Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Imperial Russia 500 Rubles 1912

The 500 ruble issue of 1912 is one of the most spectacular banknotes of the imperial period due to both its sharp-looking design and sheer size.  This note is massive, and among the largest banknotes ever issued by any nation.  It measures 275mm by 127mm, and is truly a piece of artwork.  The front features the imperial coat of arms in several places, the denomination, and a watermark of Czar Peter The Great (r.1682-1725) on the left-hand side.  The back features a portrait of Peter on the left and a seated female figure towards the right side of the note.  The watermark is also visible from the reverse side.

This specimen comes in two signature varieties, Konshin and Shipov.  The Konshin examples retail for $15 in VG and $50 in UNC, while the Shipov notes go for considerably less--$8 in VG and $30 in UNC.  The difference in price between the two varieties can be attributed to the rampant inflation--brought on by World War I--that was going on in Russia during this time period.  The price of Shipov notes is less simpley because there are many more of them in existence.  

Here are the pictures:




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