Gold chervonets. Expensive coins of Russia. Royal gold chervonets
Gold chervonets. Expensive coins of Russia. Royal gold chervonets

Golden chervonets was the monetary unit in the Russian Empire and in the Soviet Union. At various times, he had one or another equivalent in rubles. This name has been used in everyday life since the beginning of the twentieth century to refer to banknotes with a denomination of ten units, for example, hryvnias, rubles, euros, and so on. This is associated with the issue in the USSR of a gold coin, the weight, material and dimensions of which were the same as the ten-ruble Nikolaevsky chervonets. There is also another version. It is argued that the noun "chervonets" came from the adjective "chervonets", i.e. "red". The new meaning of the word finally strengthened its position after the monetary reform of 1922-1924.

gold chervonets

The times of Tsarist Russia

Earlier, the definition of "gold chervonets" was applied to any foreign gold coins minted from a high-quality alloy. Most of them were sequins and ducats from Holland and Hungary. From Ivan the Third to Peter the Great, unique gold royal coins were minted in Russia. They were also called chervonets (as an option - chervonets), but they were usually used as award signs. On such products there was an image of a double-headed eagle andbust portrait (sometimes a two-headed bird was on both sides of the coin).

On the throne Peter I

The introduction of the golden gold piece is connected with the implementation of the monetary reform. The new means of payment had a weight of 3.47 grams and 986 fineness. In all respects, it was similar to the Hungarian ducat. In addition, the issue of coins in denominations of two chervonets was launched. Their weight was already 6.94 grams.

Gold coins of Russia were issued in 1701. Initially, 118 copies were produced. They were used mainly in transactions with overseas merchants.

Gold chervonets 1907 (the date is written in letters) is available in one copy. It ended up in the Vienna Museum from the Biron collection. In 2010, this unique copy was estimated at three hundred thousand dollars. In the Hermitage you can see a genuine low-grade silver ducat of 1907. Replicas of this coin are often found, made of high-grade silver and copper. Their cost is estimated at about 50 thousand rubles for a product in excellent condition (XF).

expensive Russian coins

During the reign of Peter the Great, the royal gold chervonets was minted from 1701 to 1716. After that, it was replaced by a two-ruble coin with a lower fineness. It depicted Andrew the First-Called, the patron saint of Russian lands.

The resumption of coinage of chervonets took place in 1729 under Peter II. When Elizabeth ascended the throne, data on the month, and sometimes the date of their creation, began to be applied to the coins. At the same time, a clear division into two types was observed - withthe image of St. Andrew or the state emblem. The secret minting of Dutch ducats began at the mint in 1768. They were intended to cover the royal needs in gold coins for trading in foreign markets.

Gold coins of Russia under Nicholas II

1907 was marked by the beginning of the issuance of new credit notes with a face value of ten rubles. This happened due to the improvement in the methods of manufacturing securities. Soon a decree was issued on the issuance of credit notes in ten rubles of the 1909 model. They were in use until October 1, 1922. The exchange for new money was made at the rate of 10 thousand rubles. for 1 old ruble, but they never took root. As a result, they launched the issue of a five-ruble coin of a high 986 standard, which was subsequently lowered to the 917th.


In the middle of the nineteenth century they began to mint means of payment from platinum (they were also called white gold pieces). These were the most expensive coins of Russia at that time. The seemingly irrational decision was explained simply: by 1827, the Russian treasury had impressive reserves of platinum, which was mined from the Ural placers. There was so much of it that the direct sale of the precious metal would simply collapse the market, which is why it was decided to issue white gold pieces into circulation. The idea of ​​minting platinum coins belonged to Count Kankrin. Coins made from 97% unrefined metal were produced from 1828 to 1845. At the same time, denominations of three, six and twelve rubles became available - quite rare for Russia. Themthe appearance was explained by the fact that for more efficient minting, a size was chosen, like the previously produced 25 kopecks, fifty kopecks and the ruble. Accordingly, such a volume of metal was estimated at 3, 6, 12 rubles

Russian gold coins

For the first time in coinage, legal tender consisted almost entirely of platinum. Earlier coins contained this precious metal, but only as a ligature to copper or gold when forged.

