The Order is in the shape of an eight-pointed star of faceted rays of gold or silver contingent upon grade, with a blue enamel oval medallion at its center. The oval contains four Chinese calligraphic characters in gold "seal script," which read Emperor Dong Khanh (Doing-Khanh Hoang-De) with decorative lines of flame, encircled by red enamel. The red enamel surround is separated from the blue enamel oval and the faceted rays by circles of gold. The reverse of the Order is plain and usually convex.
The suspension is from a Western-style crown, surmounted by a green enamel dragon, facing left with gold and red enamel accents. The dragon is facing forward on the plaque or breast star and clenching it in its talons with the tail protruding below.
The dimensions of the sash badge for the Grand Cross with gold faceted rays are usually those of the Commander's badge. The Grand Officer's badge is essentially the same, but features 16 silver faceted rays and may be oblong or circular in shape. The Commander's badge has the faceted rays in gold and varies from 60 to 75mm. The Officer grade features a rosette on the suspension ribbon and is found in sizes ranging from 45 to 53mm. The Knight badge has silver faceted rays and also ranges from 45 to 53mm. Many manufacturing differences exist in terms of size and shape, particularly in the appearance of the dragon. In rare cases, the badge is made of gold.
Bao Dai Versions
Examples of the Order with the four central seal script
characters reading, Bao-Dai Nien-Tao, Emperor Bao Dai are known to
exist and may have been awarded both during and possibly following his
reign. Another reported Bao Dai version has the central disk in black
with only a single Chinese style seal script character. This was
reported as being issued following his abdication, but may be either a
theatrical or fantasy version.
HIH Crown Prince Bao Long (in his youth)