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Ten roubles 1900 gold

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According to the description, the mintmaster initials are not the usual (Ф.З) on this coin:

http://www.sixbid.com/nav.php?lot=1352&p=viewlot&sid=296

 

Although the coin is not in very good grade, it doesn't look fake to me. I plan to go to Hess-Divo this week sometime and look at this coin in person. And I will take my scales with me. ;)

 

If the mintmaster initials are not as documented in all the references, this would have to be a fake. Could be that it is just a normal coin with a bad description; could also be that the weight is wrong, although the description says 8.6 grams.

 

What do you think? :art:

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Could be that it is just a normal coin with a bad description

could be :)

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Today, I went to see this coin in person (lot 1352). I can verify that the weight is correct (8.60 grams -- using my scales, accurate to 0.01g). However, the mintmaster is (A.P). Since Alexander Redko was not director at the mint until sometime in late 1901, this is obviously not possible as a normal issue.

 

The edge lettering looks very good for the most part. However, the letters "Н" and "И" are a bit strange. On all genuine coins of this type I have seen with lettered edges, the Cyrillic "N" (i.e. "Н") is styled to look very similar to the Latin "N". As a matter of fact, I assume that they used the same letter punch and just mounted it backwards. Here is a variety of 1896-* rouble which has the word "ЗОЛОТНИКА" misspelled as "ЗОЛОТННКА" (illustrated by Yaroslav Adrianov in his catalog):

 

Adrianov.jpg

 

On the coin in the Hess-Divo auction, the "N" looks more like a Cyrillic "Н", but so does the "И"! Also, they seem a bit wider. Other letters look OK to me. If it is a fake, it is a very convincing one! :shock:

 

On the 1899-AP ten rouble coins we have discussed here, the weight was off by about 0.2 g. On this one, the weight is correct, and it probably is therefore made of gold since the diameter and thickness seem OK (couldn't really measure this, since the coin is not mine).

 

1900 is not a rare year for this series, so the question remains: Why do a fake of this year if gold is the metal used? Could it be a later-date Soviet restrike? The mintmaster initials look OK to me -- not re-engraved from (А.Г). But I didn't look under a microscope. Or is it just another fake?

 

The next lot in the auction, 1901 ten roubles, has mintmaster initials "A.P", by the way. Since I already have one of these, I won't be bidding on it, though.

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I wonder if I just don't make myself clear enough, or if nobody cares??? --- Or is everybody still in Munich after the Gorny & Mosch auction getting drunk on good German beer? :hysterical:

 

Anyway, I can't decide whether this is a fake coin or perhaps a later-date Soviet restrike. My gut feeling says the latter -- correct weight, correct metal (??? waiting for confirmation on this), everything but two edge letters and the mintmaster initials looks good -- and no motivation for faking a relatively common date. The mintmaster (А.Р) is obviously impossible for 1900 -- not so with any other mintmasters during the reign of Nicholas II (except for Viktor Smirnov, of course). One might find plausible explanations for (А.Г) or (Э.Б), but certainly not for (А.Р) or (В.С). So we can eliminate the theory that some old planchets which had already been edged were thrown in with a batch of later-date coins.

 

From the looks of the edge, all of the letters are probably the original punches used in the mint. HOWEVER, the "Н" (Cyrillic "N") AND the "И" (Cyrillic "I") have obviously been altered. On genuine coins of this period, the "Н" (Cyrillic "N") looks very much like a Latin "N", but somebody wanted it to look more like the modern "Н". I wish that I could take some pictures of this coin in order to document what I am seeing.

 

With the 1899-АР coins we have seen, ALL of the edge lettering was bad, and the weight was also off. Therefore, there can be no doubt that these are fakes. But which counterfeiters could/would have access to genuine, original edge devices, but CHANGE just TWO of the letters to alter the appearance? And WHY??? The idea that this 1900-АР ten rouble gold coin is fake is just too easy, too comfortable.

 

The idea that it could be an undocumented Soviet restrike is certainly uncomfortable, but more realistic IMHO. What speaks against the Soviet restrike theory is that until today, this is apparently the ONLY ONE which has been noticed in 110 years (or else one of you would have already quoted a source...???)

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I'm willing to believe the Soviet restrike theory, but I might be among the minority.

 

I actually don't think it that strange that such coin went undocumented for 110 years.

 

-First, the Soviet mints are very secretive.

-Second, they lost a lot of documents over the years so even if someone had access they might not find any records of such striking.

-Third, I don't believe that there has been much effort of any kind of new cataloging of Russian coins until the last decade, at least not in Russia.

-Fourth, gold coins were not easily traded/collected in russia due to prohibitive laws, and a lot were destroyed to get the metal, not sure if anyone was paying much attention in the west, I guess until the most recent decade they mostly traded as bullion.

 

Of course it could be a well done fake. Let's say the forgerer did not feel like making a new piece for the edging, but wanted to introduce a new pair of copied dies (which as I understand are easier to make but wear out quicker), so he struck a few dozen coins with the new dies but the with old edge. I guess if all of a sudden we hear about more mixed coins like this one we'll know it is a forgery.

 

Otherwise, I like the Soviet restrike idea!

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Just reading this article,I have one of the 1900 10 roubles gold coin with the A.P. Mintmasters mark. I have had it scanned it is 22k gold but this one only weighs 8.2 grams. It appears to be a weak strike 

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