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Silver "small change"


Steve D'Ippolito
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Disclaimer: I am the former owner of these coins.

 

As I understand it, Paul I attempted to restore the old silver standard for the rubles, to where it was immediately after Peter I's reform, and before Peter I himself inflated the currency by making the coins smaller (at least he was honest about it and reduced the weight of the coins rather than adulterating the alloy). Unfortunately Paul mandated that the coins should trade at par with the older issues, and his attempt to drive out worse money with better money didn't pan out. So we have heavy rubles, poltinas (half rubles), polupoltinniks (half-half or quarter rubles) and 5 and 10 kopek pieces.

 

The old term "grivna" or "grivennik" for 10 kopeks (see my explanations under earlier rulers) disappeared from the coinage at this time.

 

Paul's portrait never appeared on a circulating coin (some ruble patterns were made but rejected). He did not care for his own appearance, and no one wanted to commemorate him after his death. Interestingly, this pattern persisted for 90 years; Alexander I, Nicholas I and Alexander II did not put their portraits on their coins (sometimes emphatically refusing), and Alexander III only started to a few years into his reign. (I guess this shows that monarchs aren't necessarily egomaniacs and given a precedent against putting their portraits on coins, will tend to acquiesce, probably gladly). Alexander III's resumption of portraits was part of his push towards traditional Russian ways. [i need to state that Alexander I *did* put his portrait on his Polish coinage, after he was made king of the Congress Kingdom of Poland.]

 

 

5 Kopeks of 1797. Heavy. Julian #1

 

1797_SM_FTs_5_kopeks_heavy_obv.jpg1797_SM_FTs_5_kopeks_heavy_rev.jpg

 

 

 

And light, 1798

 

1798_SM_MB_5_kopeks_obv.jpg1798_SM_MB_5_kopeks_rev.jpg

 

 

Alas I had no Heavy 10 Kopeks. Anyone else able to fill this "hole" in the virtual museum?

 

 

Light 1798 10 Kopeks

 

1798_SM_MB_10_kopeks_obv.jpg1798_SM_MB_10_kopeks_rev.jpg

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