THIRD ROME Alexei Mikhailovich 1645-76 copper wire kopek Novgorod


RUSSIA, Alexei Mikhailovich, 1645-76, kopek, Novgorod mint, copper, 12x8mm, 0.43g, M-p217-zhe, cleaned F

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Alexei was the second Tsar of the Romanov family. He came to the throne at age 16. While pursuing administrative and military reforms the public welfare was neglected and revolts developed, at least one of which ended in a draw. He also got involved in expensive wars with Sweden and Poland, which further depressed the internal economy, producing more rebellions. Wikipedia describes him as a happy guy who liked to see other people happy. The copper kopeks were briefly introduced during a fiscal crisis, and were withdrawn after riots.

Russian “wire kopeks” were an evolution of the tiny Islamic “dirhams” or akjes that circulated there before and during the Mongol period. Ivan IV, nicknamed Ivan the Terrible because he could be very mean. He was Grand Duke of Moscow, until a palace faction declared him Tsar (Caesar), something between king and Emperor. The basic idea was an assertion of lordship over the other local rulers.

Even though most of Russia is actually in Asia, it is considered by everyone to be a European country.

The political arrangements that resulted in the nations of modern Europe began to emerge out of anarchy starting in the 7th century AD or so. Europe, for our purposes stretches from Greenland to somewhere in Russia. Collectors of Europe would likely include Russia. Collectors of Asia, even though about 2/3 of Russia is in Asia, probably not.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.