Order of the Golden Kite:
6th & 7th Classes
金鵄勲章 六功・七功

The 7th class is silver with a gold plated kite on the obverse. The best
examples have a clear gold patina on the entire bird, including its tail
feathers. One thing to be aware of is that as the silver of the 7th class is
tarnished, it takes on a goldish color.

So since the 6th loses its gold gilt and becomes silver and the 7th becomes
tarnished and sometimes appears gold, it is easy to confuse the two without
close examination.

See a 6th Class Award document
Partially faded 6th Class medals
A really nice, mostly unfaded 6th Class. Note that the
sword hilts are the only parts that are not gold-plated
Button rosette
6th Class cases. Note the differences in the kanji, especially the number 6. The case to the left is probably an earlier issue.
7th Class case
Bow rosette
1940 award document