This coin was part of a lost cache which was discovered in a large iron bound chest buried in the southern Baltic region – about 1,000 miles from where they were minted. We have dubed it the Catherine the Great Payroll Cache.
Since the coins don’t date later than 1792, it is possible to speculate that they may have been meant for use in the Polish–Russian War of 1792 which raged across this area when 97,000 Russian troops crossed the boarder and invaded Poland. The war was fought between the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (one of the most populous countries of 16th and 17th century Europe), and the Targowica Confederation allied with the Russian Empire. This ultimately led to final dissolution of the Commonwealth in 1795.
Some of these copper coins still had remnants of rust on them from over 200 years in the iron chest! We speculate that this was a Russian Imperial stash, perhaps military monies; payment for 18th century soldiers and supplies . However, who ever stashed or stole them never returned to retrieve them.
While these coins were minted during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the cache of coins it was part of dated no later than 1792, telling us they were in use during the reign of Catherine the Great – hence the name of this hoard!
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