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Specimen Strike in Russian Numismatics?


BKB
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I did not want to ask this in the topic about "Lint Marks," but I am very interested to know the real meaning of a Specimen Strike in Russian Numismatics. What does it mean when a Russian coin is graded Specimen 65, for instance, by PCGS?

 

The definitions I found in Numismatic glossaries that may be applicable are:

 

1.Specimen: a coin specially prepared for presentation purposes. Specimens may or may not be Proofs.

 

2.Specimen - An example of a coin, often a specially produced coin with a superior finish produced for sale to collectors

 

3.Specimen -- A coin or banknote prepared and selected with special care as an example of a numismatic issue.

 

First definition is somewhat broad. The word "presentation" must be defined with precision. At the very least, it includes all pattern coins. It seems to exclude coins produced for circulation. However, some commemorative coins were intended to enter the circulation (1 ruble Borodino were supposed to be exchanged for regular issue by the public). However, I am certain that some coins were initially produced from those dies and presented for approval. How does one distinguish a Specimen from a Non-specimen? Do we have to trace the specific issue to the event of presentation of same for approval? That is hardly possible after a couple of archival and mint fires, as well as, 2 wars, and 2 revolutions.

 

On the other hand, must all patterns be graded Specimens then? How do you know whether it is a Proof or MS strike.

 

 

Second definition -- I am not sure it is applicable. Maybe to Novodels...

 

Third definition -- how can you tell the difference between those produced for circ. and specially selected coins?

 

I am somewhat lost. Can someone clarify the issue?

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I did not want to ask this in the topic about "Lint Marks," but I am very interested to know the real meaning of a Specimen Strike in Russian Numismatics.

 

To know a special meaning of the word Specimen Strike in Russian numismatics I think it is wise to look into classic russian sources. VKGM and Ilyin&Co did not use any kind of "special, presentation or specimen" coins. If you look into Uzdenikov you will not even find words specimen about silver Moldavian coins in the catalog. Only in the Annex he states - that it is purely presentational specimen coin used to demonstrate possibility of Sadogura mint.

 

I think a 'pattern', 'proof', 'trial mintage' and 'novodel' are plenty enough to describe whatever coin you imagine: cypher Ioan3 or Peter3 rouble, Fuchs 1837 set in presentation case and 1849 copper CPM series. Other than that will be just pointless theoretical wording intended for confusion rather than clarification of complicated information about the coins different from regular business strike.

 

I am 100% sure that my dearest friend WCO has other idea, so I leave the thread for him :ninja:

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I think a 'pattern', 'proof', 'trial mintage' and 'novodel' are plenty enough to describe whatever coin you imagine: cypher Ioan3 or Peter3 rouble, Fuchs 1837 set in presentation case and 1849 copper CPM series. Other than that will be just pointless theoretical wording intended for confusion rather than clarification of complicated information about the coins different from regular business strike.

 

:ninja:

 

I agree a 100% However, I am still interested in the meaning of "Specimen" grades. I have an 1849 graded as specimen 65.

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In my mind this is pretty simple:

Specimen is a coin not minted for circulation. It can be either proof or MS but this is the designation issue not the minting reason. All Russian Specemen coins are novodels for collectors, museums, exhibits , etc. I have a pretty complete collection of Russian pre-Peter I gold coins in PCGS holders all marked as SP63-65. I can tell you that these are 100% novodels with Premium Quality.

 

Technically, this is what the Russian Specimen is - a Premium Quality restrike coin.

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In my mind this is pretty simple:

Specimen is a coin not minted for circulation. It can be either proof or MS but this is the designation issue not the minting reason. All Russian Specemen coins are novodels for collectors, museums, exhibits , etc. I have a pretty complete collection of Russian pre-Peter I gold coins in PCGS holders all marked as SP63-65. I can tell you that these are 100% novodels with Premium Quality.

 

Technically, this is what the Russian Specimen is - a Premium Quality restrike coin.

 

While I agree that Specimen struk coins are "Premium Quality" coins, and in most cases they were not intended for circulation, I disagree about all the rest.

 

Speciment Strike - is name of technology that was used to strike coins of special kind. Along with words "Business Strike" and "Proof" describes a technology, not a look or eye appeal of a specific coin. Looking into Russian books of "VKGM and Ilyin&Co" is completely pointless, since they do not have any information about technologies implemented at the Russian mints.

 

Words "Specimen Strike" have no "nationality", since technology was used on many world mints, and Specimen struck coins in Russian numismatics are not diifferent from Specimen struck coins in Swiss numismatics or Canadian numismatics. And Specimen struck coins may look as Business Strikes or Proofs, but this technology has his own distinguishable differences from the other two.

