Novodels Restrikes of Russian Coins
Ccoin Collection? Numismatics is the Study & Collection of Money or Coins
It is possible and accepted that the novodel might actually aim to improve upon the quality of a poorly-made original strike and not make any effort to hide this fact. If the planchets used in the original strike were inferior, a novodel would likely use better metals and updated technology resulting in improved qualities.
Such is cited with Siberian kopeks of the late 1700s which had rough edges, generally were out of round and were considered to be poorly struck. It was because of the remoteness of Siberia that coins which left the region as payment for goods would probably never return. This obviously caused a shortage of currency in this remote and fairly inaccessible region in the late 1700s.
Ekaterina II (whom we westerners refer to as Catherine (II) the Great) in 1763 authorized local mintage of coins in Siberia to supplement the 'genuine' Russian coins.
"Siberskaya Moneta" (Siberian Coin) was struck locally and designed to be smaller in size than the comparable Russian equivalents due to trace elements of both silver and gold in the copper used for the coins. It was their inability to extract these more expensive metals locally that necessitated the smaller planchet size. These low-tech coins were somewhat irregular in shape, often having rough edges and being noticeably out-of-round. A novodel might improve upon the quality of the coin even though the improvements can make them less accurate if that is a correct assessment.
A restrike differs in that it a more strict reproduction using the same dies and minting methods as the original and would emulate the same quality of materials and manufacturing techniques. A counterfeit coin would actually strive to faithfully reproduce the lower quality of the actual coin in every respect whereas a novodel makes no attempt to hide the fact that it is an improved reproduction or commemorative issue. A novodel is not a counterfeit coin but an approximation of the real coin intended for collectors.
Novodels are not intended for circulation, but for collecting for admiration. They are usually far more affordable than the original and can be obtained by even the modest coin collector. Coin Shows often have novodels for sale and sites such as e-Bay offer a variety of novodels for sale.
Why Create Novodels?
Rare and old coins that were not produced in large quantities or for a long time (commemorative, etc.) or because of when they were produced are prized by collectors are candidates for being made as a novodel. A novodel might provide the opportunity to fill this desire for collectors on a budget to own a rare coin.
Even if high quality or PROOF quality never existed for that particular coin, a novodel might provide that coin in the superior grades for the appreciation of the collector. Such would be the case as mentioned with some particular Russian coins minted in the 1700s (Siberian coins, etc.) and 1800s.
Rare and sought-after Collectible Russian Coins
In all likelihood, nearly all the very best of original rare Russian coinage are in museum vaults or private collections and will never be in the hands of average collectors. Novodels can allow the modest collector to have a close copy of an actual issue and often for a reasonable price.
Novodel Coins are not Necessarily Inexpensive
But not all novodels are necessarily cheap. Some novodel coins are made specifically for collectors and produced in very high grades and limited quantities that they can be expensive and thus, be highly collectible in their own right.
Collectors should be aware that novodels are neither counterfeit or re-strikes, but a sanctioned remake from the official mint.
Novodels in My Collection
I will share some images of novodel coins from my collection and a brief description of each.
Victory over Nazi Germany: Soviet Novodel Coin of the USSR
Odin Rouble (One Rouble) "Pobeda nad Fascistskoy Germany" (roughly translated) commemorating Victory over Fascism (Fascist Germany) (above.) Notice the swastika-like representation under the feet of the soldier.
100th Anniversary of Lenin Novodel (USSR Coin)
This is one of my favorite coins just for the ostentatiousness of the obverse; the Lenin head. The year 1970 was the centenary year of Lenin's birth and back in that year in Russian-oppressed Poland, many posters and billboards commemorated this fact with the acronym "S.R.U.L." and image of Lenin, which received many giggles and snickers from Poles.
While this acronym means "Centenary Anniversary of Lenin" or something akin to this, the Polish word (if I am quoting my Polish source correctly whom conveyed this tale orally and forgive me if I am not) "srul" (without the period dots) means um, -'one who poops' although substitute "poops" with another four-letter word for excrement in English begins with "s" and you've got the idea behind the accidental joke.
Other commemorative of 100 Years of Lenin can even be found on this Google Map link. Here, a forest was culled in a way to create the visage that could only be seen from the air.
This was done long before Google Maps, the internet, etc. Clearly, apart from national pride and probably orders to do so, this likely was done to irritate western spy satellites which doubtlessly studied every square meter of the nation closely during these Cold War years.