Unique coins, punches, extremely rare banknotes (including unapproved design projects of banknotes) are exhibited in the museum. Many of the items are for the first time on display.

Numismatics: unique exhibits

Tsar Aleksey Romanov (1645-1676)

One ruble. 1654. Silver. Moscow mint.

Until the middle of the 17th century ruble was neither a coin but a unit of weight and account. Only in 1654 a coin with a name of ruble was minted during the reign of Aleksey Romanov (father of Peter the Great). It was remade out of thaler – European silver coin. Thalers were wide spread in Russia since 16th century. Only 40 original coins are known today.

Peter I (1682-1725, emperor since 1721)

Ruble 1724.Silver.St. Petersburg Mint (in Berg-collegium building).Engraver: Anton Schultz (?).Diameter: 43,5 mm.Weight: 28,31 g.Edge: reeded

Peter the Great had finally reformed Russian monetary system in the beginning of the 18th century. He was the first Russian tsar ( in 1721 got the title of emperor) who ever left Russia and travelled abroad. He was looking for new modern technologies. He had been to the London mint and probably met the headquarters of it – Isaac Newton. Coins got the proper round shape and edge. He totally updated mint manufacturing. Manual coinage was left behind by mechanical one. The foundation of St.Petersburg Mint on the territory of Peter and Paul fortress in 1724 was a breakthrough in coin production. St.Pb. Mint was supplied with up to date equipment and very soon turned to be one of the best in Europe. It is considered to be the oldest enterprise of Goznak. Ruble of 1724 is one of the first minted in Peter and Paul fortress.

Peter II (1727-1730)

Ducat 1729.Gold 968°.Moscow Mint.Diameter: 22 mm.Weight: 3,45 g. Edge: plain

Ducat, European gold trade coin, was called in Russia “chervonets”. It was stampted in a same weight, metal finess and had no face value. It had limited issues as a foreign-trade coin only.

Anna Ioannovna (1730-1740)

Ruble 1736, Silver 802, St. Petersburg Mint (in former Prozorovskiy chambers), Engraver: Johann Karl Hedlinger, Diameter: 41 mm, Weight: 25,35 g, Edge: patterned

Famous European medalist Johan Carl Hedlinger was invited to Russiain in 1736. Empress ordered dies for minting new ruble silver coin with her portrait. On a temporary mint in former Prozorovskiy chambers in St. Petersburg only 2671 coins were produced. Silver for these issue was mined on Medvejiy island.

Ivan VI (1740-1741)

Ruble 1741. Silver 802°. St. Petersburg Mint. Diameter: 43,5 mm. Weight: 25,51 g. Edge: patterned

Five- month infant Ivan VI inherited the throne in 1740. His image on the coins was intentionally aged as it was abnormal to portrait an infant. In a year he was overthroned by Elizabeth I, daughter of Peter I. He spent rest of his life in custody. Coins with his portrait were strictly recalled from circulation, with a little effect.

Elizabeth I (1741-1761)

Ruble 1757, Silver 802°, St. Petersburg Mint, Engraver: Jacques-Antoine Dassier, Diameter: 39,5 mm, Weight: 26,62 g, Edge: lettering

Dies for this silver ruble were made by famous Swiss medalist Jean-Antoine Dassier, who was invited to Russia in 1756. Nevertheless this instrument was in use only for one year, as empress was not satisfied with the design.

Peter III (1761-1762)

Ruble 1762, Silver 802, St. Petersburg Mint, Engraver: Samuil Yudin, Diameter: 39,5 mm, Weight: 26,09 g, Edge: lettering

This trial silver ruble bears the portrait of Peter III on obverse and his monogram on reverse. Eventually double headed eagle instead of monogram was approved for mass circulation coins. Dies for this coin were made by Russian medalist Samuil Yudin.

