It was awarded for exceptional merits to military personnel, state officials as well as to cultural figures and scientists, both Ottoman subjects and foreigners. Those found eligible for an award had to pay special fee upon bestowal but in case of military personnel and foreigners that duty was waived.
Initially an Order of Osmanie was conferred on Ottoman subjects with twenty years of long immaculate military or state service. Though men only were eligible for decoration sultan himself had a right to bestow an Order on distinguished women.
After an Order of Glory (Nişan-i İftihar) was replaced by an Order of Medjidie, an Order of Osmanie became the second highest award of the Ottoman Empire ranking below the High Order of Honor (Nişan-ı Ali İmtiyaz).
An Order of Osmanie was initially instituted in three classes but in 1867 it was expanded to four classes. Its worth mentioning here that several 1st class awards reserved for heads of state and monarchs who received them on reciprocity principle were decorated with diamonds thus representing the highest class of an Order.
According to the statute of the decoration one could not be awarded with the 1st class of the Order of Osmanie without being a recipient of the 1st class of the Order of Medjidie. Nevertheless this regulation was widely ignored during the reign of the next Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II (31.08.1876-27.04.1909) and the highest classes of both orders were conferred at ruler’s discretion.
The number of recipients was limited to 50 persons for the highest, i.e. 1st class of the Order of Osmanie, 200 for the 2nd class, 1,000 for the 3rd class and 2,000 for the lowest 4th class. Those restrictions haven’t been applied to foreign subjects though.
The badge of the Order of Osmanie represented a dark green enameled seven pointed silver star with additional three short silver rays between its points. The central circular medallion made of gold and finished with a red enamel was surrounded by a wide green enameled band. Privately purchased orders are said to have such a band covered with red enamel. The lower part of a medallion had a raised golden crescent with an ornate lettering in Arabic letters above: “Relying on the assistance of the almighty God, Abdulaziz Khan, Sovereign of the Ottoman Empire”.
The badge was suspended by a horizontal golden crescent facing upwards with a five pointed golden star situated in its middle.
During the Great War, i.e. in 1915-1918 the Order of Osmanie issued for military merits was decorated with an additional device in shape of two crossed sabers placed behind a central medallion. It is estimated that sabers were added approximately to 5% of the total number of orders.
The breast star represented the above described badge medallion superimposed on the eight pointed silver star of facetted rays. The star of the Order, 1st class was 95-
Ribbon of the Order was light green with two thin vertical red stripes closer to both edges.
The Order of Osmanie, 1st class was worn on a wide sash on the right shoulder together with a star of the badge on a left chest.
The Order of Osmanie, 2nd class was worn on a ribbon at the neck together with a star of the badge on a left chest.
The Order of Osmanie, 3rd class was worn on a ribbon at the neck.
The Order of Osmanie, 4th class was worn on a ribbon on a left chest with a circular rosette attached to a ribbon or without a one.
Orders differed in size and design depending on a manufacturer, Ottoman or foreign.
Miniatures of the Order were manufactured as well in different sizes.
The Order of Osmanie was issued from 1852 until 1922.