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    The Coins of Belarus (before 1707) catalogue of numismatic portals IZROJ and MAGDUCLIT finally released! The book is in Belarusian language. It is devoted to the 300th anniversary of the last coin of the Grand Duchy of Litvania.


    [BLR] [ENG] [POL] [RUS] [UKR]

    The history of monetary circulation in Belarus encompasses many long centuries, during which the Belarusian endured many wars, epidemics, and famines. However, it is these negative events themselves that allow us to look back and see the past reflected in the actual coins of those periods. When we take an old coin into our hands, we see a small piece of metal which speaks so much about how the people of the time lived, regardless of their name: both Belarusian-Kryves and Belarusian-Litvans, as well as anonymous inhabitants of occupied land. Coins, comparatively inexpensive and affordable relics of the past, have come to us because of those bad times, which allowed extremely valuable hoards to survive. These hoards then allow us to recall our historical memories and give us the unforgettable feeling of communication with the past.

    Coins have been circulating in Belarus since ancient times, originating from both East and West, until Belarusians started to produce their own monetary form in the 12th century – izroj (grivna) of Viciebsk. With the formation and centralization of the ancient Belarusian state, namely the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), in the late 14th century, the first coins with legends in the Belarusian language finally appear. Simultaneously, a second type of silver grivna appears - the Litvan rouble.

    Before Grand Prince Vitaǔt achieved strong and centralized rule of the country in the late 1390’s, the numismatics of GDL were the sum of separate duchy’s emissions. It is now certain that besides the Grand Duke Jahajła in Vilnia, coins were also minted by Uładzimir and Skirhajła of Kiev, Dźmitry of Noŭharad-Severian, Kaściancin and Todar of Podolia, and other princes. Due to currently insufficient archeological efforts, it is also probable that coins of some specific duchies of this period are not yet known.

    In about 1392, as Vitaǔt assumed power, he began the mass production of deniers. The coins were minted until 1399-1401 when they were replaced with a new type. There was also established the very first in Europe decimal monetary system: 1 rouble = 100 Prague Groats = 1000 deniers.

    Westernization of the coinage of the Grand Duchy began in the late 15th century, as coins became similar to west European issues and had Latin legends only. Nevertheless, the special Grand Litvan monetary system remained in place and was only finally changed during the reign of Stephan Batory, when full unification of the monetary systems of GDL and Poland was realized. Coins of GDL continued to be struck, with some interruptions, up to the early 18th century, when the last one – a six groats of August Wettin – was delivered from the mint.

    These periods of Belarusian monetary circulation are the matter of the book that you, dear reader, hold in your hands. Quality pictures of all basic coin types that circulated are published here for the first time in Belarus. Guiding prices in the Belarusian collector’s market are also specified. The greatest attention is given to the period of occurrence of the first local money – izrojs, roubles, and small coins.

    Interest in these coins is unreasonably low among Belarusian coin collectors. This can be explained not only by their high prices, but mostly by the almost full absence of domestic works on early GDL numismatics. Therefore, the authors provided more detailed information in sections devoted to these events, using both the newest foreign numismatic literature as well as the results of the scientific research of Belarusian numismatist A. Hramyka. Some coins are published there for the first time. The newest data for the research were gathered by A. Hramyka and Dz. Hulecki.

    Information about all domestic and also foreign coins that circulated in Belarus is given for all periods before 1707. Coins of the Grand Duchy are numbered inside chapters to simplify reference usage of the book. Approximate prices (in USD) for coins in the grade of VF are specified. Although prices on the collector’s market tend to fluctuate frequently, the authors have made their best efforts to find the value that guarantees that a buyer will at least not overpay.

    Also useful to collectors is the inclusion of thematic articles at the end of the book, never before published in Belarus. A coin grading scale is proposed, based on the most modern foreign systems and new trends in the collector’s market. Basic recommendations for cleaning coins and identifying fakes are also provided.

    The authors also briefly describe the minting technologies of ancient coins, to stimulate an interest in collectors for further research in numismatics, and to increase the level of knowledge of these subjects. Finally, information about places of collector’s meetings in Belarus and neighboring countries is collected and published.

    Каталог TUT.BY Rambler's Top100 Русская монета | top 100 Яндекс цитирования