Nicholas II (1894-1917)

37 rubles 50 kopeks –100 franсs 1902, Gold 900, St. Petersburg Mint, Engraver: Anton Vasyutinskiy, Avenir Griliches, Diameter: 33,5 mm, Weight: 32,33 g, Edge: lettering

This coin bears the unusual face value 37 rubles 50 kopeks – 100 francs. Issued in 1902, it was intended for the high-ranking people. For instance, members of French government delegation were granted with these coins as well. The profile on the coin is Nicholas II, the last Russian emperor.


Gold 900, Leningrad Mint, Diameter: 22.6 mm, Weight: 8.27 g, Edge: lettering

Soviet golden chervonets was issued in 1923. New type of chervonets wih the coat of arms of the USSR was minted in 1925. Due to the “golden blocade” of the Soviet Union by the European countries it was not put into circulation and became one of the rarest soviet coins.


Gold 900, Leningrad Mint, Diameter: 50 mm, Weight: 103.19 g, Edge: reeded,

By 100 anniversary of Lenin the trial gold coins were designed, with denominations of 10, 25, 50 and 100 rubles. This set of coins wasn’t put into circulation; instead, the one ruble of cupro-nickel alloy was stampted in a huge scale. Pattern gold coins remained in one piece and now are on display in the Goznak’s museum in Peter and Paul fortress.


25 rubles State assignation of 1769

By the middle of 18th century copper coins became the basement of Russian money circulation. However copper was not a universal metal and very often it was complicated to use it for payments. According to the legend one of the Russian poets was granted with 2000 rubles for the poem. This sum of money was payed him with copper coins Several drays were loaded with two tons of copper coins. Very soon copper coins lost their purchasing capacity. The government of Katherine II made a decision to issue bonds. First banknotes of 1769 were printed on a thin large list of paper without any artistic design. Only text on them proclaimed that copper coins should be exchanged against new paper banknotes. Banknotes were issued by Moscow and St.Pb. banks and had the signatures of the directors. The nominal value of these first banknotes was 25, 50 ,75 and 100 rubles. Museum collection has the banknotes of 25 and 100 rubles.

100 rubles State assignation of 1802.

By the end of 18th century, it was needed to complicate the design of paper money due to the huge amount of counterfeited banknotes. Banknotes of new design were printed in 1802-1803 but were not finally issued because of political reasons. All issue later was set on fire. Only few banknotes managed to be kept until nowadays.

5 rubles State assignation of 1819.

During the war with Napoleon in 1812 Russian economics was unbalanced by huge amount of counterfeited banknotes issued by French. Alexander I clearly understood that it was high time to use and develop modern technologies to protect financial system of the country. The history of modern Goznak enterprise goes back to the paper mill (Expedition of paper production) founded by Alexander I in 1818 in St.Petersburg. All modern manufacturing technologies of that time were used to issue banknotes with reliable secure elements. Full cycle of banknote issuring was carried out there – from paper manufacturing till printing. Paper mill was using steam machines. Watermarks became essential part of paper money also. Technologies of banknote production were constantly improved due to the breakthroughs and inventions of many scientists who collaborated with Expedition.

100 rubles State credit note of 1866.

In 1860-s new banknotes with portraits of Grand Dukes, tsars and emperors were issued. The biggest face value was 100 rubles with portrait of Katherine II. Design was approved by emperor Alexander II so his signatures is on the sample.

5 rubles State credit note of 1909. Sample with signatures of Nicholas II and P.A. Stolypyn.

Banknotes of new face values – 5, 10 and 25 rubles were approved by Nicholas II and prime-minister Peter Stolypyn in 1909. Design was not changed until the revolution.

1 chervonetz of 1922.

To balance economics after the WWI, Civil war the Soviet Government carried out financial reform in 1922-1924 (the reform of Sokol’nikov). It included two denominations and new currency unit ‘chervonets’ was emissioned in 1922. Chervonets was backed by gold. Ruble coins and banknotes were also in circulation so since 1922 till 1947 there were two state currencies - chervonetz and ruble.

5 rubles of 1937 – trial print. 1937.

New series of banknotes was issued in 1938 – 1, 3, 5 rubles. 1 ruble with portrait of mineworker, 3 ruble with the portrait of Red Army man, 5 rubles with the portrait of aviator. The portrait of soviet lady was also offered by the artists but finally was not approved.

