Since the late 1980's during the time of "glasnost" more & more Russian coins have been appearing in the world of coin collecting.Â Some are Soviet era coins but there are more & more Imperial Russian coins making their appearance as well. These provide a collector with a new direction or theme for collections.
Russian coins have come from being quite primitive coinage, that type that was produced by the "hammering" technique to a more advanced die-stamped & even some die-cast coinage. Old Russian copper rubles were large, thick & heavy. A small bag filled with these coins could serve one as a more than adequate defense weapon.
The hammered coins were made by taking a piece of metal, usually copper, heating it then hammering it into a round shape. Once it was shaped, this blank was kept heated, placed between 2 dies (1 for each side) with the correct information & was hammered so that the information was pressed into the surface of the coin. The coin was then cooled in water & sent out for circulation. There was not much in the way of quality control nor precision in the minting of coins.
As time passed better minting procedures & techniques came into use. The coins became much more precisely uniform in regards to size, shape, weight & design.
Imperial Russian coins from the early days of the Peters (I & II) thru Katherine I, Katherine II, Paul I, Alexander I & II, Nikolas I, etc. all were reasonably uniform in their size & shape but varied as to method of mintage.Â We are all familiar with the "ruble" but most people do not know that the ruble is a larger value than the more common kopek.
Kopeks came in various denominations. Starting with the denomination of 1 kopek coin, 2 kopeks, 5 kopeks, then one goes onto the dengas & polushkas, even smaller denominations of coins in some instances or larger as the individual case may be.
Copper, cupro-nickel & cupro-silver were the metals used to mint these coins. Today these coins are finding their way into the international marketplace in great numbers. Some of these coins have great worth as collectibles. Owning & collecting Russian coins is becoming a new theme of collections that is growing rapidly. This is good because as the collections increase the demand for these coins grows and as it grows so too does the value of these coins.
There are also gold & silver Imperial Russian coins that are now fast becoming prized & sought-after pieces for collections. The gold coins are of the 5 & 10 ruble denominations. The silver coins are of the 25, 50 & 100 kopek variety.
Collectors are advised to seek the coins for their collections from reputable sources. There has been a rash of counterfeit Imperial Russian coins especially in the large copper coins, the silver coins & even in some of the gold coins. These fakes seem to be coming from certain African nations, certain middle-eastern areas & from certain areas of Russia. Collectors & dealers from these areas are to be avoided.