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Humanitarian sciences in Siberia

2015 year, number 1


V.V. Vedernikov1
Altai Institute of Economic, Saint-Petersburg University of Management and Economic, Kulagina st., 13/15, Barnaul, 656011
Keywords: coins, copper, Ekaterinburg mint, Suzun mint, Kolywano-Voskresensk foundries, money, silver


The Suzun coining has been studied very unevenly and generally insufficiently. Researchers paid attention only to the early stage of Suzun mint’s activities and to its liquidation. The purpose of this article is to observe the copper money production in Suzun mint during the entire period of 1766-1848. Silver was the main product in Altai, therefore ore deposits containing industrial concentrations of silver were considered argentiferous although they could also contain copper. The copper production was an integral part of the whole cycle of silver production. By 1765, about 520 tons of copper mattes had been accumulated in Kolywano-Voskresensk foundries. Construction of the special copper foundry on the Nizhny Suzun River in 1764 led to separation of silver and copper smelting. Thus, copper production started to play a separate role. All produced copper was used for coining. At first due to technology imperfections it was impossible to refine copper removing both the detrimental impurities and precious metals. Since the produced copper contained gold and silver the Kolywan coins rouleau was increased up to 25 rubles from pood as opposed to Ekaterinburg roleau of 16 rubles / pood. However, the general progress in metallurgy of the 1770s allowed improving the copper refinement to an extent that stamping of state coins began already in 1781. By 1848, the share of Suzun mint in the Russian copper coining had increased up to 12.8% while the share of Ekaterinburg mint was 70%. In 1830-1855 the Ministry of finances improved the copper metallurgy essentially and reduced the production costs. On the other hand, it reduced the number of ovens and delayed the repair of Suzun foundry after the fire in 1829. Following the 1847 fire at the Suzun mint the Ministry of finances stopped the coinage switching over to production of sorted copper and to delivery of Suzun copper to Ekaterinburg mint.