High Grade Peter the Great 1705 Ruble

The eagerly awaited January New York International Numismatic Convention and the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio world and ancient coin auction associated with it are only weeks away. A multitude of rarities will be offered this sale, a few of which have been showcased in this blog over the past weeks. For this week we detail is an exceptionally high grade Russian Ruble of Peter I.


Peter, of the House of Romanov, ruled the territory of Russia first as Tsar and then as Emperor. In his reign of over 40 years, he forged the Tsardom into an empire and succeeded in modernizing the traditionalist and medieval society. Peter was successful in fomenting a cultural revolution after he toured various European countries. He believed Russia’s future as a world power hinged on a modern and Europe-oriented society as well a rationalist system of government. Peter expanded the territory through war, most notably his attempt to gain a Baltic port, which was known as the Great Northern War against Sweden. After a disastrous first sortie, Peter’s allies held the Swedish army’s attention while Peter founded St. Petersburg in recently captured territory. The Swedish King Charles XII then attempted to invade Russia, a ruinous idea that would be repeated by Napoleon and Hitler. Peter was able to halt the Swedish advance, and implemented a scorched earth policy to deprive the enemy of supplies. The Swedes faltered in the brutal Russian winter and were defeated soon after. Throughout most of Peter’s rule Russia was at war, in an effort to expand his territory and gain an access to a port. The later years of Peter’s reign were marked by modernization reforms in Russia.


The coin we showcase here comes from the tumultuous period at the beginning of the Great Northern War. Struck in 1705, just two years after the founding of St. Petersburg, this Ruble is of exceptionally high quality given its age (as it was struck over a Polish Taler dated 1630, the metal is considerably older than the Russian design). The Cyrillic inscription reads: “Tsar Peter Alexeyevich, Ruler of all the Russias” with the plural “Russias” having historical significance for the different regions of Russia, Great, Little and White. This legend surrounds a right facing bust of Peter. The reverse of the coin features the iconic double-headed eagle of the Russian Tsar. The reverse inscription states: “Good Coin” followed by the denomination of Ruble and the date of 1705. It is interesting to note that this coin and other Rubles of this time period were over-struck on other Silver Taler sized coins from Europe. The under-coin in this instance is a Polish Taler dated 1630, and a good portion of the obverse design is visible under the portrait and the right side of the legend is fractured at best. The reverse also shows a good portion of the Polish Taler’s reverse design and legend. These characteristics serve to make this coin very distinctive. This example is in excellent condition when its age and over-struck circumstances are considered and was graded at Almost Uncirculated by PCGS and placed in a Secure Holder. This Russian numismatic rarity has earned a top spot in our January New York International Auction, and it should certainly demand competitive bidding.


Look for this and other World numismatic rarities in our upcoming January New York International Sale. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this December at the Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio office located in Irvine, California. To schedule an appointment, please call 800.566.2580. While our Stack’s Bowers and Ponterio January New York International sale is closed for further consignments, we are currently taking consignments of world and ancient coins for our April 2014 Hong Kong and August ANA sales. If you are interested in consigning your coins and paper currency (whether a whole collection or a single rarity) be sure to contact one of our consignment directors.

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