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UBS auction 69 (Jan. 23-25 in Basel, Switzerland)


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Of the few selected lots I looked at in person, here is some additional information not contained in the UBS auction catalogue which might prove useful to some. Since I will not be bidding on any of these, you are welcome to this free information! :D (I will be bidding on some of the USA coins, however):


Lot #3253 (two coins, 1 rouble 1786 and 1793, both from St. Petersburg mint):

1786 is the normal variety ("ЯА" mintmaster). Condition: F/VF with some damage (indentation) visible from the obverse at 12 o'clock (the reverse shows a bulge at the corresponding place).

1793 is the variety with mintmaster "AK" and the word "РУБЛЬ" between dots (Severin 2315). Its condition is only AG or G at best ... the obverse portrait is rubbed down to a silhouette; the rims are worn down so that only the top half of the date on the reverse is readable. Both coins show a reeded edge (type 1 in Severin and Julian). As RW Julian pointed out in an earlier post, the 1793 coin is behind the 1786 coin in the auction image.


The 1793 coin seems to have been struck on a thin planchet. It was in a plastic flip together with the other coin, and I noticed immediately that this coin seemed thinner and lighter. So I asked the girl from UBS if she could weigh it for me. This coin weighs only 22.6g which seems rather underweight to me. I didn't ask her to weigh the other one, but I assume it is closer to the correct weight.


From Uzdenikov (p. 549) we read that the so-called "remedium" for silver roubles of this period (normal weight = 24.0g) was only 0.40g for individually weighed coins. Coins weighed in groups of 100 roubles should deviate only by 12.8g, and 1000 roubles by only 63.99g. Now this weight difference might have gone unnoticed because even silver and gold coins were often weighed in larger lots and not always individually. However, I am wondering if this should have been noticed at the mint because if the planchet is too thin, that would mean that several more coins from the same batch would also be underweight? ;) Judging from the overall appearace of the coin, I still think it is probably genuine.


Lot #3254: 5 kopeek (advertised as "10 kopeks" ;) ):

Has AU detail, but looks cleaned to me (patina stripped by dipping). ;)


Lot #3255: Two Paul I roubles (1798 and 1799):

The 1798 rouble appears to be Severin 2429; 1799 is Severin 2453. I believe that the 1799 rouble is the better of the two (one is F, the other VF), but I forgot to make note of this while looking at the coin -- this is my recollection, so caveat emptor here.


Lot #3276: Coronation rouble 1883 for Alexander III (they have Alexander II on the website, even with his correct dates -- 1855-1881! :ninja: ):

This coin would be a nice toned borderline MS-63 were it not for a few rim dings which go unmentioned in the auction description. :D


Lot #3278: Rouble, 1897:

This has the mintmaster (А.Г) on the edge, hence the Uzdenikov number is correctly attributed (I didn't check Bitkin yet).


Lot #3279: Romanov commemorative rouble, 1913 (high relief variety):

IMHO, this coin is far from being "FDC" (meaning "fleur du coin" or mint-state uncirculated). It has AU detail but lacks most of the surface luster. The previous UBS auction in September had much better examples of this coin.


Lot #3280: Silver-plated 1913 Romanov commemorative struck in bronze (also high relief):

Judging from the shiny state of the remnants of the silver-plating, which has worn off in places, this coin was probably NOT struck in 1913, but much later. Curiously enough, the edge lettering looks good! Could it have been a bronze pattern to which someone much later decided to give a silver plating (for whatever reason)? ;) Or is it purely and simply a later-day fake, made to fool collectors??


Anyway -- happy bidding! :D

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(...) the rims are worn down so that only the top half of the date on the reverse is readable. (...)
Of course, I meant to say that the "bottom half of the date" is still readable.


What I forgot to mention is that I was surprised to see many lots (USA and Russian) with minor rim dings and little scratches which were not mentioned in the auction description and are not visible from the pictures. If they are VERY noticeable, they are mentioned -- but I think even minor rim dings should always be mentioned, especially if one cannot see them in the picture.

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