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A...NOVODEL? ...FAKE? 1726 Ekaterina 2-ruble coin, (АГ mintmaster??) СПБ


Real or fake?  

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  1. 1. Do you think this coin is authentic?

    • YES
    • NO

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I am hoping someone might have some factual insight into what I am looking at with this coin. I am very confused.


This is a 1726 Ekaterina the great 2-ruble coin. I'm not positive, but it looks like copper to me, especially given its aging characteristics. The only problem is, the 1726 Ekaterina 2-ruble coins like this are supposed to be made of silver- not copper. I have found some reference online to 2-ruble coins during this window of time being made of copper, but I can find no relevant photos to support that claim.


Next problem: There is a mint master mark "АГ" in her arm pit, as noted on my photo. I can find only three different mint masters who have used these initials at the СПБ mint, at least so far:


АГ — Авраам Гоциус —1781 г.

АГ — Александр Гертов — 1846 -1857 гг.

АГ — Аполлон Грасгоф — 1883 - 1899 гг.


Clearly, the dates when these individuals were responsible for making coins does not coincide with a 1726 Ekaterina 2-ruble coin.


As you can see in the photo, the edge impression does correspond correctly with one of the patterns known to have been used during that time. It's not centered and tends to be a bit wavy as it travels around the coin. Also, under magnification the face of the coin has clear indications that it was double stamped with the same die- a few thousandths of an inch apart. It is not visible with the naked eye. I cannot decide if this supports the coin being authentic, a novodel, or something other.


I have no idea what the "I" "I" and the "P" represent on the reverse side of the coin, near the legs. I did find images of this same coin online with the same СПБ along with the other three letters on the reverse, but not one with the АГ, and not one made of copper. At least not that I can tell from online photos. Some of the writing around the circumference of the obverse of the coin in the upper left quadrant are not as well-defined as the rest. In other words, there is a section that either did not form fully, almost as if the die did not have enough pressure in that area of the coin- and I suspect this only because I can see similar indications directly behind the affected area. It includes most of her name, and most of the word empress.


So, what can any of the experts out there tell me about how this coin came to be made of copper and stamped with АГ? Who can this АГ possibly refer to? Is it conceivable that a mint master would have altered the existing die to include his initials like this? And when, not to mention why??? How much would he have to be paid off to recreate an earlier coin decades later, or even a hundred fifty year or more later? Does anyone know anything about this coin? I can't really find evidence to support that there is any significant amount of bronze in this coin. Bronze is rather brittle, and I can't imagine it holding up very well in a coin that is about 47mm in diameter and less than 3mm thick without easily cracking. Besides, bronze would sound different. So, all things considered, I have no idea what to make of this coin.


Any help or resources you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Happy collecting!


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The more important question is, where did you get it from? Design is really crude and there is no way that can be either genuine or a novodel. The most easiest explaination of this is a counterfeiter was testing his goods on a cheap metal, in this case copper / bronze and see if that passes. That's all. Welcome to coinpeople by the way. :)

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You guys are the best, thank you. How recently do you suspect these may have been produced? Something I don't understand is... if someone is going to make a counterfeit of coins that either never existed or have been removed from circulation since the early 1700's, then why make the effort of including the АГ mark? That seems to defy logic, unless someone wanted it to be distinguishable from the originals. Any thoughts?

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I tried endlessly to find any counterfeit images online with this АГ mark on it, but came up with absolutely nothing after days of searching. Is there any sort of counterfeit registry or site somewhere that I can use to research either this АГ mark or try to determine whether some other Russian coins I have in storage are real?

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Point is, you should be comparing it against genuine examples. Just because it doesn't match known counterfeit examples doesn't mean it's genuine - it can be new type of counterfeit examples that could have been made yesterday. It's usually a lot tougher to match questionable autenticity coins with genuine coins instead of the opposite. If it helps, yours could be a new entry for your particular type of counterfeit / fantasy and that still will not make it genuine.

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