Kim Khanh

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Kim Khanh

The Order of Kim Khanh (Vietnamese: Kim khánh, chu Han Viet: 金磬) was an Order of Merit of the Empire of Vietnam. The order was abolished when Vietnam became a republic.

The emperor awarded this decoration to his mandarins or high officials. It is suited for their silken gowns but it is an unusual decoration in the eyes of the Europeans. It consists of a golden plaque in the shape of a traditional Vietnamese gong with Chinese characters and symbols like dragons, dragon's paws with a pearl, fo-dogs, turtles and phoenixes. Attached to the plaque are a traditional depiction of a bat in orange and white pearls, beads of red and white coral, fresh water pearls and gold. The Chinese characters mean "A visible sign of thanks and good will". On the back the words "awarded by the Emperor Khải Định" are written.

In 1875 a Special Class of the order was given to the French President.[1]

In a more simple version the Khim Khanh was awarded to French colonial administrators and princes in Asia like the Susuhunan of Surakarta Pakubuwono X.

The jewel is 85 millimeter wide and 153 millimeter high. It was awarded in a rectangular silver or gold box with a decor of dragons and a red silk lining.


  1. ^ In 1875 to President Thiers, see the Bulletin des Amis du Vieux Hué, n°4, 1914, p. 392

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