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The 1757 Sestroretsk 5 kopeks


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"According to a 1757 Sestroretsk temporary mint report, the mint struck 5080000 5-kopeck-pieces, but no examples are known to exist."

Has there been found further information about the matter in the meantime?



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There are no 1757 SM coins and no 1758/7 SM ovedates. Unless they made coins in 1757 dated as 1758, it's a mistake. I am afraid that he could have copied the information from the earlier reports that in error included 5 kopecks into the total production value, which in fact was made up only by 1 and 2 kopecks.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry guys, have been away for a while. Seems like I missed out on a bit.


I'm also curious to know what happened to this. 5 million coins is not something that someone cold have made an error on. At the same time, I thought it could have been possible that it is a combined mintage of 2 and 1 kopek but this is unlikely either.


This information is from Uzdenikov.


1757: 5 kopek - 5 047 760; 2 kopek - 6 080 810; 1 kopek - 80 470; denga - 160 800; polushka: 321 860

1758: 5 kopek - 28 698; 2 kopek: - 6426 090; 1 kopek - 3 424 000


Therefore I think it's very unlikely that the 1757 5 kopek mintage figure is a sum of the smaller denomination. Instead I believe that 5 million coins were indeed struck but most likely of an unapproved design. These coins were immediately recalled and melted down or overstruck.Understandably, if this is indeed the case, there does not seem to be any record or survivors. This someone reminds me of the survival rate of the 1724 kopek

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Read your post, and decided that I put it out for too long - reading documents in Russian GM publication. Spent a couple of my night hours scanning the documents. Here are my findings:


The document from 9th of April 1757 ordered EM, MM and SM mints to produce 2 kopecks, 1 kopeck, denga and polushka coins from copper to the sum of 5,082,806 roubles (assuming that SM will produce 1,000,000 roubles from new copper) in new standard.


Five kopecks are not mentioned at all.


The document from 20th of December 1757 states the plans of producing copper 5 kopecks coins for the first time.


5 k 20-12-1757 order.jpg


A public notice about 5 kopecks - a new Russian copper coin in new standard, was written on 14th of January 1758 and printed on 5th of February.


5 k 14-01-1758 notice.jpg


Both, documents and the physical absence of such coins are in favour of the verdict that Uzdenikov was human, and made a mistake.


Funny enough, the documents mention no "variants" with different design to choose from (the SPB "anchor", Siberian or Dassier types of observe). I long suspected now that the first two were just some "novodel" fabrications, that later confused the numismatists. The analysis of their reverse sides also points to that...

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OMG! I think I just solved the mystery, and I know now where the 1757 kopecks came from!!! In GM there are some register tables presented, based on Moscow archives... The top table is for Moscow mint and the bottom one for Sestroretsk (SM) mint.


1757-1759 copper register.jpg


Sigi, you remember, you rightfully mentioned in our communication that 1759 MM 5 kopecks are a lot more common than 1758 MM?


According to this register, the 1758 MM 5 kopecks should be just priceless - UNIQUE coins! :)


The buggers, who prepared these tables made an error and entered 1758 MM 5 kopecks figure into 1757 Sestroretsk roll...


The figure of 252.388 roubles, or 5 047 760 5-kopeck coins belongs to Moscow mint! In fact, it fits perfectly there...


It looks like Usdzenikov did not analyze these tables, comparing them to the documents, but simply copied them over from GM (multiplying the figure by 20, to reflect the actual coin pieces).


I wonder if anyone else ever noticed this before... it's so simple...

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Hi Eugene, that looks very interesting, indeed. Would you communicate the link of the thread in the Russian forum?

Thank you, Sigi :art:


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Hi Sigi, This finding also points to (if we are to trust the numbers in the tables) that Sestroretsk mint produced 5 kopecks only in 1758 to the sum of 1,434.90 roubles, which makes it around 28,700 pieces. What is strange here is that the original plans were to produce copper coins at Sestroretsk to the total value of 1,000,000.00 roubles (it didn't say during what period though). According to the updated figure, in 1757-1758 it managed to produce only a 1/4 of that value, mostly in 2 kopeck pieces. Perhaps the value of 1,434.90 roubles for 5 kopecks is lower than it should be? Though, after that the coin production was hindered in Sestroretsk due to the damage it received in a natural disaster, as far as I remember... Here is a Google translated version of the topic on Russian forum: https://translate.google.com/translate?act=url&depth=2&hl=en&ie=UTF8&langpair=ru%7Cen&prev=_t&rurl=translate.google.com&u=http://www.staraya-moneta.ru/forum/forum1/topic171082/ not an incredibly great translation at all, but gives an idea... The original is here: http://www.staraya-moneta.ru/forum/forum1/topic171082/ :art:




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Extant4cell - can you please give me more details of the translation where possible.I understand the total sum is around 5 million rubles but where did this figure of 1 million ruble for SM mint come about? Also this 5 million figure - does this mean that by 1757, a total of 5 million ruble is to be struck? Does this include the transitional coinage of the Baroque kopek?


