So-called the Russian strikes of the Dutch gold ducats are very specific coins. There is no general work in this subject, however the comprehensive book on the Russian strikes, as well as on imitations and counterfeits of the Dutch ducats will be published and announced on this website. However, I am still missing important sources, documents from the St. Petersburg archives, etc. So the issue of the Russian strikes was not discussed here on purpose, until now.
I found an information about the Russian strikes of the 1840 and 1849 Dutch ducats on the blog of the American numismatist (I don’t give his name to not discredit him personally). It encouraged me to say a bit about these coins. The author of the blog purchased one of the Russian strike ducat and now he is trying to explain the phenomenon of the Russian strikes of the Dutch ducats. Unfortunately, the knowledge about them he has is very shallow, also because he did this research without having any of the basic literature in the subject, what scared me the most. This is not the way to authorize himself to explain this issue to ther people interested in the subject. At least it shouldn’t be done this way by the professional numismatist.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ST. PETERSBURG AND UTRECHT STRIKES
The 1840 ducat – to the best of my knowledge, all ducats with the torch mintmarter’s privy mark are minted in Russia. In addition, distinctive features for the Russian 1840 ducat with the lily mintmarter’s privy mark are also found in the specimen pictured on the aforementioned blog website, what may confirm their Russian origin.
The 1849 ducat – there is over ten differences between the Russian and Utrecht strikes. One of the most significant is that on genuine ducats the thumb of the knight embraces all arrows, meanwhile on the Russian strikes it’s shorter and does not embrace 6th and 7th arrow from the left. But when coin is worn, there is worth to take an effort and verify other differences, to determine if it’s the Russian strike or genuine ducat. For instance, on the Russian ducats the sword is wider and the plume on the knight’s helmet is richer, than on genuine ducats and shape of some letters in inscritpions is different from ducats minted in Utrecht.
MINTAGES OF THE ST. PETERSBURG AND UTRECHT STRIKES
The 1840 ducat was minted in two varieties – with the lily or the torch mintmarter’s privy marks. The 1840 ducats with the torch were minted in St. Petersburg only. Their mintage is 852,000 pcs., which is also the highest number of the annual production of this type in the St. Petersburg mint after 1838.
The 1849 ducat – mintage in Utrecht is 14,344 pcs., in St. Petersburg – usually it’s given as about 4,750,000 pcs. To the best of my knowledge, it was 3,850,200 pcs. Minting took place in years 1849-67 and it was:
- 1849 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1850 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1852 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1853 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1854 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1855 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1856 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1857 – 150,000 pcs.
- 1859 – 200,000 pcs.
- 1860 – 200,000 pcs.
- 1861 – 300,000 pcs.
- 1863 – 100,000 pcs.
- 1864 – 200,000 pcs.
- 1865 – 200,200 pcs.
- 1866 – 200,000 pcs.
- 1867 – 200,000 pcs.
All ducats from 1849-1867 were minted with the date of 1849, because from 1850 no ducats were struck in Utrecht.
Bibliography in the subject is pretty rich, but it’s mostly written in Russian or Dutch and some of these materials are difficult to obtain in libraries. What is explained above on the example of the 1840 and 1849 ducats is just the very basic information about the Russian strikes of the Netherlands ducats. Even information provided here about those two dates is not complete. Much more will come in the book. To wet your whistle I will just mention that the history of minting Russian strikes of the Netherlands ducats did not end up in 1867.
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