 

WCO

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While I agree that Specimen struk coins are "Premium Quality" coins, and in most cases they were not intended for circulation, I disagree about all the rest.

 

Speciment Strike - is name of technology that was used to strike coins of special kind. Along with words "Business Strike" and "Proof" describes a technology, not a look or eye appeal of a specific coin. Looking into Russian books of "VKGM and Ilyin&Co" is completely pointless, since they do not have any information about technologies implemented at the Russian mints.

 

Words "Specimen Strike" have no "nationality", since technology was used on many world mints, and Specimen struck coins in Russian numismatics are not diifferent from Specimen struck coins in Swiss numismatics or Canadian numismatics.

 

WCO

Dear WCO,

The only thing that is understood from your note is that you completely DISAGREE , which is no surprise.

You are right - there is no reason to search VKGM for the SP because he DID NOT KNOW about them ! The SP term was "invented" within last 40-50 years, specifically with introduction of PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc...Got the point ? :-)

 

Before that it was UNC PQ or , as they say now, "*" designation. However, you're probably right - there is a difference between MS and SP. Could you tell us the difference between SP and MS strikes based on technology used ? I do not expect a quick answer as you'd need to searcg the Web for the answer...Meanwhile, maybe someone else could add to this discussion?

Respectfully yours ,

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Also...The Specimen is:

- coin or banknote prepared and selected with special care as an example of a numismatic issue.

http://www.australianstamp.com/coin-web/history/glossary.htm

 

 

- A single non proof coin. Struck to be sold to collectors or for presentation purposes and not for circulation.

http://predecimal.com/dictionary.htm

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While I agree that Specimen struk coins are "Premium Quality" coins, and in most cases they were not intended for circulation, I disagree about all the rest.

 

Speciment Strike - is name of technology that was used to strike coins of special kind. ... this technology has his own distinguishable differences from the other two.

 

WCO

 

I would love to learn the distinguishing features. On my part, I am posting the photo of the coin that you asked for. In reality it is rather red than brown:

 

pattern1849025koprspbfw3.jpg

 

pattern1849025kopaspbmw3.jpg

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Dear WCO,

The only thing that is understood from your note is that you completely DISAGREE , which is no surprise.

You are right - there is no reason to search VKGM for the SP because he DID NOT KNOW about them ! The SP term was "invented" within last 40-50 years, specifically with introduction of PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc...Got the point ? :-)

 

Before that it was UNC PQ or , as they say now, "*" designation. However, you're probably right - there is a difference between MS and SP. Could you tell us the difference between SP and MS strikes based on technology used ? I do not expect a quick answer as you'd need to searcg the Web for the answer...Meanwhile, maybe someone else could add to this discussion?

Respectfully yours ,

 

 

Oldman,

 

I do not need to search anything to answer. From business strikes it is different because often a slow press is used with bigger pressure applied and dies are differently prepared, special care when inserting and removing blanks, lint marks from treat of dies. Different from Proofs since it could be struck with single blow of a press and not necesserely have mirrors and frosted devices, or matte. There are some other smaller things that differentiate the 3 technologies... but do I really need to dig this deep into it? :ninja:

 

And you are right, most likely "VKGM ... DID NOT KNOW about them" the same as Timofei. ;) But reality is, no matter if someone knows about this or does not - coins still were struck using this technology before VKGM was born and continued to be struck during his lifetime and after his death, such struck coins are in EXISTANCE with no doubt.

 

BKB, beautiful coin, congratulations.

 

WCO

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Oldman,

 

From business strikes it is different because slow press is used and dies are differently prepared, special care when inserting and removing blanks, lint marks from treat of dies. Different from Proofs since it could be struck with single blow of a press and not necesserely have mirrors and frosted devices, or matte. There are some other smaller things that differentiate the 3 technologies... but do I really need to dig this deep into it? :ninja:

 

BKB, beautiful coin, congratulations.

WCO

 

1. By slow press, do you mean "screw press"?

 

2. One strike -- do you mean that any double or triple struck coins are immediately excluded?

 

3. I am very interested in little differences, because I am still unable to tell why my 1849 is SP65, and not something else. I have 2 other 1849 1/4 -- one PF63, the other PF6? (do not remember, but higher than 63). I am certain that one is an original pattern, and the other is a Novodel made with original dies (CORRECTION: only one of the dies is original). But, this SP grade is very strange...

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1. By slow press, do you mean "screw press"?

 

Depending from what eqipment was used at the mint during that particular time a Specimen was made. If at the end of 19-th Century they used fast working machinery to strike coins for circulation, then your Novodel of 1849 Pattern was definetely struck not on that machinery, but on a separate slow press.

 

2. One strike -- do you mean that any double or triple struck coins are immediately excluded?

 

Not exactly. Depending from metal, press pressure, diameter of a coin they could be using more than one blow of press to strike a coin.

