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Soviet set


grivna1726
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Here's a set I picked up years ago and forgot I had. I think they're probably fairly common, but this is the only one I have encountered.

 

It is a set of obsolete 5, 10, 15 & 20 kopeks coins, all unc and all dated 1957 in a white card holder. It isn't a mint set.

 

The coins are very lightly toned (which has been greatly exaggerated by my scanner).

 

Has anyone seen other examples of this set?

post-383-1150000552.jpg

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Sorry Grivna, I wasn't quick enough to post a reply in here.

 

Appearently, another similar set of the 1961 set do exist. What seems to be more unusual of what happens afterwards. I have attempting to put together mint sets of the Soviet sets, but thanks to the ridicious costs these days, it has been putting me off.

 

Such sets presented by the Bank of Foreign Trade of the USSR seemed to have existed till the end of the very last days when the Soviet Union broke up, as I remember seeing several commemorative Barcelona set '92 minted in 1991 offered in such sets. What as well seems to be more odd is the inconsistency of such sets - i.e. what seems to be the most common out there is the 1957, 61, Moscow '80 Olympics set, and the Barcelona sets. But otherwise, some rarer sets do consist of the famous Russian people whom contributed to the Russian history.

 

I am assuming that such sets were only produced when they know foreign diplomats come to the Soviet Union and they were presented with such sets. Otherwise, I cannot offer an explaination of the irregularity of the availability of such sets. Perhaps they might be meant for sales overseas, but don't forget, the 1980 Soviet Olympics sales of coins in presentation boxes failed terribly as the rest of the world boycotted, making Russia realize that there is no point minting coins in excess.

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From what I can tell from the catalog, apparently the recall and re-issue was proposed as early as 1958, as coinage dated 1958 was struck in denominations ranging from 1 Kopek to 5 Rubles. Curiously this coinage consisted of 1, 2 , 3, and 5 Ruble coins. The designs of the coinage were very similar to the coinage released in 1961. This 1958 coinage was struck well into the millions in several of the denominations and then subsequently rejected for some reason and then melted. Only a very few of each of the denominations exists today.

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Appearently trial designs of the 20 kopeks went back as far to 1941. What is more interesting is that in recent documents, similar prototypes were made in 1953 in various metals, and back in 1956, similar tests were repeated except with less designs, and this time which includes the 1, 2, 3 and 5 rubles.

 

If I am not mistaken, the ferns design prototype of the rubles can be stretched as far back in 1942(!!!) when Moscow mint was first opened.

 

And that reminds me of those winners whom I promised to mail out the trial soviet coin books as soon as I am done... unfortunately I am stuck with some issues at the moment... sorry Sisu, kuhli and Cheryl / Bobby - will mail them hopefully at the end of this month or early next month...

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Sorry Grivna, I wasn't quick enough to post a reply in here.

 

Appearently, another similar set of the 1961 set do exist. What seems to be more unusual of what happens afterwards. I have attempting to put together mint sets of the Soviet sets, but thanks to the ridicious costs these days, it has been putting me off.

 

Thank you for your reply, gx. I know the Imperial series fairly well, but very little about the Soviet issues. I figured the early base metal USSR issues were probably fairly scarce, with the 1961 & later coins being easier to find. I was looking through Ekaterina's June 17 auction and was surprised to see this lot described as "5 копеек 1957 года. Бронза, 5,06 г. Сохранность отличная, штемпельный блеск. АФ# 101. Стартовая цена - 10$" (which I believe means "5 kopecks, 1957, bronze, unc (?) with mint luster - Starting bid $10" or something similar). I don't know the catalog reference. Maybe it is a scarce variety?

 

http://www.numismat.ru/cgi-bin/auction.cgi?auct=38&lot=559

 

While $10 is not a lot of money, I was surprised to see this coin (which I don't think is as nice as the one in my set) offered in an auction in Russia, because I didn't think it would be scarce enough to merit individual attention. I thought such a thing might be part of a bulk lot, but not offered on its own.

 

I'm attaching the online auction photos because they quickly disappear when the auctions end.

