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5 kopeks 180. by V. Koretsky

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With kindly permission of Mr. Dieter Gorny of

GORNY & MOSCH Giessener Munzhandlung

Maximiliansplatz 20, D-80333 Munchen


e-mail: info@gmcoinart.de


I am very glad to place this very interesting article in russian numismatics (in english !) published in one of recent

Gorny & Mosch auction catalog 183, pp 196-197




5 kopeks 180. by V. Koretsky



The first mention about copper 5 kopeks coin with uncommon date “180.” minted by Ekaterinburg mint are contained in II part of book of known Russian numismatist S.I. Chaudoir “Review of Russian money and foreign coins which were used in Russia from ancient times” . SPB. 1837. Chaudoir had not unfortunately given its image but had referred on a piece having been in Hermitage. Distinguished collectors and connoisseurs of Russian coins, contemporaries of Chaudoir J. Reichel and G.Lisenko also had not this coin. In any case this coin was not mentioned as in systematic catalogue of Reichel’s collections which was issuing in 1842-1847, as in extant Lisienko’s catalogue-diary.

The description of this coin, also without its image, has secondary appeared in 1883 in the first edition of Chr. Giel’s “The tables of Russian coins”. And only in 1898 in “Corp of Russian Coins” of Grand Duke George Michailovitch for the first time the front and back its sides were shown. In 1904 description of 5 kopeks coin “180.” was included into book “Russian coins struck from 1801 to 1804” by Chr. Giel and A. Ilyin.

The amplified searches of unusual 5 kopeks coin, which started atier appearance of a Giel’s and Ilyin’s catalogue, which is a main manual until now for collectors of Russian coins, have stipulated appearance of diverse fakes, many of which were described as variants in numerous trade catalogues. This circumstance and also several contradictory opinions of the largest connoisseurs of Russian coins have induced us to engage in a research of Ekaterinburg’s piatak and fakes under it.

By Chaudoir’s opinion Ekaterinburg’s piatak is a “trial piatak on which in the denotation of a year the last digit is not exposed”. I. Tolstoy and soviet experts A. Tolmachev-Sosnovsky, A. Vershinin and many others ad here’d the same opinion. Georgy Mikhailovich, objecting Shoduar, wrote: “It seems, by sort both sides of a coin, which was struck out by rusty stamps, that it is not a trial one, but by error last digit of a year was not exposed. In any case it is not a novodel and was struck not later then 1810”. Therefore, categorical opinion of Chaudoir the blurred statement was opposed, from which follows, that its author cannot name the reason of appearance of mysterious piatak.

In the matier: not trial coin, not novodel, not serial coin (by error), what then? We are converted to the facts.

The government of Aleksander I by the decree dated October 1, 1801 has announced the release of coins of a new sample, including of copper coins, for which was saved a traditional set of nominals of 18 century and old coin roll (16 roubles from pood of copper). The Ekaterinburg mint began the release of the coins in 1802 on samples authorized by the decree.

However on coins, dated 1803, determined by the decree, figures are few changed: on a face side the eagle is less thrown, legs of eagle are hardly lowered, on tail plumage a cross of St. Andrew’s order is precisely seen, 5 rounded dots on concentric linear circles near borders are located more evenly. The dot atier last digit of date appear, which are the same as the dot atier digit “5”of nominals and atier characters “E” and “M” and they are larger and rounded.

The special feature of placement of fi ve rounded dots, as on front, and on reverse sides of coins, dated 1803, consists that on equal distances (25 mm on chord) are located only 4 dots, and fitih one, which is the neighboring from the right with most upper one is deleted from it only on 18,5 mm. The precisely same placement of dots is traced on piataks dated 1804 and even 1805, not speaking already about the other details of figures. It is represented indisputable; that the indicated circumstance testifies that in 1803 a large backlog of stamps was carried out which three years was used.

Reached up to our time genuine copies of piataks E. M. “180.”, it is doubtless, where struck by one of stamps, occurring from indicated reference matrix, and before in a stamp there was punched last digit of given (next) year. But such genuine copies we, with full on the basis, may consider as trial coins in difference not only from counterfeit, but also from made on same Ekaterinburg mint other piataks, about which the speech start below.

Distinguish two sorts so-called novodels: the copies which were struck in later time by old stamps saved on the mint and those copies which were made all over again (if old stamps were not saved). To the expert it is easy to distinguish novodel from the original coin, but quite otien the distinction is so great, that appreciably even for amateur collector.

By data, resulted in the Demeny’s article “ In a history of a Ekaterinburg mint “, this mint on commission of ministry of the finance several times produced large sets of novodels. So, in 1840 a full collection of coins from 1757 until 1840 was made. As on a mint many of old stamp were not saved, on having been available samples of old coins were made new stamps, which on execution of the order were destroyed. In 1856 the order on 1740 coins, since 1726 was executed. Missing stamps were made on samples of coins, and it is possible, on figures or description from the book of Chaudoir. These time stamps which were made were not destroyed, as the chief of Ural factories has ordered to keep them on a case of repetition of the orders. In 1870 the mint has made four collections of coins, since 1726 for All-Russia exhibition of manufactures in

St. Petersburg. In all cases only copper coins were made.