 

3. I am very interested in little differences, because I am still unable to tell why my 1849 is SP65, and not something else. I have 2 other 1849 1/4 -- one PF63, the other PF6? (do not remember, but higher than 63). I am certain that one is an original pattern, and the other is a Novodel made with original dies. But, this SP grade is very strange...

 

 

Well, I do not know why you think one of your coins is a Novodel struck with original dies, another is an original Pattern. I did not see those coins and at least I hope you can explain why? This coin that you posted looks for me as Specimen Struck Novodel of a Pattern (not a Timofei's terminology :ninja: ).

 

WCO

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1. By slow press, do you mean "screw press"?

 

Depending from what eqipment was used at the mint during that particular time a Specimen was made. If at the end of 19-th Century they used fast working machinery to strike coins for circulation, then your Novodel of 1849 Pattern was definetely struck not on that machinery, but on a separate slow press.

 

2. One strike -- do you mean that any double or triple struck coins are immediately excluded?

 

Not exactly. Depending from metal, press pressure, diameter of a coin they could be using more than one blow of press to strike a coin.

 

3. I am very interested in little differences, because I am still unable to tell why my 1849 is SP65, and not something else. I have 2 other 1849 1/4 -- one PF63, the other PF6? (do not remember, but higher than 63). I am certain that one is an original pattern, and the other is a Novodel made with original dies. But, this SP grade is very strange...

Well, I do not know why you think one of your coins is a Novodel struck with original dies, another is an original Pattern. I did not see those coins and at least I hope you can explain why? This coin that you posted looks for me as Specimen Struck Novodel of a Pattern (not a Timofei's terminology :ninja: ).

 

WCO

 

With all due respect, what is the meaning of your answer?! I do not see any specific information. "Fast working vs. slow working machinery" -- makes no sence. There are two major types of presses: mechanical & hydraulic. I am pretty sure no hydraulic presses were used in 1840's. Now, mechanical presses have a number of designs. I know of 4 used in coin minting: a. Flywheel, b. screwpress (usually with counterbalances), c. rolling "press", d. hummer "press". So, which one was used? What are the distinguishing features?

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With all due respect, what is the meaning of your answer?! I do not see any specific information. "Fast working vs. slow working machinery" -- makes no sence. There are two major types of presses: mechanical & hydraulic. I am pretty sure no hydraulic presses were used in 1840's. Now, mechanical presses have a number of designs. I know of 4 used in coin minting: a. Flywheel, b. screwpress (usually with counterbalances), c. rolling "press", d. hummer "press". So, which one was used? What are the distinguishing features?

 

Do you know how modern coins for circulation and Proofs are struck? Do they use differently working presses to strike these two kinds? You have the answer.

 

No one cares looking at coins what kind of press was used. Mechanical or hydraulic. Press construction is not important, time it takes for press to perform a single blow - is. Business strikes are made on fast working press that can "hammer" coins and make nundreds per minute. Slow working press applies pressure slowly. Slowly, to achieve better quality of strike than on business strikes.

 

WCO

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Do you know how modern coins for circulation and Proofs are struck? Do they use different presses to strike these two kinds? You have the answer.

 

No one cares looking at coins what kind of press was used. Mechanical or hydraulic. Press construction is not important, time it takes for press to perform a single blow - is. Business strikes are made on fast working press that can "hammer" coins and make nundreds per minute. Slow working press applies pressure slowly. Slowly, to achieve better quality of strike than on business strikes.

 

WCO

 

I still do not know how to tell the difference. Look at this coin, -- what is it in accord with your theory?

 

pattern1849025koprda1.jpg

 

pattern1849025kopadl0.jpg

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Медленный пресс медленно "давит" монету. Так делают Пруфы и Спесимены. А быстрый пресс "бьёт" монету. Так делают монеты для обращения.

 

This picture was manipulated with and most likely edited for internet usage. Resolution is lost and impossible to say anything for sure. Looks as Proof Novodel for me, what kind of dies was used original or not, I can't tell. I do not have any good pictures or coins of this kind to compare. What you can say about this one?

 

 

WCO

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Медленный пресс медленно "давит" монету. Так делают Пруфы и Спесимены. А быстрый пресс "бьёт" монету. Так делают монеты для обращения.

 

Exactly: both proofs and specimens. But, how do you tell one from another?! I do not think it is possible, unless an agreement is reached that proofs are always produced by at least two "strikes", and Specimen is a prooflike coin produced with one "strike" The slow press must have been a screw press (medalic press), because there was no hydraulics at the time. Do you think PCGS makes such distinction, or they just grade them differently for different dealers? I personally have no answer to that.

