Perhaps one of the most interesting ways of producing money, these coins were literally struck on a long silver wire, then cut to their proper weight. As with many hand-made coins, the planchet (blank metal “disc”) is smaller than the design on the die, and due to their crude minting method, and the fact that they were all struck by hand, the entire legend on the die never makes it onto a single coin.
Minted in Moscow, and originally struck at .38 grams, in 1698, Peter lowered the standard to 0.28 grams. Our cache included both types. The obverse portrays the central part of the Romanov coat of arms, St. George slaying the dragon.
ЦРЬИBE / ЛИКIИKHЯ / ЗЬПЕТРЬЯ / ЛЕЗIЕВИЧЬ / ВCEЯРω / ССIИ - “Tsar and Grand Prince Peter Alekseevich of Entire Russia.”
If you can read any part of Питер, or nEmp you know you have a Peter the Great silver kopek. Our assistant manager Abi and her friend, Peter (who is studying Russian), did a die study of over 200 coins from this cache (they found a few coins dating to Ivan the Terrible). Keep in mind that the words in old Cyrillic run together, but the first two lines translate to “Tsar and Grand Prince,” the third and forth line is “Peter Alekseevich,” the fifth is “of Entire” and the sixth is “Russia.”
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