Siberian coins: polushka, denga, kopeck for Siberia


Polushka, 1769: Siberia Governorate of the Russian Empire

Polushka, 1769: Siberia Governorate of the Russian Empire

Ruler: Catherine II (Ekaterina II) — empress of Russia from 1762 to 1796.

ПОЛУШКА - 1769: polushka.

Crowned cartouche (oval or oblong design with a slightly convex surface, typically edged with ornamental scrollwork; it is used to hold a painted or low-relief design).

СИБИРСКАЯ МОНЕТА: siberian coin.

Crowned monogram of Empress Ekaterina II (Russian "Екатерина ІІ").

KM — mintmark of Suzun Mint: "Колыванская Медь" (Kolyvan copper) or "Колыванская Монета" (Kolyvan coin).

  • Copper: 17 mm - 1.9 g
  • Reference price: 50$

SIBERIAN COINS — WHERE & WHEN (coins catalog: by names & emitents)
  1. SIBERIAN COINS (1763-1781): polushka — denga — 1, 2, 5 and 10 kopecks

SIBERIAN COINS as coin name.
Siberian coins — separate type of copper coins of the Russian Empire that were minted for circulation in the territories east of the European part of the empire during 1763-1781.
All of them contained the traditional for that time monogram of Catherine II, the legend "МОНЕТА СИБИРСКАЯ" (SIBERIAN COIN), and instead of a double-headed eagle — two sables from the coat of arms of the Siberian Governorate (except for the polushka denomination).
Siberian coins include a number of denominations: polushka, denga, 1, 2, 5 and 10 kopecks. All these coins were issued by the Suzun mint (now the village of Suzun, Novosibirsk oblast) from Kolyvan copper (now the village of Kolyvan, Altai Krai).
Siberian coin with a denomination of 10 kopecks is considered the largest regular issue coin of the Russian Empire: its weight was more than 65 grams!
What is the history of the appearance of Siberian coins? — In the second half of the 18th century the active development of Siberia, the boundless natural resources of the region, begins. There is a large-scale resettlement of residents of the Russian Empire to the East. There is a need for circulating money — small changeable coins in large quantities. It became too expensive to transport large copper coins from European Russia in sufficient quantities.
In 1763, it was decided to mint copper coins directly in Siberia. In just three years, the newly established Suzun Mint issued the first Siberian coins bearing the "KM" mark — "Колыванская Медь" (Kolyvan copper) or "Колыванская Монета" (Kolyvan coin).
There are references to samples of 1763 and 1764 that were test "Siberian coins" made in St. Petersburg (this is only one of the versions). Now rare.
An interesting point: Kolyvan copper, which was used as a raw material, was a by-product of the production of silver and gold in the Kolyvan deposits. The technology was far from perfect: about 0.79% silver and 0.01% gold remained in the copper (in the beginning). Therefore, Kolyvan copper turned out to be significantly more expensive than pure copper.
The name of the Siberian coins reflects the region of its use: Siberia and the Far East (Siberia Governorate of the Russian Empire).