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Exactly: both proofs and specimens. But, how do you tell one from another?! I do not think it is possible, unless an agreement is reached that proofs are always produced by at least two "strikes", and Specimen is a prooflike coin produced with one "strike" The slow press must have been a screw press (medalic press), because there was no hydraulics at the time. Do you think PCGS makes such distinction, or they just grade them differently for different dealers? I personally have no answer to that.

 

No, number of strikes is not important alone. Your first coin is not a Proof because its dies are not prepared as for a Proof coin would be. Look at the lettering of the two coins. Smooth letters, square rims on a Proof, and wavy surfaces of letters on Specimen. I think if you look at the two coins together you will find more distinctive features between the dies that struck the two coins.

 

FYI: Hydraulic presses are much older then that you think. Steam was used. Remember Mattew Boulton? :ninja:

 

WCO

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Медленный пресс медленно "давит" монету. Так делают Пруфы и Спесимены. А быстрый пресс "бьёт" монету. Так делают монеты для обращения.

 

This picture was manipulated with and most likely edited for internet usage. Resolution is lost and impossible to say anything for sure. Looks as Proof Novodel for me, what kind of dies was used original or not, I can't tell. I do not have any good pictures or coins of this kind to compare. What you can say about this one?

WCO

 

My opinion: coin #2 -- original Pattern. coin #1 -- I have no idea. But, a dot in S.P B. is missing. On the other hand, the dies are identical to #2. Could be a trial strike with unfinished die. Could be a novodel with filled-in die. Sadly, I do not have better pictures -- need to go to the bank to make better ones. I also have a third coin, which is certainly a novodel, because it seems that one of the dies is original, and the other is newly made. Or, it is possible that all 3 are fake. :-)

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FYI: Hydraulic presses are much older then that you think. Steam was used. Remember Mattew Boulton? :ninja:

 

WCO

 

Steam is the method of moving the belts that feed energy to the flywheel. Has nothing to do with hydraulics. Hydraulic presses are never "fast", thus, not suitable for business production.

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Steam is the method of moving the belts that feed energy to the flywheel. Has nothing to do with hydraulics. Hydraulic presses are never "fast", thus, not suitable for business production.

 

I meant to say something else. Hydraulic presses were working on St. Peterburg mint well before your 1849 coins were made, and especially Novodels of them. Read here if you have time, quite interesting article:

 

http://www.arcamax.ru/books/const/kalin05.htm

 

 

And I think that your coin

#1 Specimen Struck Novodel of a 1849 Pattern;

#2 Proof Novodel of a 1849 Pattern. Unlikely, that it is an original striking from what I see (can be wrong here due to poor pictures).

 

WCO

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I meant to say something else. Hydraulic presses were working on St. Peterburg mint well before your 1849 coins were made, and especially Novodels of them. Read here if you have time, quite interesting article:

 

http://www.arcamax.ru/books/const/kalin05.htm

And I think that your coin

#1 Specimen Struck Novodel of a 1849 Pattern;

#2 Proof Novodel of a 1849 Pattern. Unlikely, that it is an original striking from what I see (can be wrong here due to poor pictures).

 

WCO

 

Well,as I suspected too many words about nothing.

 

The only important observation:

- at present, scientfic knowledge about technology used in the Mint is so moderate that at any discussion of a given coin you must give the reference to the source, otherwise it is speculation

- technology of coining is more or less the same worldwide, but if you have a record of Ph.Mint that does not mean you are 100% sure the same was used in St.Peteresburg: we may suggest to a certain degree but we cannot affirm it

 

Only one example: lets take Borodino and Column roubles - were they edged by "верейки" or by "неразъемное кольцо" (I need help with this to put it into English, somebody? please?). This is basic question about how the coin is made, still without definite answer.

 

2 BKB: what is the edge on your 1849? Is it polished or matte?

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Words "Specimen Strike" have no "nationality", since technology was used on many world mints, and Specimen struck coins in Russian numismatics are not diifferent from Specimen struck coins in Swiss numismatics or Canadian numismatics.

 

 

I don't pretend to understand what a Russian "specimen strike" is, but assume it is a higher than normal quality coin made for collectors rather than for circulation.

 

I went to the Canadian coin site and found this definition of "Specimen" for Canadian coins:

 

SPECIMEN - A coin prepared with special care as an example of a given issue. The highest quality specimens are Proofs but until 1973 the Royal Canadian Mint did not have the capability to do this. Canadian specimens have been matte (and semi-matte) with a granular, dull or monotone surface and also brilliant with mirror fields and a frosted raised portion. Also a synonym for a numismatic item, eg. a very rare specimen meaning example.

 

I take it that this means that a Specimen MIGHT be a Proof, or else it might be an unusually high quality coin that comes close to, but does not actually meet, the Proof standard.

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