My first impression of SM mint is that it is never meant to be a permanent mint - it was a temporary setup to relieve pressure off St. Petersburg mint as it's main purpose is an armory. St. Petersburg looked like it was already too busy striking coins in both gold and silver. It cannot be a coincidence as St. Petersburg started to strike / overstrike copper coins from 1755 and stopped in 1759, only to resume in 1762 - similar story with Sestroretsk mint. Perhaps the decree wanted to encourage Moscow and Ekaterinaburg to pick up striking copper coins, relieving pressure off St. Petersburg mint.

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Gxseries, the document from 9th of April 1757 ordered EM, MM and SM mints to plan production of new standard 2 kopecks, 1 kopeck, denga and polushka coins from new copper to the sum of 5,082,806 roubles. It said there that SM is expected to produce new standard coins from new copper to the value of 1,000,000. All old coins were also expected to get overstruck, including Baroque kopecks, and not included into this value.


extract from 9-04-1757 order.jpg


Unfortunately, it didn't specify in the document the period over which that should have been done. My guess - "as soon as possible, until reported as competed, but not restricted by the total value"... And which could take a few years.


SPM practically did not produce new copper coins from new copper, only by overstriking old coins from circulation, including the overstrikes from Baroque kopecks. Supply of those was limited.


SM did not have any new copper as such, but remelted metal from old or broken cannons and other things made from copper. Also, they had a supply of Swedish ORE coins that were used for 1 kopecks and for 2 kopecks without melting them down first. I guess, both types of copper were classified as "new".


EM used copper produced locally and was sending supply of copper to MM, so both participated in the new coins production from new copper. Plus, were overstriking old circulation coins.


Back to 1,000,000 roubles. Though it was planned for SM to strike only 2, 1, 1/2 and 1/4 kopecks at the start, what I think it actually meant was to produce that much new copper coins at Sestroretsk mint in total. As there were no plans for 5 kopecks at that time, they were not mentioned, but probably later were also included into that value and contributed to reaching the target.

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Very interesting, thank you for translating the document extent4cell. Wish my command of Russian is better.


I've worked out some figures and you might be intrigued:


In 1757, if you look at the mintage figures of 1 kopek, 1/2 kopek and polushka - about 800 rubles of each denomination were struck. Quite unusual.


Total ruble denomination minted as follows:


1757 - 124 029 ruble, 55 kopek (excluding the 252388 ruble error from Moscow Mint)

1758 - 161 196 ruble, 70 kopek


1762 - 151 457 ruble, 40 kopek

1763 - 142 564 ruble, 00 kopek

1764 - No info

1765 - 33 128 ruble, 00 kopek

1766 - 9 992 ruble, 35 kopek

1767 - No info


The total so far is 616 368 ruble, not including the figures from 1764 and 1767. I find it hard to believe that in 1764 and 1767, a total of 383 632 rubles were struck considering that 1763 is the most common and 1767 is quite uncommon to scarce. Who knows if the Moscow Mint "252388 ruble" is to cover up mintage issues. This way, SM mint would only have to account for 131,244 rubles for 1764 and 1767 which seems more realistic. Of course, this is based on the assumption that SM mint did struck 1,000,000 ruble worth as required.


Another problem that I find it hard to believe is that Uzdenikov mentioned that all copper coins from 1762 to 1767 were overstruck. I have seen examples of 1762 and 1763 however it seems that Sestroretsk Mint must have somehow got their hands on manufacturing fresh planchets or importing them from somewhere as it seems no overstruck examples can be found from 1764 onwards. There were a few discussions about this a while back.


Onto a wild speculation here - could this be a reason why Sestroretsk mint was allowed to experiment with copper ruble to cover up their mistakes in 1771? Or is there another decree for this?

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Hi Gxseries, my total figures are different. I'll stick to 1757-1759.


copper struck 1757-1759.jpg


I am not into small denominations, so it's hard for me to tell if the figures are far off there...


Adding other 2 tables from GM for EM and SPM for your consideration.


copper from EM.jpgcopper from SPM.jpg


I think it is possible, that after 1763 SM could start using the cannon metal for new coins production.

Also, the technology that SM used for 2 kopecks strikes over ORE leaves no after-image of ORE

in 99.99% of cases. It is possible that their used this method again for overstrike again, though,

the cannon metal still sounds very much possible. Ekaterina II had little stopped all Peter III decrees,

and cannon copper could be used again. But it's an assumption only.


Sestroretsk copper roubles, as far as I remember were not a substitute for circulation coinage.

The 1771 project was meant to supply banks with copper "bank cash" quickly, as copper coinage

was meant to back up the overproduced paper-money, and banks had to keep enough copper in

their storage to back up the paper money, that soon brought the inflation.


Like the first copper presentation in Russia in 17th cent. Presentation of paper money was a tragic


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Hello extent4cell, very interesting information indeed.  Simply put, it just seems that SM mint could not meet the target. With SPM mint figure in total, it met close to the 1 million ruble mark.


