Thursday, December 3, 2009

Russian Gold 10 Ruble 1911

Czar Nicholas II design (Minted 1897-1911)

Russian 10 Ruble gold coins are fascinating relics of Imperial Russia. Minted from 1897 to 1911, they are equivalent in size to British gold sovereigns of the same era, yet they are many times scarcer than sovereigns. Prior to the discovery of the Nordic Gold Hoard in the early 1990s, these coins were almost impossible to find in mint condition!
The Last Czar
Nicholas II (1868-1918), the last Czar of Russia, ruled from 1896 to 1917. Studious and well educated, Nicholas was widely considered to be the most intelligent of his contemporary European monarchs, but contradictions in his character led to inconsistency in his reign. Although gentle, approachable, and undemanding in private life, as a ruler he was arbitrary, unyielding, and almost completely unable to relate his subjects, setting the stage for the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.
The Mad Monk!
Nicholas’ reign also saw the rise to power of Grigory Rasputin, the Mad Monk, one of the most scandalous figures in Russian history. A drunken, womanizing Siberian mystic, Rasputin arrived in St. Petersburg in 1911 and quickly became one of the most influential men in Russia, virtually ruling while Nicholas was away at war. Rasputin’s rise was due to his close relationship with the Empress Alexandra and his unique ability to staunch the bleeding of her hemophiliac son, Alexei. In late 1916 a group of aristocrats, believing that only Rasputin’s death could save Russia from revolution, had him poisoned, bludgeoned, shot, and stuffed under the heavy ice of a frozen river. Nonetheless, Russia was soon lost. Forced to abdicate March of 1917, Nicholas II and his family were shot to death in Yekatinburg on July 16, 1918.
Easily matched in sets with Nicolas II 5 ruble gold coins, these Russian 10 ruble gold coins are a wonderful tribute to the glory of pre-communist Russia, and deserve a place in every collection!

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