The main difference between the DK in Gold and the DK in Silber was that the Gold version basically were awarded for combat performance, or for that matter staff duties at the front lines. The same reasons as for the EK and the RK, ranking in between these.
The German Cross in Silver was mainly awarded for contributions to the war effort, be that of organizational, logistic or technical sort. The Silver ones that found their way out to members of frontline units were mainly bestowed for the technical officers responsible for vehicle maintenance armored and mechanized units and so on...
Many high ranking SS leaders received the award, also war criminals like kaltenbrunner, Jüttner, Globocnik, Glücks, Daleuge, Dr. Gebhardt etc...
I highly recommend Mark C. Yerger's book "German Cross in Silver - Holders of the SS and the Police" (2002), an interesting and very biographically detailed companion volume to his eminent and qualitive series on the German Cross in Gold bearers of the SS and the Police.
"Wie es eigentlich gewesen ist"
Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886)