World Coins

Battle of Gangut silver ruble in Nov. 30 auction

A Russian silver ruble of 1914 celebrates the bicentennial of the pivotal naval Battle of Gangut. An example of the coin leads Numismatic Auctions LLC’s Nov. 30 mail-bid sale.

Coin images courtesy of Numismatic Auctions LLC.

Russia’s first major naval victory, in 1714 during a war with Sweden, was honored in 1914 with a commemorative coin.

The silver ruble is one of the key issues from Russia’s series of commemorative rubles. An example of the coin, celebrating the Battle of Gangut bicentennial, is one highlight in Numismatic Auctions LLC’s Nov. 30 public and mail-bid sale.  

The coin was once part of the Andrew L. Tuttle Memorial Museum in Defiance, Ohio, and was originally purchased during a Stack's auction of Feb. 2 and 3, 1968.

The museum consigned a number of the Tuttle coins to the auction, among which were several Russian rarities.

The official mintage of the coin is 317, and production occurred from 1914 through 1917, according to the Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, by Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler. However, as many as 30,000 examples may exist because an unknown number of restrikes were made during the 1920s. No way to distinguish the original strikes from later issues is reported.

Despite the higher mintage for the restrikes, the coin’s consequent rarity makes it one of the key issues in Russia’s commemorative ruble series.

The example in the auction is described as About Uncirculated to Uncirculated by the auction house, as well as “prooflike.” This piece is affected by hairlines and random scratches combined with what appears to be a lightly lacquered surface, according to the auction house.

Because of these issues, the coin carries an estimate of $3,000 to $5,000, far below the catalog value for About Uncirculated to Uncirculated examples without these impairments.

For full details, visit the firm’s website.

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