][9] Only one Honoris Crux Diamond Decoration was ever made. The Department of Defence donated it to the South African National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg on 21 May 2009.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ South African Medals Website - Post-nominal Letters
  2. ^ a b c South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1975-2003
  3. ^ a b c South African Medals Website - SA Defence Force : 1952-1975
  4. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1952-1975
  5. ^ Suid-Afrikaanse militêre dekorasies: 1975-2003
  6. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 457, no. 25213, Pretoria, 25 July 2003
  7. ^ a b c d Monick, S (1988). South African Military Awards 1912-1987. South African National Museum of Military History. p. 49. 
  8. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette no. 15093, Pretoria, 3 September 1993
  9. ^ Republic of South Africa Government Gazette Vol. 477, no. 27376, Pretoria, 11 March 2005, ISBN 9771682584003 27376