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Does anybody know what was the most comprehensive collection of Russian Imperial coins ever assembled? GM and present company excluded. What was the coin count in that collection?

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Tolstoy, Gutten-Chapski, Sodermann... too many to list.

Are you saying they were all of equal size? Do you know how many distinct pieces were in those collections? I am trying to find out if there was a collection that included every coin of every date and every mint for the 1704 - 1917 period.

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With respect to GM, I do recall seeing his list of coins missing in his collection. Let me revise my question. Do you know how close subsequent collectors came to accomplishing this task? For simplicity we can stick to the core body of coins, excluding patterns, modules, novodels, etc. Did anybody collect, say 90%?

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Why do you ask? Tolstoy had coins GM did not. Blank collection was fairly comprehensive. Zubov had a huge collection. Vergil Brand, however, would get my vote on the completeness of the collection. The guy just bought up everything at the time it did not cost too much. Someone should get a copy of his ledgers from the tax court case file. I think the file is in New York.

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With respect to GM, I do recall seeing his list of coins missing in his collection. Let me revise my question. Do you know how close subsequent collectors came to accomplishing this task? For simplicity we can stick to the core body of coins, excluding patterns, modules, novodels, etc. Did anybody collect, say 90%?

Not only the list of coins he was missing. Some coins he just did not know about, like 1789 MM 1 kopek.

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Why do you ask?

Looking for a good benchmark. ............Brand collection was the mother of all collections in deed. ............I believe on a national level, there were several (?) individuals, who collected all of the US coins, VE III collected all of Italian coins, excl. Roman. Not sure about England, France, Germany. Apparently, nobody yet for Russia.

 

You mentioned some famous pre-revolutionary collections. It will be interesting to know if anybody besides comrade Soudermann was able to accomplish a similar feat in more modern times.

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A benchmark for what? You think you are up to the task? LOL Elisabeth 20 ruble, and some nice unique Peter ducats would be a good start. I do not think it is possible to collect a complete date/mm set of all russian coins. There are some uniques that are in museums and various private collections...

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BKB,

 

 

I do not think you understood my question. I am talking about percentage of completion of the entire coin Universe, giving equal weight to rare and common coins. The collection may exclude 50 -100 rarest coins, but can be approaching completion.

 

Looking for a good benchmark :crazy: Is this better?

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I still do not understand what you are looking for. Do you take condition into account, or VF or rotten dug up coins are fine? There is plenty of ppl that collect date sets of circulated coins. Some, like Hasselgesser, collected super condition. He put together a very nice collection, but, due to his condition requirements he ran into lots of novodels. Anyway, until there is a public sale of a collection, you will never know, because collectors generally do not want to advertise... A few years back I bought a similar collection to what you are looking for, but it was 1917 -- 1991. A complete date/mm set with a few rarities among all the other crap. I am sure similar exists for the Empire.

 

For me, personally, this type of collection would be completely meaningless. For example: out of the whole copper run of 1830 -- 1839, I would be happy with a complete 1830, 2 kop 1831 em and 1 kop 1838 em. That would make it complete for me. The rest I simply do not care enough about... Are there ppl that collect a date set Nicholas II coins? -- sure. But, I do not know them...

 

I am more interested in collectors that collect certain specialties in depth. Like late Mr. Polujko, who collected the rubles of Anna and created a complete system for die classification.

 

Sorry, cannot help.

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Let's take the Sincona collection as an example. It was clearly put together based on date/mint and perhaps some other criteria. Its only limitation from what we have seen so far was the exclusion of gold/platinum coins. I believe it was stated by the auction house rep that it has about 10,000 coins. Correct me if I am wrong. The collection has a lot of duplicates, so the net quantity of unique coins is unknown, unless somebody does the math. It could be 3,000 and it could be 8,000, I just don't know. Let's say it is 5,000. If we had corresponding quantity for other known collections, we could determine the winner, based on quantity.

 

The task would be to define a "unique" coin. Since there is more than one way to skin a cat we can use either Uzdennikov, or Bitkin, or something in between.

 

With respect to condition, all coins need to be of 'collectable' grade, which varies from coin to coin based on that coin availability. The Sincona collection had too much rubbish for my taste.

