RUSSIAN PAYMENT INGOTS FROM THE 11TH-15TH CENTURIESClose
Since pre-Petrine Russia did not have its own precious metal mines, gold and silver was brought to the country by European merchants. Foreign coins were melt down and served as raw material for local silversmith and numismatic masters. The window display presents various ingots of the 11th-15th centuries.
Kievan ingots in the 11th-13th centuries had a form of an elongated rhombus with truncated ends at a mass about 160 g. Chernigov ingots were rhombus-shaped symmetric or narrow ellipse-shaped, but always with calked sharp edges at a mass about 196 g. Novgorod ingots in the form of a stick-bar weighing about 200 g were the most widely spread in the 12th-14 centuries. From the end of the 13th century, such currency became known as "ruble". Half of Novgorod ingot was called "poltina". Such ingots often had scratched lines, Russian letters and even names and nicknames, which obviously are connected with the masters who cast them. Marks with different images, letters or the names of the princes were placed on half-ingots in the 14th-15th centuries.