RUSSIAN GOLD COINS FROM THE 17TH CENTURY

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Alongside West European coins, the showcase features rare 17th-century Russian gold coins which served as royal grants for military merits, and their appearance and size depended on the nobility of the recipient.    

It was not until the Time of Troubles at the beginning of the 17th century that gold coins were introduced for monetary circulation. In 1610, due to the lack of silver in the treasury and the need to pay salaries to Swedish mercenaries, gold kopecks were put into circulation – ten and five kopecks respectively. The Poles, who occupied Moscow in 1610, began issuing silver and gold coins on behalf of the Polish Prince Wladyslaw IV (1610-1612), who was proclaimed the Russian Tsar.

Among Russian gold coins of the 17th century, there are a series of granted gold coins in the weight of one Hungarian and half Hungarian Ducat of different size and weight with the portraits of tsars Ivan and Peter Alekseyevich on the front side and with the portrait of Tsarevna Sophia Alekseyevna on the reverse. They were made as awards for participants of the Crimean campaign in 1687. Stylistic differences of stamps for gold of lesser "merits" indicate the work of several masters.      

Gold kopeckGold coin in the weight of ¼ Hungarian DucatGold coin in the weight of ¼ Hungarian DucatGold coin in the weight of a Hungarian DucatGold coin in the weight of a Hungarian DucatGold coin in the weight of half Hungarian DucatGold сoin in the weight of half Hungarian Ducat (reverse)

Skilful carvers were to be employed for the work on the stamps, and talented goldsmiths were needed for the production of large compound medallions. Only the Gold and Silver Chambers of the Moscow Kremlin could provide the required professionals. One of the stamps is marked with miniature letters "C-I", possibly the initials of Iona Semidel, a master of the Golden Chamber.