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Nikolaev ruble: history, description with photo, varieties and coinage
Nikolaev ruble: history, description with photo, varieties and coinage

The reign of Nicholas II in Russia was marked by the beginning of the minting of silver coins. They were popular with the people and were used in commodity-money relations. At the same time, their face value was lower than that of gold banknotes. The silver Nikolaev ruble was the most expensive, followed by kopecks. In the total mass of coin products, kopecks prevailed. On coins of 25 kopecks and above, portraits of the reigning persons began to be applied again.

History of minting the Nikolaev ruble

Nikolaev ruble coin
Nikolaev ruble coin

The reform of the monetary system led to changes in the financial charter of the Russian Empire.

Nicholas II in June 1899 approved a new edition of the monetary charter, according to which the share of pure silver in the Nikolaev ruble was to be 18 grams. On the territory of the Russian Empire, the silver ruble became an additional currency, so the maximum amount in silver that could be paid did not exceed 25 coins. The amount per inhabitant in total circulation in the country could not exceed 3 rubles.

High-grade coinsNikolaev ruble, issued in 1899, had a face value of 1 unit, and the share of pure silver in them was 900 parts. Unlike gold rubles, which had the right to "free coinage", silver ones were only in "closed coinage". The production of Nikolaev money was established only during the reign of the emperor - from 1895 to 1915. Issued in 1899, the Nikolaev silver ruble was sold in huge circulation and was in circulation for 20 years, which is why today it can be found in good condition.

Basic issuance of Nikolaev coins

Nikolaev gold ruble
Nikolaev gold ruble

During the reign of Nicholas II, the regulation of portrait coinage was returned, canceled many years before by Alexander III, who did not welcome the fact that the royal image would end up in the hands of commoners.

Coins of the Nikolaev period are valuable precisely because they again began to depict the royal profile, and they included high-grade silver.

Silver coins minted in denominations of 1 ruble, 50, 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5 kopecks were in constant use. The main years of their production are from 1898 to 1899.

In everyday life, however, it was possible to meet not only silver money - there were also copper coins with a face value from 0.25 to 5 kopecks. In the period from 1898 to 1899, aluminum five-ruble coins were also produced.

Commemorative coins

silver ruble Nikolaev
silver ruble Nikolaev

During the reign of Nicholas II, several silver Nikolaev rubles were issued,used as jubilee:

  • Coronation silver rubles issued in 1896. A series of metallic money included 190,000 coins and was given away to everyone present at the coronation ceremony. Today, the cost of one anniversary ruble varies from 500 to 600 dollars. The low price is explained by the large number of surviving copies.
  • Issued in honor of the opening in 1898 of the statue of Alexander II, a ruble coin. The series was minted in the amount of 5 thousand copies. The reverse depicted the statue in honor of which the coin was issued, and the obverse depicted Tsar Alexander III. To date, the Nikolaev ruble is estimated by numismatists at 3-4 thousand dollars, however, copies in good quality can be sold for 12 thousand.
  • Commemorative silver ruble of 1912, minted in honor of the opening of the monument to Alexander III. The number of coins was limited to 2 thousand copies, which significantly increases their value in modern realities. Today, the price of a commemorative Nikolaev ruble varies from 7 to 12 thousand dollars. In good condition, the coin can be sold for 20 thousand dollars or more;
  • Silver rubles of 1912 minted for the Centenary of victory in the war with Napoleon. The exact number of coins in the series is unknown. Minting was carried out from 1912 to 1913. Numismatists estimated the circulation of the coin at about 40 thousand copies, the cost of one coin was one and a half thousand dollars. It is extremely rare for experts to value rubles at $5,000.
  • On the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the Romanov Imperial House, a silverruble 1913. The series was large, so the modern price of coins does not exceed $300; most often, numismatists give 50-70 dollars for copies.
  • Jubilee Gangut ruble - the last coin issued during the tsarist reign. Its minting was dedicated to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first victory in the naval battle of Gangut. Unfortunately, this series of coins was almost completely melted down, but in 1916 it was reissued. For this reason, specimens are found at numismatic auctions at a price of 5-7 thousand dollars, but some experts estimate them at several tens of thousands of dollars.

Gold coins of the reign of Nicholas II

Nikolaev silver ruble
Nikolaev silver ruble

During his reign, the place of Minister of Finance was given by Nicholas II to one of the most important persons in the country - Witte. The latter launched a financial reform in the country, aimed at changing the main metal of financial accounting.

During such changes, the country completely switched to the gold standard of minting, as a result of which all coins began to be equated to this metal.

A feature of the carried out monetary reforms was the change in the indicators of minting coins. For example, the weight of the gold Nikolaev ruble, intended to fill the treasury, was reduced by 4.3 grams during the period of Witte's reforms. Similar changes were introduced in 1898 and lasted until 1899, including during the subsequent years of the reign of Nicholas II and the work of Witte.

Features of coinage: Russ

silver ruble
silver ruble

A distinctive featurecoinage of money during the reign of Nicholas II was an attempt to change their name from the ruble to Russian. Trial versions of coins in denominations of 5, 10 and 15 rus were presented to the king, but he did not approve of such a replacement.

For this reason, Russians are extremely rare in the collections of numismatists. Only 5 sets were minted, of which 3 are owned by museums. The high rarity of the Rus affects their high cost: numismatists and collectors are ready to pay from 200 to 500 thousand dollars for such coins. Coins of the golden Nikolaev ruble have also undergone changes. After the reform of 1895-1897, some metal money retained its weight unchanged: we are talking about imperials and semi-imperials.


gold coin Nikolaev ruble
gold coin Nikolaev ruble

Some of the 10 ruble gold coins are called imperials. Their distinguishing feature is the inscription "Imperial". Despite the small denomination, the gold ruble is highly valued by numismatists who are ready to pay tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. Imperials were minted for three years - from 1898 to 1897 - 125 pieces annually.

Today it is almost impossible to find such gold rubles, which raises their value dozens of times.


Same is the case with semi-imperials. The minting of such coins was carried out in the same period as the imperials, however, fewer copies of them were issued. Despite this, the gold semi-imperial is valued at the same tens of thousands of dollars.

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