There are a series of miniature medals that are smaller versions of the actual medals. These were
privately purchased from the Japan Mint, so they were not awarded along with the larger versions.
There are some replicas (fakes?) made by private companies, but these are usually easy to spot
because of the low quality.
Peterson writes that these medals were authorized, but he says no more than that. Actually, if one
had been awarded a certain medal, one could also order the miniature from the Japan Mint.
Miniature medals are still being made.
One way to know if the miniatures are authentic or not is to examine the craftsmanship. The enamels
and jewels will be similar to the actual medals and of course not painted in.
You can see the official miniatures page at the Japan Mint HERE.
Although the rosette on the bow would seem to indicate this is a 4th Class medal,
the box says it is a 5th Class.
A collection of miniatures
From the left. 1. Grand Cordon 2. Golden Kite 3. Rising Sun 4. Sacred Crown 5. Sacred Treasure 6. Red Cross
Here is a 4th Class, as indicated on the box.
As far as the miniatures go, the 4th and 5th
Classes may be identical excepting the box.
7th Class miniatures
4th Class Sacred Treasure
Order of the Sacred Treasure Miniature 5th Class.
Official decoration made by the Japan Mint. Excellent quality, but
the rosette is gone. (Only the metal part remains.)
Small! Next to a full-sized 5th Class decoration.
4th class with gold gilt