Generous Donation: Two Ruble Gold Coin Completes Set

News from 11/14/2017

Vladimir Matveyev's gift to the Münzkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin is valuable in more than one way: the two-ruble gold coin of Catherine the Great completes the set of coins from her reign.

Wladmir Matwejew übergibt Zweirubelgoldmünze an Hermann Parzinger
© Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Christian Stoess

The permanent exhibition at the Münzkabinett (Coin Cabinet) of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) includes a series of coins of the Tsarina of Russia, Catherine II. Until recently, the collection possessed specimens of only fourteen of the fifteen denominations minted during Catherine's reign. On November 8, 2017, the 'missing' piece was presented to Hermann Parzinger, President of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation), by the international ambassador in Frankfurt, Vladimir Matveyev. Thanks to this generous donation, the set of coins is now complete.

The two ruble piece was minted in St. Petersburg in 1785. The obverse face bears a portrait of the Tsarina and the initials (the mint mark) of the mint in St. Petersburg. The reverse bears the crowned, double-headed eagle of the Tsars with the orb and scepter in its talons. The coin weighs 2.49 grams. It was the last two ruble piece issued by the Russian Empire. 

Catherine II was born in Stettin. The daughter of a Prussian general, she was christened Sophie Auguste Friederike von Anhalt-Zerbst. At the age of sixteen, she married the heir to the Russian throne. Many years later, she deposed him and took power. She ruled the Russian Empire from 1762 to 1796. Under her rule, Russia rose to become a great European power. 

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