National Order of The Leopard

The nation's highest award (other than during the period 1974 through 1997), the National Order of the Leopard, was created on May 24, 1966. It is issued in the traditional five classes in both military (swords suspension) and civilian (five-pointed star suspension) divisions. The enamel on the center of the obverse and on five of the star points and the ribbon color exchange green for blue when issued by the Republic of Zaire.

National Order of the Leopard Gate Plaque

Order of the Leopard Zaire Version Grand Cross and Sash Badge

Order of the Leopard DRC Version Plaque

Order of the Leopard Zaire Version Plaque

DRC National Order of the Leopard Knight's Badge Military & Civilian Divisions Zaire National Order of the Leopard Commander's Badge

Grand Cross Set from Kunker Auction June 2005

Rare Order of the Leopard Zaire Military 1st and 2nd Versions and Civilian 2ndVersions. On the second version the obverse motto, PAIX JUSTICE, TRAVAIL, is not in the usual white enamel. The reverse inscription, ORDER OF THE LEOPARD surrounded by REPUBLICQUE DU ZAIRE is also absent the enamel. Finally the shape and attitude of the leopard on the obverse is distinctly different from first version. It is speculated that this may have been the last version of this order issued by Zaire and it was procured at a time when Mobutu was running out of time and funds.
Mobutu Sese Seko wearing the Zaire Version of the Order of the Leopard Grand Cross

King Buaudouin of Belgium and Moubutu wearing the Democratic Republic of the Congo Order of the Leopard on the Congo's 10th Anniversary of Independence and prior to the changing th ename of the country to the Republic of Zaire and the colors of the Order.