Sketch of banknote with portrait of Felix Dzerzhinsky of 1940

New series of banknotes with portraits of soviet revolutionaries was designed in 1940. The Great Patriotic war started in 1941 – probably that was the main reason why they were not finally issued.

Sketch of banknote with portrait of Alexander Nevsky of 1942-1943.

During the war time in 1942-1943 new series of banknotes with portraits of Russian military leaders was designed. Portrait was placed on one side and the scenes of battlefield on the other one. The theme of patriotic past was very important within the war time so the portraits of medieval and imperial military leaders could have been placed on banknotes but were not approved.

Sketch of 5000 rubles. 2005. T. Seyfulin, S. Kozlov.

So called “city serias” of banknotes was issued in 1995. Major highlights of different Russian cities were placed on banknotes. In 1997 denomination took place. 5000 is the biggest face value and was issued later in 2006. The views of Chabarovsk (Far East of Russia) are placed on it. Among sketches there were ideas to place the views of many other cities including Taganrog and portrait of Anton Chechov.

Coin boxes and wallets

Coin box of loan association. Between 1907-1917.

The USA, New-York (orded by Russian company) Steel, bronze. Height 6 cm.

Very often coin boxes were used as advertising of bank and credit associations. Coin boxes of this type were given for rent by bank. It was possible to put into this coin box not only coins but also banknotes.

Coin box of 1920-s

The USSR, Leningrad mint., Lattin, steel., Hight 7,5 cm

After the Civil war was over, in 1922-1924 the monetary reform took place in soviet state. Saving banks were founded also. Bank clients got deposit book and special coin boxes also. The coin box key stayed in bank so it was possible to open it in the bank. Saved money in the coin box were the first deposit. If you managed to save up the sum of the first deposite within less than one year the coin box was presented to the client.

Propaganda coin box. 1927.

The USSR. Tin. Height 11 cm.

By the 10- year anniversary of Soviet state coin boxes with the slogan “Labour kopek saves up the soviet ruble” were produced. On the top of coin box there is a slogan “Workers of the world unite!” These coin boxes were produced with the help of charity fund which one supported street children. When it was bought the profit was donated to charity fund.

Alms box. End of 19th – beginning of 20th centuries.

The Russian empire, Tula, Chebotarevy company. Bronze. Height 3,5 cm.

Initially alms boxes were used only in church. Later they were placed near icons in confectionaries, market places, railway stations. Tax collectors in the beginning of 20th century used such alms boxes in the streets and collected donations for orphanages, poor and the sick.

Wallet with metal coin box. End of 19th – beginning of 20th centuries.

France. Leather, white metal. Height 6,4 cm

For a long period of time coins played a huge part in money circulation. A lot of wallets were designed only for coins like this one.

Ladies wallet. 1902.

The Russian empire. Beads, fabric, white metal. Height 10 cm, width – 9 cm.

Usually ladies wallets were much smaller than gentlemens’ but design was more or less the same. Baggie was fixed on metal frame. This wallet has monogram of the owner and date.

Wallet with abacus. 19th-beginning of 20th centuries.

Europe. Leather, fabric, white metal, wood. Height – 6,4 cm, width – 10,3 cm.

Miniature abacus for the trade people was installed into wallets. The wallet contained two parts – one for coins and banknotes and another one for abacus.

Coin adornments

Now and always coins made of precious metal were the symbol of prosperity. They reflected social, confessional and financial status of people. They also served for ritual and mystical purpose. In traditional cultures of ethnic minorities of Russia coins were decorating clothes and tableware. In the second half of 19th century instead of chests and jewelry boxes people start to use exquisite coin trays and wallets. Very often they were made of precious metal therefore immediately got popularity.

Multimedia in museum

Great part of collection is based on authentic items (coins, banknotes, insignias, stamp tools and official documents). All visitors can use modern multimedia system which aim is to navigate the exhibition easily. Due to it is easy to get text and video information about exhibits, watch 2-3 films about production technologies and important events in the history of Russian money circulation.