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"My" 1726 Kopek


sigistenz
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As people keep asking about "my" 1726 kopek, here is the story.

I discovered the coin in late 1988 at the TIETJEN, Hamburg, Germany, coin auction catalog. The picture was poor, downscaled, bound to pass under the radar.

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I had Tietjen send me the coin for inspection. In hand it looked ugly. Poorly executed (see lettering "kopeika") and pretty worn. But genuine, no doubt about that. It was before internet. I had only my books and catalogs to consult. I found three pictures of the 1726 kopek. All three were different from each other, different dies each! And mine was still different from any of them. What to make out of this? 4 extremely rare pattern coins and each one from a different pair of dies.

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Well, I took a day off and rode the train to Hamburg, got the coin for Deutschmarks 1400 (about $750) plus ~20% gravy.

Intrigued about the different dies I photographed the coin and sent letters (by snail mail then) to Ran Zander (Russian Numismatic Society), Bernhard Brekke, V.V.Uzdennikov, maybe still others, asking for opinions. Nobody had an explication except Uzdennikov, I still have his reply:-

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Bernhard Brekke wrote that he would like to buy the coin. I asked $2500. His reply was that the price was "high in the clouds". Those were his words. To me that meant that he was not interested. I kept the coin in my collection.

One evening, some months later, when I was alone at home in Cologne, Germany -my wife was out with our car- the bell rang, to my surprise it was Bernhard from far away Mexico where he lived at the time. I knew him from earlier visits. He said "I'm coming for the coin".

My collection was at hand. I brought it and Bernhard viewed my treasures. He took the coin and inspected it. Then he produced a Dutch guilder 5000 banknote and ostentatively fished in his pockets for more. After a while I said OK. It was 10% less than what I had wanted, but OK.

We had a glass of Bordeaux, I considered what to offer to eat but Bernhard said he was not hungry and would not stay overnight either, that he had booked a room in a downtown hotel. He took the bus and off he was.

The coin reappeared in the sale of his collection in 1993, fetched only $2000.

Last time it was seen was in a NEW YORK SALE, 2 or 3 years ago,. there were two of the 1726 kopeks then, different dies. I think they went at $ 115,000 or so each.

So it goes.

Sigi

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Hi Sigi! You have an eye for interesting coins, and this coin was well spotted by you. Thank you so much for telling us your story, and finding time to put it up here with the letter from V. V. Uzdenikov. It is an amazing story! As I said, I was checking the forum for your story to appear for a while, as this coin deserves the attention. I wish I could give you a big hug, so much exited I am to read it. Hope it will be OK with you, if I'll share it with people at the Russian forum. I also have a little question. On the picture from the 1988 catalog the coin has some writing on it just above the nominal, was that just markings on the catalog, or the markings did appear on the coin and were cleaned off later? Again, many big thanks for the story!!! Eugene :drinks:

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The whole story is very interesting. I just had to translate it and share it on Russian forum, as a few people there were interested to hear it out as well ( http://coins.su/forum/index.php?showtopic=154990&p=1727288 )... Hope it's OK :black eye: Look forward to hearing about the markings on the picture, and more... :art:

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I didn't rewrite Sigi's story, and tried to kept it as genuine stylistically as possible, so for some basic translation, I did use Google translate, changing it and making it readable and meaningful, as some things can not be translated literally... Did you read it?

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Sigi, this is a fascinating and important story! :art:

 

At the end of the letter, Uzdenikov mentions that you might write to him in German in the future. Did you have any further correspondence with him in German?

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That's very interesting. Did Brekke explain why he changed his mind? And did he fly in from Mexico just for this coin?

I doubt that he would fly over just for the coin ... after all, surely he must have had family or some other dealings in Norway

which he could have combined with a quick trip to Germany?

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No I had no further correspondence with V.V.Uzdennikov. As to Bernhard Brekke I do not remember if he told about other business. After all this was in 1988, quite a while ago. One other thing came to my mind. About pricing in his guidebook he mentioned that he valued low what he was still after and high, what he already had (winking). :crazy:

Sigi

.

 

 

.

