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2019 Smithsonian Russian Beard Token 10g Silver Replica Obverse

2019 Russian Beard Token 10g Silver Smithsonian Replica

$52.00

SKU: GMBEARDSIL.noraz

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Product Description

2019 Russian Beard Token 10g Silver Smithsonian Replica

Mint/Country

Shire Mint

Mintage

5,000

Date/Date Range

҂BΘI (2019)

Metal

Silver

Condition

Antiqued BU

Fineness

.999

Denomination

(Token)

Obverse

Bearded Face

Metal Content (oz)

 

Reverse

Russian Imperial Eagle

Weight (grams)

10

Diameter(mm)

22-24

Russia in the late 17th-century was a land of rapid and drastic change. The Emperor Peter I (r.1682-1725), also known as “Peter the Great,” was determined to usher in a new age of modernity for Russia, reflecting the changes that had been taking place in Renaissance Europe for the better part of two centuries. One of the many areas in which Peter set about affecting changes was in the realm of male appearances. To align Russian society with contemporary Western European models, Peter instituted a tax on beards upon his return from a Grand Tour of Western Europe in 1698. Different “tax brackets” were assigned depending on the social status of those men who still insisted on wearing a beard. Members of the imperial court were charged 60 rubles per annum, while merchants paid between 60 and 100 rubles per year. Muscovites owed 30 rubles yearly, while peasants were taxed two half-kopeks each time that they entered a city.

In order to record who had paid the necessary tax, those who had made payment were required to carry a “jeton” or “beard token.” This copper or silver token depicted the lower part of a face (including nose, mouth, mustache, and beard) on the obverse, paired with the Russian Imperial Eagle on the reverse. Several versions were minted between 1698 and the recension of the tax in 1772. The most common versions displayed the phrase “money taken” on the obverse, though a 1725 rhomboid-shaped version of this token also advertised that, “the beard is a superfluous burden.” Those who refused to pay the tax and who were caught with beard and without token were forcibly and publicly shaved.

Now in 2019, these tokens are back! Struck in 10 grams of silver, these tokens are carefully crafted reproductions of the original Russian beard tokens. These affordable issues are dated ҂BΘI (2019 in Cyrillic) and are officially licensed by the Smithsonian Institution. The unique Smithsonian Sun counterstamp on the reverse of every issue is a firm testament to this fact.

 

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