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The first coin in Russia: description, history and photo
The first coin in Russia: description, history and photo

Paying in the market and in shops with money has become a common thing. It is even impossible to imagine how a person would live without money. Sometimes the question arises: how did people pay before? When did the first coin appear in Russia? What was she like?

Old coins of Russia

Don't think that in ancient times they already had their own - Russian money. Everything started somewhere. On the territory where the principality of Kiev settled, archaeologists found the most ancient coins - Roman denarii. Their release dates back to the period from four hundred to hundreds of years BC. And it is unlikely that this money was spent on the purchase or sale of goods.

The very first coins in Russia - metal mugs with bizarre patterns, most likely used as elements in jewelry.

woman decoration

At that time, ships and caravans with goods passed by, as Russia was away from major trade routes. On its territory, people used natural exchange.

Universal Equivalent

After cities began to grow and more and more settlements appeared, arosethe need to introduce a universal analogue of the cost of any product. This greatly facilitated exchange transactions.

trade in Russia

Foreign small coins at that time were called words understandable to a Russian person:

  • "Kuna" - the circulation of a dirham or a denarius. According to one version, it is believed that the name of the money came from the exchange equivalent - branded valuable marten fur. And according to another, the English word coin ("coin") is translated as a coin.
  • "Vekshi" is an analogue of a modern penny. Its other names are squirrel, string. When a small silver coin was used, a well-dressed squirrel skin was considered its “natural” counterpart. Old chronicles tell that the ancient tribute from some tribes was only “one squirrel or coin from a single house.”
  • Rezans are monetary units for a more accurate calculation. Kunya skins were cut into rags, adjusting them to a certain value of the goods. Such flaps were called "cuts". Since the marten skin and the Arab dirham were considered equivalent, the coin was also crushed into pieces. In the hoards found, half or a quarter of dirhams are often found. These first coins of ancient Russia were of large denomination, and it was inconvenient to pay them in their entirety during small transactions.
  • "Kicks". A small change coin, its name comes from the Estonian word nahat, which means "fur". Perhaps the legs were "tied" to the furs.
  • marten skins

The origins of money in Russia lead to the times when thisforeign money went to the territory, but since the tenth century everything has changed. Russia has become a powerful state with its own foundations, religion, culture and money.

Vladimir Krasno Solnyshko - the beginning of Russian statehood

The reign of the Grand Duke was marked by the issuance of the first coins in Russia from precious metals. The dirhams of the Arab caliphate, called "kuns", rotated on the territory of the state thanks to Arab merchants. But in the 10th century, coins with Arabic script ceased to circulate. The reign of Vladimir introduced a new faith into the Russian principality, as well as new trade and economic ties. Everything was conducive to the creation of a new monetary unit:

  • baptism of Russia 988;
  • brilliant wins;
  • excellent relations with Byzantium.

This strengthened the country and was a great start in the history of banknotes.

ancient money of Russia

Making the first coins

Create your own coins in Russia was conceived long ago, but the idea was realized only at the court of Prince Vladimir. The coins have characteristic features of Arabic and Byzantine dressing.

The first minting of coins in Russia was made from precious metals. They bore the corresponding names:

  • Silver pieces. Produced in two types. At first, the coin was very similar to the Byzantine solidi. The obverse was decorated with the Grand Duke of Kyiv, on the reverse - Jesus Christ. After some time, instead of the face of the Messiah, the princely coat of arms of Rurik flaunted - a trident. material to make the first silvercoins in Russia, served as silver from the remelting of dirhams. Such money had a whole range of coins from 1.7 to 4.7 grams.
  • Spools. The gold coin weighed almost four grams. She looked like a silversmith. This rare and expensive coin was issued in a limited edition. After the reign of Vladimir, silver money was fixed in circulation, and they were no longer smelted from gold.

On the coins minted by Svyatopolk and Yaroslav the Wise in Novgorod, the prince's bident or trident was depicted as a symbol of power. But soon, in 1019, under Yaroslav the Wise, the first coin of Kievan Rus depreciated, and three decades after its appearance, it was no longer minted.