 

I certainly do not imply that the biggest collection is the best one. There have been many splendid collections of various sizes. I am just curious as to who was the most successful generalist of them all.

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"Sincona" collection is allegedly the remnants of Sodermann collection. A lot was sold in the Sodemann sales (USB #6(gold), Hess #39, etc. Where did these nice Sincona things come from, I do not know. What I did notice, however, was the fact that not all coins posed as from that "Sincona" collection, actually belonged to that collection...

 

I am not sure what you mean, when you use the term "unique". To me, it is if only 1 coin is known to us. Like, 1743 horseman kopek, or 1755 large head portrait kopek...

 

I personally liked the Fuchs collection for variety, the Hasselgesser for rarity in amazing condition, Goodman for exceptional proofs, Brekke for completeness of the copper run, Tolstoi for rarity, wonderful patterns and some beautiful coppers, Hermes for hidden rarities, Bakken and Kruse for insane fakes :-)... You get the idea :-)

 

I do not think the value of the collection lies in the number of coins. Every serious collection has something that makes it exciting. Whenever someone asks me how many coins I have in my collection, I just smile. However, maybe this question is more valid than I thought....

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Fully agree with what you said.

 

 

"Sincona" collection is allegedly the remnants of Sodermann collection.

BTW, how do we know this is the case? I noticed there are coins from that collection being sold as ex Sodermann collection. Is there anything to back it up?

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Most, but not all... Particularly in the next run this year... Still, some interesting and rare coins will be present...

 

In basic terms, according to (known to) Uzdenikov, including novodels, trial, pattern, significant restrikes in othet metals, and other verietis of coins that he included into catalog there were:

 

Gold - 362 basic coin verieties of common circulation in Russia

Platinum - 55 basic coin verieties

Silver - 1827 basic coin verieties

Copper - 1791 basic coin verieties

 

of all Russia common circulation basic coin verieties (or intended as such).

 

On top of that there were some gold coins issued just for internal circulation in the royal court. Some trial coins in other metals (nickel, etc.) and lots of other "special" issues (example: plate money to back assignations [paper money], etc.) - 53

 

Coins for other territories (Poland, Findland, etc) and commemorative coins - 850

 

This is a tip of the iceberg, as there are so many more coins variations that are studied at present and although to the modern researcher they may have distinctive differences, in Uzdenikov were combined under one number... Bitkin did a better job of discribing the varieties, and it just shows how much more is there to discover. Bitkin again, is as far from discribing all and all... as a children version of the Bible adoptation from a real thing (and many may even argue that what you think is the real thing is really not it at all!)...

 

Have a look for example at the 2 kopecks 1802... How many variations are discribed in Bitkin, and how many of them are there if you ask a 2k 1802 collector... or 1730 Denga, how many verieties are there? And yet they keep discovering more!!!

 

In basic terms one can say that according to Uzdenikov there are 4949 Russian coins, but any serious collector would know how much unknown is there in their field and that you can multiply the number from Uzdenikov x 2, 3, 4, or 10 and you will still be far from a correct answer.

 

Hope this helps... ;)

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I think it would be a very interesting collection. If we only could get together and decide what goes in... I have over 500 coins with pictures, and easily over 1000 coins all in all that I need to do inventory on... Out of these I would probably have around 30-40 coins that I would be happy with the quality or rarity to offer for inclusion, alas most of them are pretty common. My collection is far from comprehensive, as I am mostly a type collector, not a specialist collector (only sometimes), like many collectors are. The combined collection will not rival the Sincona one, as I guess no one here had a bank that was investing into Russian coins over the last 50 years, but it would be a very interesting general collection with some specialist collection parts worthy of a museums. What do you think?

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I guess the whole idea of this is that sometimes what is considered as "common" coin may not be as easily obtainable as what some may think. Take for instance 1830 EM 2 kopek. This is supposedly easy to obtain in many catalog but when was the last time you saw one? I remember seeing Alex had one and he did say that it was difficult back then. I tried looking for one but it turns out to be harder than I thought.

 

We also do have some scarce to rare coins in our collection. And then you might find unexpected discovery such as unknown varieties, overdates, overstrikes etc. Sometimes the thrill comes when you find coins that are not documented or not well illustrated.

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