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Kopeck

KOPECK

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

bibliography

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

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