Russia 1839 1-1/2 rubles

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Heritage sale 3010, lot 21787
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 21787 in Heritage sale 3010 (Boston, August 2010), where it sold for $46,000. The catalog description[1] noted, "Nicholas I Battle of Borodino 1 1/2 Roubles 1839, by H. Gube, Bust right with radiant eye above/Monument with value below, MS63 PCGS. Attractive rose-gray patina over fully mirrored fields with bold definition. The nicest example of this very popular issue we have seen." The 1½ ruble denomination (which equalled ten Polish zlotych) was used only in the 1830's for some very rare commemoratives, including this one[2]. This type is well out of the reach of ordinary collectors and was accompanied by a one ruble (Dav-288). It commemorates the Battle of Borodino, where Russian troops defeated Napoleon and forced him to abandon his invasion.

Recorded mintage: 6,000.

Specification: 31.1 g, .868 fine silver, .868 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: Bit 892, KM C173, Dav-287.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, Scott Cordry and John Kraljevich, Heritage Sale 3010: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2010.
  • [2]There were circulating 1½ rouble coins for Poland struck by Russian mints as well as Polish mints.

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