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Rouble 1897 - Strange signs on edge


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Good evening to everybody,

I would like to have an opinion from experienced people about the signs that appear on the edge of a ruble of Nicholas II.

Rouble in question is dated 1897. It's condition is around Very Fine.

Thanks in advance to all those acting



<img src=http://www.pchs.it/i...ble1897edge.JPG>


According to most references, this is the so-called Brussels pattern rouble. Here are some examples; the one sold in the F.R. Künker auction in 2011 also has a picture of the edge:



The recently published reference work by Kazakov, however, states that there were actually no pattern roubles, but merely worn-out and broken edge lettering devices which produce the marks you have on your coin. He's probably right because most of the time, pattern coins are found in extremely high grade. However, most of the so-called Brussels pattern roubles have only been found in condition of F or VF. If they were indeed patterns, they all must have circulated widely.


Of course, people continue to pay a lot of money for these!

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Hello, many thanks for your right answers and opinions.


Also I think they are just errors in coining.


The only doubts concern only 2 things:


a) Why are these "errors" occur only on rubles of the 1897 (those of 1898 and 1899 seem to be exempt from this problem)?


B) Why a scholar respected and valid as Bitkin fell into this trap?


For posterity will judge!


However, I think that I will give my exemplar to Mr. Kunker (that I know personally) to put on auction :-)))))))


Many thanks again and good day to everyone


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Why are these "errors" occur only on rubles of the 1897 (those of 1898 and 1899 seem to be exempt from this problem)?


The 1897 roubles tend to have either small stars or larger stars. The "pattern" roubles almost always have small (but broken) stars; however, sometimes there are large broken stars. Here is mine (bought for about €30 on eBay several years ago):




If we assume that these were the result of mint errors, then I would think that they improved the edging devices so that coins of the later years would not be affected. I also think that the devices with smaller stars were probably more delicate and therefore broke more easily.


Why a scholar respected and valid as Bitkin fell into this trap?


Uzdenikov also lists them in his catalog. Severin, however, did not. I have no idea where Uzdenikov got his reference for them. R.W. Julian also lists them in his 1993 reference work on Russian silver coinage; presumably, Bitkin took these as a guideline. Almost always, when illustrations of the pattern edge appear, they are taken from Uzdenikov's catalog. But they don't really look anything like that!


I saw in person (in Basel) the 1897 Brussels pattern coin sold in Dmitry Markov's New York Sale in 2007. The edge looked very much like your coin!

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Hello Bobh, thanks for you clear explanation.

Is very logical what you say, as regards the absence of these "errors" on the rubles of the following years.

However it could be argued, for the same reason (beginning of a new coinage), which were not immediately adopted the punches with 2 stars. In this case it would be fair to call these pieces "edge-prototypes".

If they are went into circulation, maybe, is not surprising. Even those with smooth edge went in circulation (judging by the state of preservation of the specimens known).

Probably because, being a contract of the Russian state to a foreign mint, control was less rigid and what was important was the number of units produced.

Regarding your exemplar, it is evident that the punch of the second star has lost a spike. In this case it is simply a so-called "breaking die"...in your case "breaking punch"...but I allowed myself to "readjust" :-).

Have a good day to everybody.


Ruble_1897_two_stars_edge_sized repunched.jpg

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