 

It's amazing that even the Soviet issues appear to be getting more expensive. There is little variation in the design, which is rather utilitarian and uninspired, in my opinion. I forget what I paid for my set. I think it was a dollar (or maybe even $2) and the dealer was happy to find someone willing to pay even such a small amount for it.

 

Such sets presented by the Bank of Foreign Trade of the USSR seemed to have existed till the end of the very last days when the Soviet Union broke up, as I remember seeing several commemorative Barcelona set '92 minted in 1991 offered in such sets. What as well seems to be more odd is the inconsistency of such sets - i.e. what seems to be the most common out there is the 1957, 61, Moscow '80 Olympics set, and the Barcelona sets. But otherwise, some rarer sets do consist of the famous Russian people whom contributed to the Russian history.

 

This is the only Bank of Foreign Trade of the USSR set I have seen. I guessed that they were probably fairly common but just not seen because of low prices and very limited interest in Soviet coins in the West. The name "Bank of Foreign Trade of the USSR" suggests these sets were intended for foreigners only and not the general population of the USSR (whom I'm guessing could get mint sets).

 

Where did you see these Bank of Foreign Trade of the USSR sets? In Russia? Or outside the country?

 

I am assuming that such sets were only produced when they know foreign diplomats come to the Soviet Union and they were presented with such sets. Otherwise, I cannot offer an explaination of the irregularity of the availability of such sets. Perhaps they might be meant for sales overseas, but don't forget, the 1980 Soviet Olympics sales of coins in presentation boxes failed terribly as the rest of the world boycotted, making Russia realize that there is no point minting coins in excess.

 

The set does not have an issue date on it, but it would have to have been made sometime in 1961 or later years. I don't remember when I bought the set, but it was probably in the late 1970s or early 1980s. It came in a heavy clear plastic envelope (which I removed to do the scans).

 

I don't know about these being VIP sets for diplomats. You might be right, but I'd have expected something a bit fancier than a piece of white cardboard in a plastic envelope for a diplomatic presentation set, although I could easily be wrong. Maybe for tourists? (Although I don't know how popular the USSR was as a tourist destination.) Export to other countries to try to raise hard currency seems like a possibility also.

 

Thanks again for your reply!

5k1957a.jpg

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From what I can tell from the catalog, apparently the recall and re-issue was proposed as early as 1958, as coinage dated 1958 was struck in denominations ranging from 1 Kopek to 5 Rubles.  Curiously this coinage consisted of 1, 2 , 3, and 5 Ruble coins.  The designs of the coinage were very similar to the coinage released in 1961.  This 1958 coinage was struck well into the millions in several of the denominations and then subsequently rejected for some reason and then melted.  Only a very few of each of the denominations exists today.

 

Thank you for your reply, Scottishmoney. I'm not sure, but I think I remember reading somewhere about a revaluation of Soviet money at one point (1961?) when there was an exchange of so many old rubles for a new ruble. Maybe some of the 1958 issues were intended for such a proposed revaluation and somehow accidentally slipped into circulation or found their way into private hands from government officials?

 

Ekaterina has an example of the 1958 10 kopeks in its upcoming auction at this url

http://www.numismat.ru/cgi-bin/auction.cgi?auct=38&lot=561 which is described as

"10 копеек 1958 года, из невыпущенной в обращение серии монет. Медно-никелевый сплав, 1,77 г. Сохранность почти отличная. АФ# 124. Редкие. Стартовая цена - 320$"

 

I think this means something like "10 kopeks, 1958, from a released (issued?) series of coins. Copper-nickel, 1.77 grams. Almost Unc. (?) AF# 124. Rare. Starting bid - $320"

 

The opening bid suggests the coin is indeed rare. I've never paid much attention to the Soviet issues, but I'm reasonably sure I've never seen any of the 1958 coins in real life.

 

I'm attaching the Ekaterina pictures for anyone who might read this after the auction closes and the link no longer works.

