Rus Articles Journal

How there was a kopek?

Author: S. V. Halatov

the kopek began the history in 1534 when the Russian monetary reform was carried out by Ivan the Terrible`s mother - Elena Glinskaya. The reason for its carrying out was quite serious. In the early thirties the 16th century across all Russia the spontaneous obrezyvaniye of coins extended. As a result silver coins lost flesh, undermining bases of all monetary economy and arousing mistrust at people. Nothing helped: neither executions, nor prison. There was only exit: to forbid all old coins (which are cut off and are not cut off), having replaced them new. It was also made in a year of accession to the throne of juvenile Ivan IV Grozny (1530 - 1584).

All Russian coins of this time had irregular shape this results from the fact that they were minted on the flattened-out scraps of a silver wire. As a result of a plyushcheniye of these scraps turned out oblong almost oval form of a plate on which drawing of the face and an inscription of reverse were beaten out. The new denga had the image of the rider with a spear and differed in it from old Moscow money where the rider with a saber was represented.

New coins began to call kopeks, or kopeyny coins. Many considered that they began to call them so on a spear in hands of the rider. But in the explanatory dictionary of living great Russian language published in 1881, Vladimir Dahl to it treats with doubt and thinks that kopek came from the word to save money. The weight of kopek was taken from Novgorod by money which was twice heavier than Moscow. Thus, registration unit - one ruble equaled to 100 Novgorod either 200 Moscow money, or 400 half-ears (a half money or a quarter of kopek).

At the end of the 17th century in Russia the financial crisis developed. As a result of damage of coins and decrease in their weight in silver the kopek turned into a tiny piece of silver. To pay a large sum in this coin, it was required to spend several days only for calculation. And then the tsar Peter I decided to enter new monetary system which would answer the increasing commerce. But, being afraid of discontent in the people, he saw off it gradually, within 15 years.

At first the copper trifle below a kopek was released: a denga - 1/2 kopeks, a half-ear - 1/4 kopek and a semi-half-ear - 1/8 kopek. Long dinned into the people that money, four half-ears or eight semi-semi-shek of copper are absolutely equivalent one kopek from silver. Only in 1704 in the address appeared copper kopek of equal 1/100 part of silver ruble, and it was succeeded to replace silver kopek copper. The image of the rider with a spear on kopek existed until the end of the 18th century. By the way, Russia was the first-ever country which entered decimal monetary system. The three-copecks piece - pyatialtynny (15 kopeks) was the only face value which is not keeping within decimal monetary system. Since 1713 short stamping of round silver kopek began (release of kopeks of a prereform sample continued till 1718).

It is interesting that on some copper and silver Petrovsky coins at designation of their cost original reception was used: for competent face value was designated by the word, for illiterate - the corresponding quantity of points or hyphens.

In 1917 trying to cope with expenses on warfare, the imperial government of Nicholas II (1868 - 1918) sharply strengthened issue of paper money and threw into the address even... paper kopek. On it it was printed: Is in use on an equal basis with a change copper (silver) coin . Also stamps of the series devoted 300 - to the anniversary of House of Romanovs, with a similar overprint were released on the back.

The first Soviet kopek left in the address in 1924 - 1926. In 1925, 1926 and 1927 copper coins by face value in half-kopeks were minted. Because monetary production absorbed a lot of copper, necessary for the industry, the decision on the termination of release of copper kopek was made. Since 1926 the country passed to stamping of coins from an alloy of golden bronze (medno - a zinc alloy) of 5, 3, 2 and 1 kopek. From this point the kopek began to weigh exactly one gram, and in ruble there were 100 grams a small coin.

On the eve of August putsch of 1991 the State bank USSR released coins of new design and parameters of 10, 50 kopeks, 1, 5, 10 rubles. In the people they were nicknamed coins of GKCHP . After collapse of the USSR inflation, having gained steam, ate kopek. The central bank of Russia officially declared that, having lived up to the 460 - the anniversaries, the kopek ceased to exist and disappeared!

as a result of denomination of Russian ruble since January 1, 1998 in Russia was reanimated kopek as 1/100 its part. New kopeks have different face values and weight. But on all, as well as in 1534 there is an image of the rider with a spear.