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  1. Check here and here To my opinion, easiest way to distinguish is to look at lower front edge of the neck: - "convex die" - with sharp edge and usually at same level as the top of letter "H" - "flat die" - with rounded edge and usually below the top of letter "H" There are more smaller die varieties, so actual position of neck edge may vary for both types - that's why I used word "usually"
  2. USSR ("CCCP") was founded on Dec.30th, 1922. Though first USSR coins were struck with 1924 date, and 1921-1923 coins bear "RSFSR" ("РСФСР") name. And actually all RSFSR silver coins struck from March 1921 through 1923 were put into circulation only in 1924 in the course of monetary reform.
  3. I think that those may be imprints made by sealing tool. Lead seals often has numbers, dates, letters, etc., and even state emblems, thus they may sometimes resemble tokens or coins. Espesially if the imprint is made not in usual lead but on some other material (as tin in this case). Some examples of old russian lead seals:
  4. "Ч" ("Ch") may also be "Час" ("Chas" = "hour").
  5. Sorry to say that, but this coin even untouched and in UNC condition would cost much less, probably around $700~$750. Same coin in NGC MS63 was sold recently at Staraya Moneta forum for $870, and the specimen in full luster and in NGC MS65 holder was sold at ~ $2600. Your coin (if not having chain mounts) would most probably get "UNC-details" due to surface defects and thus cost $500~$600. So instead of ruining the coin completely as a result of removing the mounts, maybe it's better to keep it as a family value and historical artefact.
  6. There were such discrepancies before. For example, auction 19 lot 928 included 3 x 50 Kopecks 1899AГ described as "About uncirculated (3)". But when the winner sent them to NGC, only one of them in fact got AU58 grade !!!! Isn't it a terrible discrepancy ?? (the other 2 got MS64 and MS66 respectively) ... In general, I'd advise not to judge coins by picture in the catalogue. If you have a possibility, it's always better to go and see them with your own eyes. (IMHO)
  7. You can try to communicate in English... even Google translator can help sometimes... Good luck!
  8. Why not? Although I'd advice to check in advance whether auction (or individual seller) will agree to ship abroad.
  9. 1) Yes. Except platinum 150-roubles coins which were minted only at Leningrad mint. Also copper-nickel 1 rouble coins (which were produced in 3 variants: UNC, BU and Proof) were minted without designation of mint - so it is not widely known, whether which variant of which type was minted at one of 2 mints or maybe at both. 2) You were just probably unlucky. For example here you can see some recent sales of the coin you are looking for at Moscow internet auctions, all below USD 25. 3) Are you sure that guy was really an "expert"? It was definitely produced, as it has it's unique catalogue number of Russia's Central Bank (no.3112-0016; while UNC variant has no.3112-015). Here's the picture: 4) There are specialised catalogues devoted to USSR commemorative coins. As for example book of Shirokov, Sorokin, Zolotarev on Soviet 1965-1991 commemorative coins. This book (2012 edition) is available for order in the internet for less than USD 30 including shipping.
  10. Google - Soviet 1980 olympics 5 rouble coins -> Wikipedia - Commemorative coins of the Soviet Union
  11. These are actually a local (regional) issue. 1) Last issue of imperial type coins was in 1917. 2) First issue of Soviet type (in RSFSR) was in 1921 (though coins minted in 1921-1923 were actually put into circulation only in February of 1924). So "the gap" was 3 years long - 1918-1920.
  12. sigistenz wrote: "In the 20s they minted copper and silver coins with their own design but metal/size/denomination as before...." Copper: 3 and 5 kopecks were minted as per pre-Soviet standard in 1924 only; 2 kopecks in 1924 and 1925 (1925 being very rare); 1 kopeck in 1924 and 1925 (1925 is rare); and 1/2 kopeck in 1925, 1927 and 1928. Silver: 1 rouble 1921-1922 (RSFSR "star" type) , 1924 (CCCP) 50 kopecks 1921-1922 (RSFSR), 1924-1927 (CCCP) 10,15 and 20 kopecks 1921-1923 (RSFSR), 1924-1925 and 1927-1931 except (CCCP) sigistenz wrote: "Like many other countries they changed to copper-nickel later on". Exactly, in 1931. In 1931 both silver and copper-nickel (other design) 10-15-20 coins exist; although 1931 silver coins are extremely rare.
  13. This is obvious "made in China" fake. Moscow and many other cities are now virtually flooded with all kinds of fakes (mostly roubles of XVIII-XIX centuries), it has became a very popular fraud lately (couple months maybe). Rooks buy these Chinese copies (they are sold as copies) and then offer to passersby in the streets, near railway stations, etc. presenting them as original coins (accompanying with a story, as "found in a demolished building", "grandma left this familiy treasure to me when she was dying", "need money badly and sell coins from grandfather's collection", and so on). Many "ordinary" people (not collectors) who have heard that old coins can cost hundreds and thousands of dollars believe that they can buy an old and/or rare coin in the street for $20-$50 - so they eagerly pay money to swindlers only to discover later (there are hundreds of posts by newcomers asking what do they posess now and how much it can cost at all Russian numismatic web-forums now) that they had actually bought a fake worth just $3-$4 in a nearby souvenirs store or at the newstand (yes, now they sell copies of coins even at newstands in Russia).
  14. This variety "indistinct strike" ("размытый чекан") was discovered and described by V.E.Semenov in his "Basic Catalogue" issued by Conros (auction and publishing house) in St.Petersburg. It can be distinguished from "flat stike" variety by some minor details of it's design. Also an article was published at Conros web-site in 2011. In few words, Semenov assumed that this variety represents the first lot of 50,000 minted coins which design was considered failed. There was also large discussion about whether this variety actually exists at "Staraya Moneta" numismatic web-forum. Some collectors agree to consider it as a new variety, some - do not agree. Or at least doubt whether it should be treated as 3rd major variety or just minor die variation (me inclusive). See also: article at "Staraya Moneta"
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