Soviet Russia

In the first years after the establishment of Soviet power, there was a breakdown in the monetary circulation system and the rapid growth of inflation. Neither Kerenki, nor Sovznaks, nor Duma money, nor tsarist banknotes enjoyed the confidence of the population. The first denomination was made in 1922. The exchange was carried out in the ratio of 1:10,000. As a result, it was possible to streamline the monetary system, but not to stop inflation. The participants of the Eleventh Congress of the RCP(b) decided to issue a stable Soviet currency. Naturally, they discussed the new name of the funds. They offered to get away from the old options and introduce new ones - "revolutionary". For example, employees of Narkomfin received a proposal to call the currency “federal”. Traditional names were also considered - ruble, chervonets, hryvnia. However, due to the fact that hryvnias were called means of payment that were in circulation on the territory of Ukraine, and rubles were associated with silver rubles, it was decided to call the new money in the old way - chervonets. The population accepted them with confidence. The reason was that the chervonets perceivedrather as a non-monetary security, and not as a medium of exchange. Many hoped that there would be an exchange of paper money for gold, but the government's act of free exchange never appeared. Nevertheless, paper chervonets were actively exchanged for expensive Russian coins, and vice versa. Sometimes they even overpaid a little for the first ones due to the convenience of their storage and liquidity. Thanks to the stable exchange rate of the chervonets, the government received a solid base for deploying the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Strengthening positions

In 1923, the proportion of chervonets in the total amount of money increased from three percent to eighty. Two currency systems operated within the country. So, the State Bank every day announced a new rate of gold coins. This provided fertile ground for speculation and caused difficulties in the development of economic and commercial activities. Over time, gold coins began to be used mainly in the city. In the countryside, only we althy peasants could buy it, while for ordinary people it was prohibitively expensive. At the same time, there was an opinion that the sale of goods for Soviet signs was unprofitable, so the prices for agricultural products grew, and their delivery to the city was reduced. For this reason, the second denomination of the ruble took place (1:100).

gold chervonets price

Journey to distant lands

The process of penetration of gold coins into foreign markets was becoming more and more distinct. So, from April 1, 1924, its rate began to be quoted on the New York Stock Exchange. The first month heremained at a level exceeding its dollar parity. In Berlin and London, unofficial transactions were made with the Soviet currency in 1924-1925. At the end of 1925, the issue of its quotation on the Vienna Stock Exchange was resolved. At that time, the gold coin was already officially quoted in Shanghai, Tehran, Rome, Constantinople, Riga and Milan. It could be exchanged or bought in most countries of the world.

Triumphant return

In October, it was decided that the gold chervonets would again be issued on a par with paper. In terms of size and characteristics, it fully corresponded to the ten-ruble pre-revolutionary coin. Vasyutinskiy, the chief medalist of the mint, became the author of a new drawing. Thus, the coat of arms of the RSFSR was depicted on the obverse, and a peasant-sower was depicted on the reverse. The latter was made after Shadr's sculpture, which is currently in the Tretyakov Gallery. Each golden chervonets (“the sower”, as the people called him) of that period was dated 1923.

Most of the money from the precious metal was needed by the Soviet government to conduct foreign trade operations. In addition, gold chervonets (photos are presented in the article) were sometimes used as a means of payment within the country. Coins were minted in the capital, after which they were distributed throughout the state.

When expensive coins of Russia made of gold had just begun to be issued, such an incident occurred: representatives of Western countries completely refused to accept this money, since they had the symbols of the Soviet Union. The exit was found immediately. The new coins were based onNikolaevsky chervonets, which foreigners accepted unconditionally. Thus, the Soviet government began to purchase the necessary goods from abroad for banknotes with the image of the overthrown ruler.

Nikolaev chervonets

Period after NEP

The curtailment of the new economic policy and the start of industrialization have weakened the gold chervonets. The price for it was within 5.4 rubles per dollar. Subsequently, he completely ceased to be quoted abroad. In order to unify the financial system, the ruble was tied to a paper chervonets. How much is a gold piece worth in 1925? They gave ten rubles for it. Subsequently, the import and export of precious metal coins outside the Union was completely prohibited.

