Coins of Ivan the Terrible
A small miniature from the Russian annals of the 17th century depicts the process of making coins. From this it is known that silver billets were first smelted in a crucible, and then they were minted, holding the hot billet in special tongs. The big omission on the part of the chronicler is the moment that he did not show how to drag the wire, cut it and plyuschat to get blanks.
Before the reform, two types of money were minted – Novgorod money and Moscow money. It should be noted that the Novgorod money was twice as heavy as the Moscow coin, and therefore such a unit of monetary calculation as the ruble was equal to two hundred Moscow money, or one hundred Novgorod money. From the records of the chronicler it is known that about 300 new coins were minted from one hryvnia of silver, while there were 260 of them earlier. It follows from this that the new coin was lighter, but its name was preserved, as before it was called Novgorod. Novgorod coins were minted on three mints, which were located in Moscow, Novgorod and Pskov. After some time, “Novgorod” began to be called a penny. An interesting fact is that it acquired its name because of the rider with a spear depicted on it. Actually this is a reform carried out in 1535.
Under Tsar Vasily the Third, the monetary economy, which had been shaken for some time, was trying to restore, the main misfortune of which was that the fraudsters cut off some of the silver, giving the coin a full-fledged one. The most terrible punishments were applied, such as chopping off hands or pouring molten tin into the throat. The new government did not pay attention to all cruelty, and soon such executions became quite common. The most interesting thing is that gradually the money matter came in order and thus stabilized.
In addition to the fact that the Novgorod kopeks had been issued, the Moscow money was widely distributed. On it, unlike a penny, the horseman was depicted with a sword, and it was decided to call her “saber”, but this name did not stick.
Due to the fact that there were no own silver mines in Russia, the coins had to be minted from imported silver, mainly European, brought from the Czech Republic. Foreign coins were not allowed to be paid for in the Moscow kingdom, and were used only as a raw material for the manufacture of silver blanks used in the manufacture of their own money. The constant weight of the coins attracted private silver to the mints, as this guaranteed stability, and also that the mint did not appropriate a piece of silver to itself.
In order to attract foreign money for their subsequent remelting into silver billets, European thalers took as duties on goods imported into the state. However, due to the fact that the penny’s weight indicator was stable, when European traders came into the country, they tried to exchange their thalers for ready-made Russian coins, because the rate was slightly lower than when they were simply sold on the market.
Thus, the money business under Ivan the Terrible was successfully established and remained stable for a long time, perhaps because of a competent approach, and maybe because of the cruel punishments that were applied to various kinds of fraudsters who wanted to fill their pockets with state and other people.