Instituted on July 19, 1871 by Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Carl Alexander August Johann (24.06.1818 – 05.01.1901) and awarded to military personnel for combat service as well as to civilians for distinguished merits during the war against France (July 19, 1870 – May 10, 1871).
Specific stipulation that Honor Medal was to be awarded to women on a par with men for their war-time service was included to the statute of a decoration thanks to insistence of Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach Sophie (Wilhelmina Sophie Marie Luise von Oranien-Nassau, 08.04.1824 – 23.03.1897).
Design of a medal was created by Ferdinand Helfricht (1829-1892), Gotha mint engraver. His hallmark though is omitted.
Honor Medal for Distinguished Merits in 1870-1871 (45x38 mm) being officially described as a “stylized cross” had an intricate vertical diamond shape with four smaller diamonds at each edge. Its upper part had a double ring silver suspender for a ribbon.
An obverse with a thick wide border had fine intertwined ciphers of Grand Duke Carl Alexander (“CA”) and Grand Duchess Sophie (“S”) topped with the crown of Grand Duchy.
A reverse with a thick wide border had a horizontal inscription running in four rows in capital letters: “For distinguished merits 1870/1871” (“Für Rühmliche Thätigkeit 1870/1871”). Legend is encircled by a laurel wreath tied by a ribbon at its bottom.
Silk ribbon was
Honor Medal for Distinguished Merits in 1870-1871 was made of silver by Weimar-based manufacturer Karl Koch and was produced in 1872-1873.
Totally 456 medals were awarded.