It is impossible to pass by that fact, that by 1837 one copy of piatak E. M. “180.” was known only, and to time of appearance of the mentioned before book of Giel and Ilyin (1904), the authors did not consider possible to give this piatak a degree of a rarity above second (at 4-degrees system). Obviously, they had for this purpose enough basis. This implies, that the Ekaterinburg mint has enlarged number of known piataks which were minted at execution of the orders of ministry of the finance by a saved pair of old stamps. Just by one pair. In than convinces a deterioration of stamps. As gradually wore out stamps, it is possible to observe even on three shown illustrations. The copies, were doubtlessly minted in an indicated sequence. Minting by one pair is easily determined by presence of identical individual defects. So, on faces of all three

copies to the leti of a crown dot convexity is visible. This dot corresponds to a deepening, derivated in a stamp from crumbling of metal. The same one is on the back in the right part of a separating bar (under the second character “K” in a word “kopecks”) and in other places. However there is no guarantee that the mint, by exhausting of possibility to mint piataks by the order of ministry of the finance because of full deteriorations of a having been available pair of old stamps, has not made new (for example, in 1856 or 1870 ), distinguished from the original. Pertinently to result the statement known Russian numismatist M. Demeny: “the mint could prepare coins, even not struck in known year, because did not know, which just the sorts of a known type were minted and which were not minted”. Just such coins meant, when speech about unlegitimity to consider their genuine and the more so to equate them to trial.

Counterfeit copies, plenty of which appeared atier appearance of Giel’s and Ilyin’s book, it is possible to divide into two groups: corrected copies of 1802 without last digit of date and dot atier it; the same one, but with three dots atier “180” and copies, at which as a basis for falsification have useded piataks of 1803. At last case at all there is no dot atier “180” or are available: one large rounded dot, two dots or three dots. The fakes litier many collections, including museum’s collections. So in Historical Museum in Moscow 2 copies of the first group (the first one is without a dot atier “180”, the other one is with three

dots), 2 copies of the second group, which were made from piataks minted atier 1803 (the dot atier date is removed), 2 copies by this groups with rounded dot atier “180”, but with roughly deleted last digit of date, copy this groups with two dots and copy with three dots are kept. Similarly to two last fakes copies are available in Hermitage, but they are in a collection of counterfeit coins.

Coming back to quoted earlier opinions of two large connoisseurs of Russian coins, it is necessary to tell, that Chaudoir, referring on piatak, which was kept in Hermitage in 1837, was unconditional right, considering it as a trial copy, George Michailovitch in 1898, dealing already not with the one - single copy, should not run into an error, by finding piataks E. M. “180.” as accidentally released in circulation through an oversight of staff of the mint. However he has found minting by a rusty stamp and this is the only one, in than he was right.




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pictures are welcome of this rare 5 kopeks :ninja:

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"...Minting by one pair is easily determined by presence of identical individual defects. So, on faces of all three
copies to the leti of a crown dot convexity is visible. This dot corresponds to a deepening, derivated in a stamp from crumbling of metal. The same one is on the back in the right part of a separating bar (under the second character “K” in a word “kopecks”) and in other places."


Looking through the past auction images here http://www.m-dv.ru/catalog/page,1/id,6540/prohod.html I found 17 images as describe above, and that look like this (same dies used):




and 2 images of coins that are probably fakes, in any case - different. This one looks somewhat similar to the above:




And this one has different eagle:



What do you think?

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In 1898 VKGM showed this coin for the first time. His comment is that the coin is stamped with rusted dies. This is not surprising as in 1803 there was (most probably) a big number of dies made without the last number, in reserve, to be used later, which they did for the next few years.


Brekke has similar to Chaudoir's opinion that it is a trial coin, or as he calls them - pattern coin.



Brekke also shows a Novodel coin and a forgery coins that matches our type "C" coin.


Type "B" coins. Well, I though it was probably a modern forgery where the last number was removed to gain a benefit of selling it at a high price, but I was mistake. This is one of the earlier strikes made by type A coin dies, thus displaying the signs of type A only a little bit, you have to look closely. Apparently, the owner of this coin (probably due to such suspicions) got a paper from Shiryakov in GIM. (http://www.znak-auction.ru/archive/12/10/4.htm), so there is really no type B... Type B is still type A coin...


The question is, did they made novodel coins like 180. (with one dot) and if they did, what did they look like? After all, we all know the two dots novodels, that were made later.


I must agree with the author of this article, that it is a little strange that up until 1837 there was only one known example, and nowadays we have many. Could they be novodels from 1840, made with later destroyed dies? Where did VKGM got the coin for his catalog? What does the coin in Hermitage really looks like? Too many questions still unanswered...


One-kuna, thank you for posting this article in 2010!

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A lot of materials, thank you

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The original article is great. Most of what I added is bits and pieces collected from other conversations and analysis of market results in the past. I made some embarrassing mistakes, such as with coin 2 or "type" B, when I discussed this on Russian forum, but it was great to check this info with guys there as the more criticism I get, the closer to the truth we may be able to get. And I know, that there are always people more experienced than I may ever hope to become. Sometimes I just need to shake them a little bit for info. Glad if I may be of some help. :-)

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