10k1958a.jpg

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Appearently trial designs of the 20 kopeks went back as far to 1941. What is more interesting is that in recent documents, similar prototypes were made in 1953 in various metals, and back in 1956, similar tests were repeated except with less designs, and this time which includes the 1, 2, 3 and 5 rubles.

 

If I am not mistaken, the ferns design prototype of the rubles can be stretched as far back in 1942(!!!) when Moscow mint was first opened.

 

Very interesting. Thank you for this information, gx. It seems there is more to the Soviet series than is readily apparent. I'm going to have to find more information about them. Almost everything I have in my books is about the Imperial issues, with almost nothing about the RSFSR or USSR coins.

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The reissue in 1961 called in all of the old rubles which were exchanged for new rubles, the old rubles were then worthless. These callins were not unusual, the previous ones happened in 1938 and 1947, and seemed to be instituted to determine if people were hoarding money. In 1991 when the 1991 series was being released I remember some older people were panicking about having to turn in the 1961 dated currency we all had. At that time in August 1991, the only new currency being released was the new 100 Ruble note, a huge denomination by Soviet standards, but then only the equivalent of US $3.00

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The reissue in 1961 called in all of the old rubles which were exchanged for new rubles, the old rubles were then worthless.  These callins were not unusual, the previous ones happened in 1938 and 1947, and seemed to be instituted to determine if people were hoarding money.

 

 

I was never in the Soviet Union and so have no direct experience, knowing only what I have read in the press. As I understand it, Soviet citizens had plenty of cash, but there was very little in the stores to buy with it.

 

If that is accurate, then I would be surprised if people did not "hoard" (save?) their money for times when something they wanted might suddenly become available.

 

 

 

In 1991 when the 1991 series was being released I remember some older people were panicking about having to turn in the 1961 dated currency we all had.  At that time in August 1991, the only new currency being released was the new 100 Ruble note, a huge denomination by Soviet standards, but then only the equivalent of US $3.00

 

Were you living in the USSR at that time? It must have been an exciting time to be there.

 

I assume the Soviet coins have been demonetized and replaced with the new Bank of Russia coins now seen.

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Sorry, I lied a bit on the infomation above and had to triple check for precise years.

 

The designs that you have at the moment Grivna, of the 10, 15, 20 kopeks appearently were trial struck all the way back in 1933 (!!!) when the design was still an image of a worker holding a hammer. A similar prototype 5 kopeks were minted in 1937 in similar design.

 

What is more intriguting is the design of the 5 kopecks. It seems that a set of 1, 2, 3, 5 of similar designs were minted all the way back in 1947!

 

Back to the 1957 5 kopeks and 1958 10 kopeks - there are some interesting stories about them. Before the Leningrad mint started to pack coins in plastic cases or film cases, the idea of preserving coins was almost non-existance due to the "high-face value". Typically, smaller denominations from 1 - 5 kopeks are highly used in many transactions and hence the rarity of strong XF. In fact, even in 1961, there were plans to introduce HALF kopek, which is a total joke. A rare set of PROOF 1937 coins was sold for over 1000USD a few years ago if I remember right.

 

In 1958, when a massive amount of trial coins were struck, some major "OOPS" in the mint appearently caused them to circulate, and actually at one stage, circulated TRIAL coins did exist! The most common was the 10 kopeks. In fact, I was upset over the fact that the coin store here actually did sell a similar coin, except with a fair amount of circulation - and I didn't make an attempt to purchase it. :ninja: But remember, that seems to be the easiest to find compared to the other denominations.

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In 1958, when a massive amount of trial coins were struck, some major "OOPS" in the mint appearently caused them to circulate, and actually at one stage, circulated TRIAL coins did exist! The most common was the 10 kopeks. In fact, I was upset over the fact that the coin store here actually did sell a similar coin, except with a fair amount of circulation - and I didn't make an attempt to purchase it. :ninja: But remember, that seems to be the easiest to find compared to the other denominations.

 

So the most common of the 1958 coins is the 10k and the opening bid is $320. Wow!

 

Maybe another will come your way. It's the sort of thing you might find in a dealer's junkbox, especially if circulated, and if the dealer doesn't bother checking up on it.

