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4 Kopeck 1761 Novodels


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All the way back in 2008 I bought on eBay an object that resembles a Novodel of a 4 kopeck 1761 coin. This one:


I actually posted here at that time -

After scratching my head for a while I stuffed it into my safe deposit box and mostly forgot about it. It looks suspect but at the same time I like it. I don't have to be rational all the time :)

Earlier today I was stuck for a few hours in a conference call which I was just listening in on, I felt I had time to also browse M-DV.ru.  I was actually looking at some other copper coins of Elisabeth's  period that I was trying to attribute to their respective mints. 

A bit later I grabbed my copy of the 2002 Diakov's catalog for Elisabeth's period. And flipping through the coppers I came across his description of the 1761 4 kopecks.

He has 2 types listed and neither one is an exact match for my coin, although N570 is pretty close.  Since I had M-DV.ru opened I looked through the auction records that they have accumulated over the years. Not sure if M-DV.ru even existed back in 2008 but, as of late, they have been scanning old auction catalogs which is pretty awesome! Now they have posted 57 listings for this type - https://www.m-dv.ru/catalog/page,1/id,4902/prohod.html

The majority of the recorded coins fall into the 2 categories described by Diakov back in 2002.

N569 features a larger St. George, with more ground under him on the obverse. The reverse, while pretty similar, has a few notable differences. Such as the tip of a 3rd pike or banner sticking out from under the folds on the right, and the 7 in 1761 seems to be a bit higher than the rest of the numerals:



The N570 looks more like my coin, but not quite... Overall it has the same smaller St. George, and the position of the 7 in the date looks pretty similar to my coin. At the same time there are multiple variations. Just to list a couple, on obverse of N570 the second star from the left, next to the butt of the spear, looks upside down or rather it is pointing outward. On reverse of N570 there are only the two banners and no 3rd tip is poking out.




N569 and N570 comprise the majority of the 57 auction records, but not all!

I also found a couple of other interesting variations:

From Hans M.F. Schulman 1962 - https://www.m-dv.ru/catalog/p,255409/image.html


You can see that while the obverse looks like that of N570, the reverse features the 3rd tip I was referring to above, but it is not the obverse of the N569 (note the position of the 7).

Another one from a more recent auction with a better photo - https://www.m-dv.ru/catalog/p,125913/image.html



And I did find a few records of coins that do indeed resemble mine. The second start looks upright, and there is a 3rd banner tip. Note however that on these coins some details are not the same as on any of the coins above. The tip of the 3rd banner is just a hint on these coins:






And there is a coin that evidently just can't find a good home. NGC  MS-62 graded coin that is first recorded in a Heritage auction in 2015, and has subsequently showed up in several auctions in Russia.









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  • 11 months later...

Dear Sir.

This is not a "novodel", but a forgery (cast copy, or galvano).

In January of this year I described this particular copy on a Russian internet forum   

Yours sincerely,


реверс .jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...


Thank you for your interest in this subject. The coin you are showing above, and the coin that I own are not the same variant. If you read the information that I posted above you will see that my coin has the tip of a 3rd banner poking out from the lower of the draped flags, while the coin you are showing, the one from this auction, does not:


I looked around on M-DV and the above coin does stand a little apart in some minor details. It also appears to have a rope edge, which is unexpected... But it does indeed seem to be the same coin that was owned by Virgil Brand and later by Willie Fuchs.



If I understood you correctly you are saying that this is an old cast or a galvano copy? Meaning that you think that the coin with such provenance was actually a fake the entire time and neither Fuchs nor Brand nor any other collector or dealer who had a chance to examine the coin over these many years could not tell the difference? Forgive me but I am inclined to disregard such assertions....


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