TRIVIA: Wire Money

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Clinker, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    "Wire Money," an early type of Russian coinage, was produced from 980 A.D. to 1718 A. D. Rolls of wire (bronze, silver and gold) were sent to the coin minters for use in striking coins. Depending on which coin was to be struck, the proper roll of wire was selected and precise lengths were cut off and hammered flat. The newly hammered flan (blank/planchet) was placed on an anvil (fixed) die. The minter then held the punch die against the flan and Bam! a coin.

    I'm not going to make you wade through swamps of different Russian "wire Money" struck during its long life of useage (728 years), but will let you see examples produced under some well-known tsars (czars).

    Peter 1 (the great) was the last ruler of the "Wire Money" era. He was the tsar who abolished the use of "Wire Money" in favor of machine struck coins.
    Our first looks at Russian "Wire Money" are a few struck during the reign of Ivan III (Vasiljevich). Photos courtesy of Metal Detecting World.

    From the Novgorod Mint I introduce two 1 Denga coins. Photos courtesy of Metal Detecting World:

    This one struck circa 1479 - 1490:

    This one was struck circa 1490 - 1505: money/pages/02_denga_ivanIII.htm

    Here's a Denga hammered into circulationm by the minter of the Pskov Mint circa 1510-1520 during the rule of Vasiliy III Ivanovich. Photo courtesy of Metal Detecting World: money/pages/03_denga_pskov.htm

    Same ruler but minted at the Novgorod Mint circa 1520 - 1533. Another Denga: money/pages/04_denga_vasiliyIII.htm

    Now we step up to a silver Poluska "Wire Money" coin produced by the Tver Mint circa 1533 - 1584 during Ivan IV's reign: money/pages/05_polushka_vasIII.htm

    What you are about to see (courtesy of Metal Detecting World) are two "Sword" Kopek coins struck at the Moscow Mint when (circa 1535) the notorious Ivan the Terrible tyranized the Russian populace: money/pages/07_sword_kopeck.htm money/pages/08_sword_kopeck.htm

    It's my great pleasure to present to you this photo (courtesy of vcoins) of a "Wire Money" coin made in the lifetime of Boris Godunov circa 1598 - 1605:

    Let's end this trivia with a look at one of the last "Wire Money" coins of Russia just before Peter the Great banned them courtesy of Calgary Coin:

    Thought you'd like to know...

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  3. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    I'm not sure but I believe the flattening of the wire was done by the striking with the die. I don't think it was flattened first.
  4. yakpoo

    yakpoo Member

    Do you think any of these coins may have been "shaved"? ...or were they too small to bother with?
  5. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian


    Here's one expert who espouses your view:
    On the other hand, this website says they were, cut, flattened and then struck:
    And this dealer, a well known seller of "historic and unusual world coins & currency" agrees with the "cut first" view:
    Since no one who was there is around to give us eye witness testimony, I guess this will have to remain a case of "Ya pays yer muney and ya takes yer cherce".
  6. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Most numismatic historians whose comments I read, talked about the muscular buildup of the minter's striking arm, so I choose thr majority over the minority...

  7. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Will ya look at that guys bicepts....Truely interesting stuff Clinker. :)
  8. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Hey and Hi green18:

    Good to hear from you again and thanks for reading this post and your positive comment...All comments are taken to heart, but the positive ones fuel my ambition to find another numismatic subject to present to all Coin Talk members...

  9. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    I would think that a close examination of the wire money would probably answer the question. I've just never been interested in examining mine for that answer because I thought they struck the wire.

    Ok I will admit that when I first read Clinkers article I did not follow the links to go lok at the coins. Having done so now, I would have to agree that on most of them it does appear that the wire was flattened before the striking. Many of the planchets are clearly flattened in areas outside that of the faces of the die.
  10. cherylkubucko

    cherylkubucko Grandma Froggie

    Clinker, this is nice of you to share, I don't own any of them but it is good to know just in case. Cheryl
  11. TheNoost

    TheNoost huldufolk

    Not what I expected to see when clicking on the links. Thanks for the knowledge!
  12. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    Conder 101

    Overheard in Saint Petersburg's Gorcy Park,

    "Wow Boris, that's a huge bicept on your right arm, you must be a coin minter!" ;)

  13. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

  14. Clinker

    Clinker Coin Collector

    To cherylkubucku:

    Thanks once again for reading my "trivia" posts and commenting. When I discovered wire money and began researching it, it kept my interest. That was the easy part. The hard part was choosing the how to present the subject so it would be interesting to most of you (Coin Talk members)

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