Coin free period

After the Mongol-Tatars defeated Kyiv, it was not possible to make coins. The yoke of foreigners blocked the flow of money to Russian lands and brought all trade to naught. Foreign economic relations were quickly lost.

treasure with old coins

The delivery of gold and silver to Kievan Rus has stopped, but there has not been any production yet. The 13th century was difficult for the principality. Goldsmiths and silversmiths disappeared, some items for petty trade remained, unfortunately, they had no political weight. But it was in the XIII century that a new monetary unit appeared.


Ingots of precious metals of various shapes began to enter into circulation, among which a rectangular silver ingot was noticeably different. A rough seam-scar was clearly visible on it, and there were chopped off ends along the edges of the ingot. Hence the name -ruble. Its face value was equal to ten hryvnia kunas. The sizes of ingots were different both in weight and in size. It was crushed into coins of small payment units. In other words, cut into pieces:

  • half of an ingot - was called a half;
  • fourth part - quarter;
  • a tenth of a dime.

From the ruble made small solvent units - money. These are the first coins in Russia in the Renaissance and they meant "voiced". In addition to silver money, they issued copper pools, which were also full-fledged and solvent.


Sometimes the appearance of coins in Russia is counted from the appearance of the hryvnia. Initially, it was not a coin. A person's we alth was measured in the number of herds of horses. Where the latter symbolized a wallet, and each horse - a small change. The amount of silver that was enough to buy a horse (“buying a mane”) was called a “hryvnia.”

Another version says that this word takes its roots from a woman's jewelry around the neck, and eventually became a certain measure of weight in the form of an ingot. The first coins in Russia in different regions of the state looked different:

  • Kyiv hryvnias of the 11th-13th centuries were in the form of an elongated rhombus with narrow ends. The mass of the ingot was 160 grams.
  • Chernihiv hryvnia had the shape of a regular rhombus edge, the edges of which were sharp. Weight - 196 grams.
  • In the Volga region in the XIII-XIV centuries, catfish were in circulation. Such ingots had an oblong shape in the form of a boat, their weight was no more than 200 grams.
  • Hryvnia of Lithuania XII-XIV centuriesresembled sticks with grooves across.
  • Novgorod hryvnias of the 12th-14th centuries looked like elongated bars. Weight - 200 grams.

In the 15th century, many mints appeared in fragmented Russia. There were at least 20 of them. Each court issued its own coin, which confused the merchants, as they were different:

  • forms;
  • images;
  • material;
  • sizes.

All this hindered the development of trade and economic relations. A reform of monetary policy was needed. The Russian lands united into an integral state, the monetary reform was introduced in 1534, which clarified the structure of money circulation.

ancient coins

Development of the Mint

During the reign of Ivan and Vasily III, the reunification of individual principalities took place, this led to the birth of the Muscovite state and became a major milestone in development:

  • stories;
  • economy;
  • foreign relations.
Elena Glinskaya

During the 16th and 17th centuries, coins with a uniform plot and form were established in the state in circulation. The mother of Ivan the Terrible, Elena Glinskaya, successfully carried out the reform of money, where three stable denominations were approved:

  1. Kopeck - 0.68 g, it depicts a rider with a spear.
  2. Denga - 0.34 g (half a penny), there was a rider with a saber.
  3. Polushka - 0.17 g (quarter), a bird is drawn on the coin.

Pre-Petrine wire coins were also made. In ittime, the first gold coins appeared in Russia with the name of Shuisky Vasily Ivanovich. And on money and kopecks there was the name of Vladislav Zhigimontovich.

ancient coins

Gold coins had the following denomination:

  • penny - ten silver kopecks;
  • denga - five silver kopecks;
  • gold in 1/4 Ugric Alexei Mikhailovich was used to reward the military.

It will take a long time, and money will change, depreciate or vice versa, but to this day they are an important element of a civilized society. They reflect political structure, religion and historical changes.

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