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Mystery begins for the fate of the Sadagura coinage...


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I've been sorting out my collection and found some interesting books (and successfully distracted me from doing further cleanup). The two books are O Istorie a Mondedelor Sadagura and Obyem chekanki rossiyskikh monet.


I am intrigued by the history of Moldavian and Wallachian coinage and found some interesting stories. The history of the area involved seems to be in Romania, Moldavia and the former mint - Sadagura is now located in Ukraine. (if I got the locations right - quite mind boggling)


- Coins were struck with captured Turkish cannons by Russian soldiers and were sent from different places and delivered back in terms of coins

- Mintage of the coins were recorded by poods and pounds so it may be possible to work out roughly how many coins were struck

- Coins of 1771 were struck only the last two months; 1774 coins of the first four months of the year

- The so called patterns of 1771 coins did seem to circulate however in general are scarce

- It is speculated that there may have been some manipulation of 1774 coinage due to financial difficulty

- Financial difficulties were reflected where some cost details of labor, transportation were recorded, extracting iron from bronze, baron's debt, scrap metal of the coins

- Needless to say, these coins were very unpopular as the general population preferred precious metal and within the next few years, these coins were culled from circulation, to be sent to Moscow.


What I found the most interesting is that a fair amount of the coins were already sent to Moscow in 1780 - 116 poods and 24 pounds worth of such coins were already in the mint. Although there may have been plans to either melt them or overstrike them, nothing happened until 1795. It may have been possible that a fair number of them were melted down but it was not favored as it was not cost effective - face value wise it was worth 33% less than what the weight is meant to be and value of the metal is worth 23% of face value. If this number is accurate, this is easily 1 million coins. Any Moscow Mint 1795 coin is just rare in any condition. There is no data of how much coins Moscow Mint struck in 1789 and 1795.


While I will attempt to work out some kind of mintage figure based on the information that I have - what I am more interested is to understand what happened to the majority of these coins. From a rough calculation based on the amount of ruble vs supposedly copper value involved, there must have been at least 10 million coins struck. 1 million coins were sent to Moscow by 1780 yet the survival rate does not seem to be this high, much less for overstruck Moscow Mint coins. Understandably survival rate drops drastically over major events such as economical disaster - I guess there's more to be researched...


Food for thoughts?

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