British Orders of Knighthood are all bestowed by the reigning monarch to individuals and the award is announced in Honours Lists. Some orders originate from the Middle Ages and others are more recent. Traditionally they were associated with personal service to the monarch but this has now changed.
Orders are generally ranked in five classes: Grand Cross, Knight Commander, Commander, Officer and Member. Each class has different entitlements and badges of office. Most orders were military but they have now spanned into civilian life. However the design of the award distinguishes whether it is a military or civil award.
Like other unnamed medals, orders lack the ability to pin point a specific order to an individual. Having said that contemporary documentation, photographs etc can prove that an award was made to a certain person. It is also of interest to note that some orders can actually sell for less money than their intrinsic value as they are made from precious metals and stones.