In 1937, a series of denominations of 1, 3, 5 and 10 chervonets appeared. The innovation of that time was the portrait of Lenin on one side of the coin.

In 1925, an exceptionally rare sample of copper was minted. In all respects, it fully corresponded to the gold coin. In 2008, at one of the Moscow auctions, this product was bought for five million Russian rubles (about 165 thousand dollars).


On most of the German-occupied Soviet territories, the chervonets did not stop circulation. For ten rubles they gave one Reichsmark. The paradox was that the collaborators (policemen, burgomasters and other persons who collaborated with the Nazi troops) in 1941-1943. received a salary in Soviet "Stalinist" rubles of 1937 with images of those who fought against the Nazismilitary pilots and Red Army soldiers (these were the so-called treasury tickets).

Prices in Soviet territory were lower than in German. This was explained by the fact that the Nazis artificially overestimated the rate of the Reichsmark, therefore, when a settlement was liberated from the invaders, the cost of products on the local market was significantly reduced, sometimes even three times. This fact, of course, was positively perceived by the local population.

In the Soviet Union they paid with gold coins until 1947. They were replaced by new banknotes denominated in rubles. For ten chervonets they gave one ruble.

the introduction of gold coins

1980 Olympics

The State Bank of the Soviet Union from 1975 to 1982 issued coins similar to the 1923 chervonets with the coat of arms of the RSFSR and new dates. The total circulation was 7,350,000 copies. These coins were minted on the occasion of the Olympics in Moscow, but they did not have the status of legal tender in the territory of the Soviet Union. They were used in foreign trade transactions and sold to foreign guests.

In the mid-1990s, the Central Bank began to sell "Olympic chervonets" as investment coins, and in 2001 this government agency decided to make them legal tender along with the Sobol silver three-ruble note.

The most famous scams

Soviet chervonets were fairly hard currency and had a high purchasing power. They were often forged in order to destabilize the economy of the USSR and carry out illeg altransactions in foreign markets.

Most of all in this regard, employees of the Shell oil company distinguished themselves, dissatisfied with the fact that the Union sold oil at a price below the average market.

Most often they forged a bill with a denomination of one gold piece, since the drawing on it was only on one side. A very large batch of counterfeit banknotes was arrested in 1928 in Murmansk. An underground organization that distributed counterfeit banknotes printed in Germany was uncovered by the postal employee Sepalov. Some former White Guards, including Sadatierashvili and Karumidze, played an important role in the criminal scheme. However, the criminals were tried in Switzerland and Germany, where they received the minimum possible sentences. Subsequently, the Nazis took advantage of their experience, who during the Second World War forged the banknotes of the Soviet Union and other countries.

Numismatist note

During the reign of Nicholas II, full-weight imperials and semi-imperials were minted, which over time were replaced by money of lesser weight. In addition, coins, unusual for the Russian people, were issued in denominations of 7.5 and 15 rubles. Gift twenty-five rubles and hundred-franc gold coins are classified as numismatic rarities. Much more widespread was the ordinary gold coin. It was produced in 1898-1911. However, here there is an exception: in 1906, the royal gold chervonets was minted, the price of which currently reaches ten thousand dollars apiece. A total of 10 of these copies were released, which is why collectors are readycompete for the right to own such a rare coin.

how much does a gold coin cost

People who want to secure their own savings often face a difficult choice: whether to transfer money into dollars, or into euros, or leave it in rubles … In the conditions of instability in global financial markets, many are considering alternative investment instruments. For example, the cost of gold coins is growing, albeit not rapidly, but steadily. However, how to determine the authenticity of a coin? On the gold royal chervonets of Nicholas II, there are always minzmeister signs. In German, a minzmeister was a person who was personally responsible for the process of creating coins, and later - the manager of the mint. The above signs were placed under the date of issue, on the paw or tail of the eagle, under the coat of arms of the state or on the edge. They consisted of the minzmeister's two initials. For example, the royal chervonets of 1899 is marked with the stamp “F.Z.”, since at that time honorary duties were assigned to Felix Zalemna.

Long-term investments in coins in a few years can bring twenty to thirty percent of annual income, which, you see, is not bad.

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