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Russian Platinum Coins Of The 19th Century

 
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Poland
3201 Posts
 Posted 08/08/2016  04:19 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add DL20K to your friends list Get a Link to this Message


Image is of a PCGS graded 3 roubles dated 1832 (F details / rim damage, cert #17255703), offered for sale on eBay.


The basic data for this series is as follows (according to the NGC price guide).

There were three values issued:

3 roubles (10.35 grams): 1828-1845 (with a maximum mintage of 215,000 in 1844)
6 roubles (20.71 grams): 1829-1845 (with a maximum mintage of 8,610 in 1830)
12 roubles (41.41 grams): 1830-1845 (with a maximum mintage of 1,463 in 1831)

Several dates of each type are reported to have miniscule mintage numbers of just two, three, four, six, or eleven pieces.

The top grade for each type is MS66 in the NGC census but there are many specimens in circulated grades down to fine for the 3 and 6 roubles an EF 40 for the 12 roubles.


What is the story behind them?
Why were they made? How widely and how long did they circulate? What was the status of platinum as a precious metal back then?

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United States
5805 Posts
 Posted 08/08/2016  09:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There's some light reading on a section of this page:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platinum_coin

When it was first discovered in the 1700s, platinum was assumed to be a junk waste metal left over after silver processing. One of the most common uses for it was counterfeiting or "watering down" gold coins, due to the extremely similar density.

When these coins were made, platinum was known to be a precious metal, but was not as valuable as gold yet. Apparently, they were simply made because a huge amount of platinum was discovered in Siberia.
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Australia
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 Posted 08/08/2016  10:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gxseries to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The history of platinum coins actually go a bit further than the official Russian platinum coins.

The Spanish conquer of South America allowed Spain to pillage various artifacts, including gold, silver. Platinum was also found which was not commonly found in Western Europe. This was often a waste metal from refining South American raw gold. Counterfeiters of course were a bit smart enough to realize that the density of platinum is heavier than gold and this could be use counterfeiting purposes.

Early gold counterfeit coins were often gold plated platinum coins if not alloys. I believe I started a topic a while back suspecting that official mints were involved in the production of such coins. Gold plated platinum coins exist for British, French and Spanish coins. Not sure if any other do exist - have been trying to hunt them down but they have always been too pricey (and collectable)

The following is an example that I own



You can see some hints of the silvery section which is platinum. A normal tell sign of these coins is that there is often scratches for people to check if this is a gold plated platinum. This is no exception.

Although the lack of popularity was one of the biggest reason, the second biggest reason was because of the drop of platinum prices. Because coins issued in those era were valued by the precious metal content, this forced St Petersburg mint to stop production and recall platinum coins from circulation and sell the raw metal - which in turn depressed the platinum market price. The counterfeit gold coin that I own is a further proof of this as platinum was considerably cheaper than gold.
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Edited by gxseries
08/08/2016 11:00 am
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Poland
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 Posted 08/08/2016  3:06 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DL20K to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Reposting excerpts from the article Finn 235 linked to which answer some of my initial questions.


Quote:
The minting was discontinued on 22 June 1845 because of the concerns about possible financial imbalance due to the declining price of platinum; within the next 6 months, platinum coins were withdrawn from circulation.



Quote:
Other possible reasons for discontinuing the platinum mint were low popularity among the population and the high cost of minting, which was 98 kopeks per 3-ruble coin as compared to less than 1 kopek per gold ruble.


Thanks for presenting the background as well, gxseries!
Any additional comments are welcome, of course.

Edited by DL20K
08/08/2016 3:07 pm
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Poland
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 Posted 08/09/2016  03:42 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DL20K to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Another piece of information, quoted from Krause:


Quote:
The low mintage figures incorporated in the following listings of Russian platinum issues are not necessarily reflective of relative scarcity as many of the issues were restruck at later dates using original dies in unrecorded quantities.
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Australia
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 Posted 08/09/2016  08:35 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add gxseries to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
There was an article with regards to the restruck platinum coins. Apparently these were done during the early Soviet era or Stalin era to raise funds to buy agriculture equipment.

While it is difficult to tell the differences just by appearance alone, a study done a few years ago has confirmed that it is indeed possible to tell the differences. Platinum coins struck in the 1830s had traces of impurity such as iron, gold, cobalt, etc (if I recall correctly?) whereas the restruck coins had different signature.
My partial coin collection http://www.omnicoin.com/collection/gxseries

My numismatics articles and collection: http://www.gxseries.com/numis/numis_index.htm Regularly updated at least once a month.
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Poland
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 Posted 08/10/2016  03:07 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DL20K to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This ungraded 3 roubles dated 1831 sold on eBay for $915.00 on 8/8/16:



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Poland
3201 Posts
 Posted 11/30/2016  10:28 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DL20K to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you're interested and happen to have 7059,72 EUR at your disposal, a top-graded (MS62) 3 roubles dated 1829 has appeared for sale. The listing photo is small, so here's the PCGS one: PCGS.
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