Square coins as Russia has adopted the Swedish experience

[11.05.2020 15:52:58]

The word "coin" is associated with a metal product of round or, more precisely, cylindrical shape. However, not all coins are like this. In the past, there were very common square coins, which are called "Klippe". Less common were  "plateaus" - square (or rectangular) coins of large sizes. Some of them are represented in the Museum.

The klippe coins were made as follows: square blanks were cut or cut out of metal sheet, on which images and inscriptions were minted. The clips were quite common for coin sizes. However, there were also rectangular and square coins weighing up to several kilograms. They were called "plateaus" and were produced in Sweden in XVII - XVIII centuries. On the edges and in the center of such coins were minted images and inscriptions. Swedish rafts are very rare, but in the exposition of the Museum they are on display.

The experience of Sweden in the 20-ies of the XVIII century tried to adopt Russia. In early 1725, Empress Catherine I signed a decree, according to which the minting of plateaus  at the Ekaterinburg Mining Plant, as it was in the Urals was an active development of copper deposits. Minting coins from Ekaterinburg copper was much cheaper than imported Hungarian or Swedish metal. At that time most metals, including precious ones, in Russia were still imported.

Swedish craftsmen were sent to the Urals to control the production of them. The copper smelters belonged to the treasury. The plateaus themselves looked like copper square boards of different sizes and weights depending on the nominal value. The image was minted only on one side, the other was left without a drawing (but on some coins on the back side were stamped receivers). At the corners were depicted two-headed eagles, in the center - the face value, year and place of minting ("EKATERINBURKH").

The coins were issued with the value of 1 ruble, 50 kopeks, 25 kopeks,10 kopeks , 5 kopecks, a kopek. The weight of the ruble payment reached 1.6 kg!

It was planned to allow to create a full copper coin, but the plateaus  were very inconvenient for circulation. In addition, they minted on foot  10 rubles from the Russian feet of copper, while the lightweight round coins - on an overestimated  40 rubles from the Russian foot  of copper. As a result, only the nominal value of 10 kopeks was minted en masse. However, up to our days they have reached very little - later they were withdrawn from circulation for conversion into ordinary round coins.

In 1727, the minting of boards stopped. The Ekaterinburg Mint began to supply mug-finished products for minting ordinary round copper coins in Moscow, and soon in the Urals began a full cycle of coin production.

In the Museum of history of money you can see several Swedish square copper coins of the XVIII century of different sizes and advantages, as well as one Russian – 10 kopeks of  1726.