Russia 1775-SP FL poltina

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From Stack's Bowers 2017 NYINC sale, lot 3331
photo courtesy Stack's Bowers LLC

This specimen was lot 3331 in Stack's Bowers NYINC sale (New York, January 2017), where it sold for $940. The catalog description[1] noted, "RUSSIA. 1/2 Ruble (Poltina), 1775-CNB OA. Catherine II (The Great) (1762-96). NGC EF-40. RARE. Mintage of only 91,000 pieces, with few having surviving today. Plenty of remaining original luster in the protected areas of the reverse, and all through the legends on the obverse. What little wear there is tends to be amplified by the light strike, with obverse legends and the eagle's wing-tips revealing almost no wear at all. Vastly superior to most seen of the issue, what few there are." This type was issued from St. Petersburg (shown here) and Moscow 1766-76. Mintages were moderate but the type is rare today. A poltina was half a ruble. Russia has the distinction of being the first country to issue decimal currency, as 100 kopeks = one ruble.

Recorded mintage: 91,000, a better date.

Specification: 12 g, .750 fine silver, .289 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM C-66a; Bit-292; Dia-325.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Bitkin, Vladimir, Composite Catalogue of Russian Coins, Part II (1740-1917), Kiev: Moneta, 2003.
  • Harris, Robert P., Guidebook of Russian Coins, 1725 to 1970, Santa Cruz, CA: Bonanza Press, 1971.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, The January 2017 NYINC Sale: Ancient Coins, World Coins & Paper Money, featuring the Richard Stuart Collection, Santa Ana, CA: Stack's Bowers LLC, 2016.

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