I purchased this cross some years ago. Some people have hinted it may be hanging from an incorrect ribbon. It is in fact hanging from the ribbon of the medal of the Order. But… German colleagues assure me this cross, when presented for long service as this one was, could be and was often presented hanging from this very ribbon in the early days (1957ish). The ribbon seems original to the cross.
Does have any documentation or info supporting this?
No real documentation, but this was indeed how it was awarded. You may want to take a look here: http://ordensmuseum.de/bundesverdiensto … sjubilare/. On a funny note. This variation has the nickname "Putzfrauenorden" aka "maids order" since many maids/cleaning personnel were awarded this for exactly 50 years of service. Maybe one of the reasons to discontinue the 50 cluster.