THIRD ROME Ivan IV 1533-84 kopek Novgorod mint


RUSSIA, Ivan IV, 1533-84, kopek, no date (1535-38) ΦC, Novgorod mint, silver, 10-14mm, 0.64g, M-17/14, F/G

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Ivan IV was Grand Prince of Moscow and then the first Tsar of Russia. He conquered the Tatars of Kazan and Astrakhan and purged the nobles to consolidate power. Went a little crazy and killed his son and heir, leaving a mess in his wake.

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.

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.