RUSSIAN COINS FROM THE LATE 14TH - EARLY 16TH CENTURY

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The showcase features coins of the rulers beginning from the son of Dmitry Donskoy – Vassily Dmitrievich (1389-1425) to Peter the Great (1682-1725).

In the second half of the 14th century, in connection with the economic development and strengthening of the liberation struggle, the centres of the Russian principalities began minting their own silver coins, which became known as "money" or denga. In Moscow, their issue was organized under the Grand Prince Dmitry Ivanovich (1359-1389) who received the nickname Donskoy after the victory over the Tatars at Kulikovo Field in 1380. In the late 14th century and early 15th century, many grand princes and appanage princes established the coinage of their own silver pieces. In addition to silver coins, various towns also minted half-money (poludenga or polushka) and chetverets, which was equal in weight to a quarter of denga.

In some centres, copper coins "pulo", intended for small-scale city trade, were issued.

Coins of the Russian principalities differed in weight and design, several regional monetary systems appeared. At the end of the 15th century, on the basis of the largest – Moscow and Novgorod ones – a pan-Russian monetary system with two main denominations was formed: Novgorod money (Novgorodka) and Moscow money (Moscovka). The count ruble, equal to 100 Novgorod money, or 200 Moscow money, or 400 polushka, was taken as the basis. It formed a unified monetary unit – from a silver ingot, which became one of the basic weight units (204.756 g), coins of different denominations were minted worth of 2.6 rubles.

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At the end of the 14th - first half of the 15th century, Russian coins bore Arab Tatar inscriptions and their imitations, which was a sign of dependence of Russian princes on the khans of the Golden Horde. During the reign of Ivan III, minting of such bilingual coins was already connected with the increasing influence of the Russian state and the inclusion of the Crimean and Astrakhan Khanates, as well as the Nogai Horde, in the sphere of Russian political and economic influence. In 1487, Ivan III’s troops conquered Kazan, which surrendered after a stubborn resistance lasting nearly two months. As a result, Ivan III's protégé Mohammed Emin, who accepted dependency on Moscow, was appointed khan of Kazan. Apparently, coins with Russian-Tatar inscriptions appeared after the subjugation of Kazan. The name of the Grand Duke of Moscow, sovereign of all Russia, written in Arabic letters, demonstrated his sovereignty. The circulation of those coins was designed for the Volga region – a vast eastern market that was gradually being included in the monetary circulation area of the Russian state.

At the end of the first quarter of the 16th century, there was a crisis in monetary circulation caused by widespread coin spoilage. Heavier Novgorod and Pskov money was "thieved" along the edge, due to which they lost a significant part of the metal. The search for those responsible for coin spoilage, mass arrests and executions yielded no results.