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Agree on Petrov, but please don't get me wrong, I wouldn't put Brekke in the same class with him. I still believe that Brekke was as honest man as one can be, being a collector (it’s too easy to overestimate coins in your collection). He was a numismatist and left us his heritage (catalog and collection). Petrov was mainly a speculator who used numismatics as means to a greedy end... sometimes doing things that we still find as wrong (there were some cases of novodels and some jewellers' counterfeits positioned as rare or unknown coins), so your assessment of Petrov is very fitting...

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I do not trying to compare collector and store owner, just add additional info. about Petrov.

 

In Petrov printed catalog some questionable coins and not realistic prices 1899-1915 ,but printed in French and Russian and one of most full catalog for period in one book .Collectors and dealers continue using catalog in the current references and I agree some numbers match with extra 0s

 

Giel & Ilyn more realistic in used and several years ago I fund very interesting facts, they used as main reference Blank(3 part) sale for copper coins estimates.

 

I'm using J.Elmen catalogue part 1-3 of Brekke collection like one of the best sale reference of Russian copper coins and very happy to buy coins from his collection if any available for sale.

 

Mr.BFBrekke after selling his collection continue his research in Russian numismatic, last time I have conversation with Mr.Brekke hi was interesting in Russian numismatic medals and I sold one duplicate from my collection. He was very friendly person and knowledgeable numismatist.

 

About 1726 Kopeck I'm always confused and can't find the answer. Why is the letter engraved as drunk mint master was working with dies. and why it was pattern//probe struck only one coin by one dies or exist more in the Russian collections ?

 

 

Rarenum.

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According to Uzdenikov there are only 6 coins known to him made by 4 pairs of dies. There were some more coins found in recent years, all in bad way... Here is an example of 3 coins shown by Yevdokimov, all 3 coins are from the same pair of dies:

 

  • post-22235-0-07063000-1427061212_thumb.j

 

 

Also, Yevdokimov made a speech on the subject of 1724 kopecks at some conference some a long time ago (as he says), and he believed then that even 1724 kopecks were minted only for 2-3 months in 1724. They stopped production as it was decided not to overstrike coins anymore, and turn the rest of kopecks into 5 kopecks, as that would be more profitable. He also, doubts that in 2-3 month they managed to overstrike kopecks to the effect of 2100 roubles. Here is an extract (from here http://coins.su/forum/index.php?showtopic=154990&p=1685501 ):

 

"...12 апреля 1724 года говорится о подготовке инструмента для проведения перечекана, изготовлении штемпелей и т.п. Конечно реальный перечекан был начат позднее. А уже 10 августа 1724 года мы читаем о прекращении перечекана и переделе всех имеющихся старых копеек в пятикопеешники “ибо от того будет прибыль”. Точное число перечеканеных за 2-3 месяца монет мы никогда не узнаем, вероятно это не 2100 рублей известные нам документально, но, повидимому, их число не было значительно."

 

The reasons for 1726 issue to be abandoned are probably similar. Perhaps there was a very small 1726 issue, but majority of coins were lost or destroyed by melting them down in favor for the very profitable 5 kopecks issues...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi extant4sell,

Finally have time to review images you provided and after short review

1.Coin #1 in the date "1726" number "1" closed to "7" .Coins#2,3 date apart "1 726"

2.Coin #1 heat touch spear.Coin#2,3 not touch heat

3.Coin#1,2 heat-sombrero style,coin#3-big heat.

4.Coin #3 horse's tail is wide and almost toching circle,Coin#2 horse's tail is different from #2 .Coin#1 I can't see horse's tail.

I can continue about back leg of the horse...

It is not the same dies !

I believed coin #3 listed long time as the best reference and I’m just curios if somebody find coin struck by exactly the same dies.

 

Rarenum

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Nice novodel coin, congratulations! The 3 "same" dies coins at a closer inspection do look somewhat different, you are right, David. I'd say, as with any issue preparation, there were at least a few master dies for copying image to the dies, and what Uzdenikov and Yevdokimov called 4 sets of dies, in fact are partly the result of different sets of master dies / punchers, partly - different finish of dies pressed from the same master dies / punchers. That did sound strange, at large that the whole issue would be prepared for production with only 4 sets. Clearly, there were a lot more variants, it's just that we don't have much factual material to support any speculations in physical coins. As time will go by, that will change, hopefully.

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