Written By: Ehsan Jahandarpour

An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house, sovereign or organization to an individual. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most historic orders imply a membership in a group. In the case of most European orders, membership was also limited in number. Decorations have no such limitations, and are awarded purely to recognize the merit or accomplishments of the recipient. Both orders and decorations often come in multiple classes.