My first impression is that cannon metal is harder than normal copper alloy. I am under the impression that the Swedish copper coins was made of softer alloy and hence left less traces of the overstruck impression. (XRF tests one day for future numismatics?). Perhaps in 1764, SM mint managed to get their hands on fresh planchets from cannon metal? Maybe that's why it was also classified as "overstrike"? Also made me wonder where they received their Swedish coins. Maybe spoils from Russo Swedish war in 1741 - 1743? Or Swedish copper coins actually did circulate back then like how New Zealand coins circulate in Australia?

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It is interesting. It looks like all together the mints met the target of 5 million roubles made from new copper only by the end of the 1759. That kind of uncovers the duration of 1757 plan.

Here is another interesting extract from 1757 documents in GM, a redistribution plan to the cities outside St.Petersburg, Moscow and Ekaterinburg. Again it does not give an indication of the time frame, but I'd say it's the same time frame as for the production. That hints at that approximately 70% was kept in the above mentioned capitals and 30% was planned for redistribution to other cities / principalities (from totally produced new and overstruck coins to the total value of about 7,500,000 roubles):

1757 distribution plan.jpg

Unless it was a plan for 1757-1758 only, which they could have covered with just 1.5 years production, but just cover... without leaving much for internal needs in the capitals. That I found hard to believe, so I would assume that this plan had the same duration as the original plan for the "new copper" coinage in new standard - up to it's completion by the end of 1759.

It also gives an idea of expected proportions of production, I think.

SPM (with SM) was to redistribute only 100,000 roubles, keeping the rest for St.Petersburg needs. EM was to redistribute just over 1,000,000, and Moscow just under 1,000,000. All these calculations may only give us the feel of what was expected in 1757. But it matches my calculations above in proportions (my Sunday post, I repeat it below). By the end of 1759 both SM and SPM made about 1,000,000 roubles in copper coinage. MM about 3,000,000 and EM just over 3,500,000.

Here is the correlation of 1757 plan with the actual production (using adjusted figures):

SPM (SM): pl. redistribution of 100,000 roubles to ~967,000 roubles made in 1757-1759 (the excess kept for St.Petersburg needs)
MM: planned redistribution of ~950,000 roubles to ~3,000,000 produced (the excess kept for Moscow needs and sent to St.P)
EM: planned redistribution of ~ 1,050,000 roubles to ~3,500,000 produced (some excess kept Yekaterinburg needs and sent to Moscow)

It's good to keep in mind that generally excess of coinage was going from Ekaterinburg to Moscow, while Moscow helped St.Petersburg with coinage supply. There must have been different orders made for that, that I either overlooked in the documents, or they were not found to be included in GM, but I definitely read about this somewhere in the past. And that makes sense, if the the need for coinage for both Moscow and St.Petersburg was anywhere comparable.

That gives me the feeling that MM and EM figures are more or less trustworthy. SM figures must be somewhat under of what was really produced, particularly for 5 kopecks (where I feel that figure of 1,434.90 roubles should be replaced by a more fitting figure of 143,490.00 roubles, it could be a decimal point mistake) and possibly for the smaller denominations, but not too much off for 2 kopecks for 1757-1759. So, these calculations may still require further adjustments for SM, but generally, not a bad indicator of what was in reality.

copper struck 1757-1759.jpg


Concerning ORE, I would also add the spoils from 1756-1763 Seven Years War. Though, in 1762 Russia temporarily switched sides and return all the spoils of war due to the new political standings of Peter III, but that was after the SM used ORE as coin production base. ORE never circulated in Russia, but freely circulated outside Sweden, in Austria, and I believe in other bordering countries as well.

2 kopecks do not have much of 2 ORE image left over on Sestroretsk "overstruck" coins not so much due to the softness of the material (after all there are a lot of 1 kopecks made from 1 ORE with left over images), but due to a different handling techniques.

Unlike 1 Ore and 1 kopecks, that somewhat matched and could be overstruck in a usual way, 2 ORE were (and are) very thick and in circumference are sometimes even smaller than some 2 kopecks. They were originally also a lot heavier than 2 kopecks.  So, I came to the conclusions, after studying the SM 2 kopecks, that before they could be used, they were heated, rolled between steel rollers to thin them down (that also made them wider and flatten the image for the 1st time), then they were heated again, had their edges cut off and such "new" blanks were newly edged and struck with new image after that (flattening the original 2 ORE image further, for the final 2nd time). The excess of copper was melted down adding to the cannon metal. That's why it is extremely difficult to find the 2 kopecks SM with 2 ORE after-image. It was very well exterminated due to the 2 ORE parameters and due to the production process that had to bring them to the thickness and weight standard similar to 2 kopecks produced by other mints.

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  • 4 years later...

So are we saying the 1757 five Kopek was never produced or found? Including the one in the Smithsonian that is found online? My father was a huge coin collector and in his estate I did find a 1757 five Kopek as pictured on the Smithsonian site.

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  • 1 month later...

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