Top Condition Census Peter the Great Ruble Featured as lot #31132 in the Stack’s Bowers Galleries 2015 Chicago ANA

For today’s world coin preview from the Stack’s Bowers Galleries official auction of the ANA World’s Fair of Money, we have an incredibly well preserved Ruble of Peter I (the Great). The inaugural emperor Peter of the House of Romanov ruled the territory of Russia first as Tsar and then as Emperor after he expanded it into a major European power. Peter the Great ruled Russia for over 40 years and forged the Tsardom into an empire, 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 and a rationalist system of government. Peter expanded the territory through war, most notably his attempt to gain a Baltic port in what 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 feature comes from the twilight of Peter’s rule, and the formal end of the Great Northern War. This coin was minted just before Peter acquired the formal title of Emperor, as evidenced by this coin’s Cyrillic legend. The dignified right facing bust of Peter the Great appears in full regalia, with laurel crown and full cuirass and drape. The legend begins at the 12 o’clock position and continues clockwise: “Tsar Peter Alexievich, of all the Russias, Autocrat”. The plural “Russias” is significant as it dates back beyond Peter I (the Great) as a term enumerating the various regions of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus that were brought into the Tsardom, later evolving into the Russian empire. The reverse features the regal double-headed eagle, used as an icon of the Tsardom and later the official Imperial symbol. Each of the eagle’s heads is crowned, and there is a third crown above the design. The left claw holds a scepter, representing monarchial power, and the globus cruciger in the right claw demonstrates the religious authority of the Tsar and later the emperor. The reverse inscription reads: “New Coin weight (or value) Ruble 1720 (in Cyrillic).” A wholly original example with exceptional strike details, especially the eagle’s feathers. The fields remain free of any marks or abrasions, and the edges are pristine. This important Russian coin is the finest certified example, and is sure to launch a collection into the realm of incomparable quality.

Look for this and other world numismatic rarities in our upcoming August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction. Preview this impressive coin along with the rest of our auction this July and August at the Stack’s Bowers Galleries offices located in Irvine, California and New York, as well as at the auction venue in Chicago. For details please refer to the Events Calendar link at To schedule an appointment, please call 800.458.4646. Though our Stack’s Bowers August ANA World’s Fair of Money Auction is no longer open for further consignments, we are now accepting consignments of world and ancient coins for our November Baltimore Auction and the January New York International Auction as well as Asian coins and currency for our December 2015 Hong Kong Showcase Auction. Time is running short, so 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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