2007 Russian 50-kopek coin found in change in Ohio causes finder to wonder

Readers Ask column from the Aug. 25, 2014, issue of Coin World
By , Coin World
Published : 08/07/14
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I found what appears to be a Russian coin in my change. Is it worth anything?

Michele Orzano, Sidney, Ohio

You’ve probably heard of someone writing a letter to her future self about some encounter or experience.

This Readers Ask is a bit like that. I found the coin I am writing about, so I’m the one who can tell the backstory.

As a Coin World staff member I’m very used to answering questions about coins, paper money, medals, tokens and other odd bits that our readers ask about. 

But this time I had my own questions, about an odd coin I found in my change.

I had a small change purse overflowing with coins. It was time to take them to my bank’s automated coin counting machine and redeem them for folding money.

Often a bent or discolored Lincoln cent or a Canadian 10-cent gets kicked out in the reject slot of the automated counter. Sometimes I can just drop rejected U.S. coins back into the machine, and it will count them. 

When I heard a coin clink into the reject slot, I expected the usual. But lo and behold, I found instead a slightly worn coin that looked like it had Cyrillic lettering.

I finished my business at the bank, and when I got back to the office the identification hunt was on!

The obverse design shows St. George on horseback, about to spear a serpent. The design seems to be a slight variation on Great Britain’s St. George and the Dragon design.

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