Skip to main content



The kopeck (kopeyka )equal to one-hundredth of the rublewas first introduced as part of a 1534 monetary reform as equal to 0.68 grams of silver.

The silver coin was twice as heavy as the Muscovite denga (moskovka ) and known as denga kopeynaya, becauselike its Lithuanian modelit depicted a rider carrying a lance (kope ). The name novgorodka, initially much more common, reflected the fact that it equaled in value the old Novgorod denga. In spite of the reform, the Muscovite denga and altyn (the latter equal to three kopecks) remained the basic units of accounting until the eighteenth century. The kopeck was the largest denomination minted until the 1654 monetary reform, along with the denga and the polushka (one-quarter kopeck). Vasily Shuisky briefly minted gold kopecks, and during Alexei Mikhailovich's currency reform from 1655 to 1663, kopecks were minted of copper. Alexei also began to mint ruble, poltina (50 kopecks), and altyn coins, as well as, experimentally, the grosh (two kopecks). In 1701 the polupoltinnik (25 kopecks), the grivna (10 kopecks), and the polugrivna (5 kopecks) were introduced.

Peter I's monetary reform of 1704 introduced a decimal system with the copper kopeck as the basic subdivision of the silver ruble, although silver kopecks continued to be minted until 1718. Fifteen- and twenty-kopeck coins were introduced in 1760. Coins of up to 5 kopecks during the rest of the Imperial Era tended to be minted of copper, regardless of transition between silver, gold, and paper rubles. During the Soviet period, kopecks were minted of an alloy of copper and zinc.

See also: alexei mikhailovich; altyn; copper riots; denga; ruble; shuisky, vasily ivanovich


Spassky, Ivan Georgievich. (1968). The Russian Monetary System: A Historico-Numismatic Survey, tr. Z. I. Gorishina and rev. L. S. Forrer. Amsterdam: J. Schulman.

Jarmo T. Kotilaine

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Kopeck." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . 22 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Kopeck." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . (February 22, 2019).

"Kopeck." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved February 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.