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I was never in the Soviet Union and so have no direct experience, knowing only what I have read in the press.  As I understand it, Soviet citizens had plenty of cash, but there was very little in the stores to buy with it.

 

If that is accurate, then I would be surprised if people did not "hoard" (save?) their money for times when something they wanted might suddenly become available.

 

 

What banking was available was through Gosbank, the State Bank, and if you had large amounts of money there in those days you would be suspected of having gotten it illegally. If you wanted to buy an automobile, TV set etc, you waited a long time which gave you time to save money for your purchase. There was no such thing as a car loan to get a car. Many western things, like bank loans, commercial banking, and credit cards are a new thing to Russians.

 

Were you living in the USSR at that time?  It must have been an exciting time to be there.

 

Changes were happening so fast, the curious thing was all of a sudden goods started becoming more available, then the prices shot up and you could not afford them again.

 

I assume the Soviet coins have been demonetized and replaced with the new Bank of Russia coins now seen.

 

 

Not so much demonetised as just lost all value. The "old" ruble became worth about 4-5000 to the dollar when the exchange of 1000 to 1 new ruble happened in 1997-8. The new ruble slid in value but under Putin has stabilised and actually gained some in value against the dollar the last few years.

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...the curious thing was all of a sudden goods started becoming more available, then the prices shot up and you could not afford them again.

 

Just like the West! :ninja:

 

Not so much demonetised as just lost all value.  The "old" ruble became worth about 4-5000 to the dollar when the exchange of 1000 to 1 new ruble happened in 1997-8.

 

That must make life very hard for anyone who relied on a state pension for their old age. I imagine the government probably tried to cushion the blow somewhat, but economic changes like that must have been extremely difficult for all but the criminal class.

 

The new ruble slid in value but under Putin has stabilised and actually gained some in value against the dollar the last few years.

 

With Putin planning to make the ruble fully convertible through oil sales and reducing dollar reserves in favor of the Euro, the resulting likely creation of the "petroruble" should see that trend continue.

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That must make life very hard for anyone who relied on a state pension for their old age.  I imagine the government probably tried to cushion the blow somewhat, but economic changes like that must have been extremely difficult for all but the criminal class.

With Putin planning to make the ruble fully convertible through oil sales and  reducing dollar reserves in favor of the Euro, the resulting likely creation of the "petroruble" should see that trend continue.

 

 

The government under Yeltsin did practically nothing for the pensioners, basically a lot of them were on the streets selling off all their belongings, even photographs to get by. The government did a couple of increases, but they were ridiculous compared to inflation. Even non-pensioners had a hard time, not being paid for months at a time, and then only being paid in some commodity, for instance; toilet paper. I guess they were expected to sell it for cash.

 

These are the people that especially long for the good old days of the USSR, at least they had a pension and could survive.

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When I was still back in Russia in 2000-2002, you can still see clear evidence of hardship, especially with the older generations. Most of them travel on the public transportation for free, i.e. pension, and some actually do take wares on them to sell, presumably.

 

But something that I cannot understand is the release of the 5,000 ruble note this year. This is beyond comprehension as it easily surpasses most world banknote denomination in terms of face value (i.e. 180USD) and is only surpassed perhaps by the Euros, Swiss, Singapore and Brunei.

 

Back to the story, appearently coins are sold in the bank, better know as the Sberbank. While I was VERY tempted to buy several commemorative coins, I was dumb enough not to as I feared of the custom laws. Now that is something I will attempt to do next time I go to Russia. :lol: What is more ironic is that Soviet precious metal coins were still on sale in one of the Banks, but I cannot remember where exactly. Some banks actually seem to have them on display but on the other hand, I don't remember all of the banks doing such... :ninja:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a set offered by the Bank for Foriegn Economic Affiars of the USSR:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...item=8436801454

 

Strangely there is two more sets of this, which are a lot rarer than this common set. Note that the inscription of this box is in English. The other one is similar to this, but the oddest one of all was a set in a black box with coins in their original cellophane material. And I tried to bid on all three in the past before but often lost thanks to the ridicious hype :ninja:

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