The Nikolaev ruble: history, description with photos, varieties and coinage

The period of the reign of Nicholas II in Russia was marked by the beginning of the minting of silver coins. They were popular among the people and were used in commodity-money relations. Moreover, their face value was lower than that of gold banknotes. The silver Nikolaev ruble was the most expensive, followed by pennies at a cost. In the total mass of coin products pennies prevailed. On coins of 25 kopecks and above, portraits of reigning persons began to be applied again.

History of coinage of the Nikolaev ruble

coin Nikolaev ruble

The reform of the monetary system entailed changes in the financial charter of the Russian Empire.

Nicholas II in June 1899 approved a new version of the monetary charter, according to which the share of pure silver in the Nikolaev ruble was to be 18 grams. In the territory of the Russian Empire, the silver ruble became an additional cash, therefore, the maximum amount in silver that could be paid did not exceed 25 coins. The amount per resident in total circulation in the country could not exceed 3 rubles.

High-grade coins of the Nikolaev ruble, issued in 1899, had a face value of 1 unit, and the share of pure silver in them was 900 parts. Unlike gold rubles, which had the right to “free coinage”, silver ones were only in “closed coinage”. The production of Nikolaev money was established only during the reign of the emperor - from 1895 to 1915. The Nikolaev ruble, issued in 1899, was sold in silver in huge circulation and has been in circulation for 20 years, which is why today it can be found in good condition.

Basics of the issue of Nikolaev coins

Nikolaev gold ruble

During the reign of Nicholas II, the regulation of portrait coinage was returned, canceled many years before by Alexander III, who did not welcome the fact that the royal image would be in the hands of commoners.

The coins of the Nikolaev period are valuable precisely because they again began to depict the royal profile, and they included high-grade silver.

Silver coins minted in denominations of 1 ruble, 50, 25, 20, 15, 10 and 5 kopecks were in constant use. The main years of their release are from 1898 to 1899.

In everyday life, however, it was possible to meet not only silver money - there were also copper coins with a face value of 0.25 to 5 kopecks. In the period from 1898 to 1899, including five-ruble aluminum coins were produced.

Commemorative coins

ruble silver Nikolaev

During the reign of Nicholas II, several silver Nikolaev rubles were issued, which were used as anniversary rubles:

  • Coronation silver rubles issued in 1896. A series of metal money included 190 thousand coins and was given to everyone present at the coronation ceremony. Today, the cost of one anniversary ruble varies from 500 to 600 dollars. The low price is due to the large number of surviving specimens.
  • Issued in honor of the discovery in 1898 of the statue of Alexander II, a ruble coin. The series was minted in the amount of 5 thousand copies. The reverse depicted a statue in honor of which a coin was issued, on the obverse - Tsar Alexander III. Today, the Nikolaev ruble is estimated by numismatists at 3-4 thousand dollars, however, copies in good quality can be sold for 12 thousand.
  • The memorable silver ruble of 1912, minted in honor of the opening of the monument to Alexander III. The number of coins was limited to 2 thousand copies, which significantly increases their value in modern realities. Today the price of the memorable Nikolaev ruble varies from 7 to 12 thousand dollars. In good condition, a coin can be sold for 20 thousand or more;
  • Silver rubles of 1912 minted to the Centenary of victory in the war with Napoleon. The exact number of coins in the series is unknown. Chasing was carried out from 1912 to 1913. Numismatists estimated the circulation of the coin at approximately 40 thousand copies, the cost of one coin - one and a half thousand dollars. It is extremely rare that experts estimate rubles at five thousand dollars.
  • The silver ruble of 1913 was issued on the 300th anniversary of the Romanov imperial house. The series was large, so the current price of coins does not exceed $ 300; most often numismatists give for copies of 50-70 dollars.
  • The jubilee Gangut ruble is the last coin issued under royal rule. Her coinage was dedicated to the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the first victory in the naval battle of Gangut. Unfortunately, this series of coins almost completely went into remelting, but in 1916 it was re-issued. For this reason, specimens are found at numismatic auctions at a price of 5-7 thousand dollars, but some experts estimate them at several tens of thousands of dollars.

Gold coins of the reign of Nicholas II

Nikolaev silver ruble

During his reign, the position of Minister of Finance was given by Nicholas II to one of the country's most important persons - Witte. The latter began financial reform in the country, aimed at changing the main metal of financial accounting.

During such changes, the country completely switched to the gold standard of coinage, as a result of which all coins began to be equated with this metal.

A feature of the monetary reforms carried out was the change in the coinage rates. For example, the weight of the gold Nikolaev ruble, intended to fill the treasury, was reduced by 4.3 grams during the Witte reform period. Similar changes were introduced in 1898 and lasted until 1899, including during the following years of the reign of Nicholas II and the work of Witte.

Features of coinage: Rus

ruble silver

A distinctive feature of coinage of money during the reign of Nicholas II was the attempt to change their name from ruble to Russian. Trial versions of coins in denominations of 5, 10 and 15 Rus were presented to the tsar, but he did not approve of such a replacement.

For this reason, Russ in collections of numismatists are extremely rare. Only 5 sets were minted, of which 3 are owned by museums. The high rarity of the Russians affects their high cost: numismatists and collectors are ready to give for such coins from 200 to 500 thousand dollars. The coins of the gold Nikolaev ruble also underwent changes. After the reform of 1895-1897, some metal money kept its weight unchanged: we are talking about imperials and semi-imperials.


gold coin Nikolaev ruble

Some of the 10-ruble gold coins are called imperials. Their distinguishing feature is the inscription "Imperial". Despite the small face value, the gold ruble is highly valued by numismatists, who are ready to pay tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. Imperials were minted for three years - from 1898 to 1897 - 125 copies a year.

Today it is almost impossible to find such gold rubles, which raises their value tenfold.


The situation is similar with semi-imperials. These coins were minted in the same period as the imperials, but fewer were issued. Despite this, the semi-imperial gold is valued at the same tens of thousands of dollars.


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