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3 rubles 2009
Commemorative 5 kopecks Sadagura
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21 mm diameter, 8 g, gold 99.9%, flat edge
Obverse: denomination "3 RUBLEA" (Cyrillic), coat of arms of the self proclaimed republic of Transnistria (bearing hammer and sickle), inscription "PRIDNESTROVSKII RESPUBLIKANSKII BANK" (in Cyrillic and Russian) meaning "[TRANS] NISTRIAN REPUBLICAN BANK", year 2009, at left mintmarks, at right the gold fineness - Au999
Reverse: reproduction of one side of the pattern of 5 kopecks 1771 that was meant to be struck at Sadagura for the the Romanian Principalities; bicephalic eagle of the Russian Empire, with crowned heads and with crown above, holding a sword and a scepter in its talons, standing on two shields bearing the Moldavian and Walachian coats of arms, two horizontal lines and face value 5 KOPIEKI, in Cyrillic letters, ensign below

Mintage: 250 coins

The self proclaimed Transnistrian Republic struck in 2009 a golden coin "commemorating" the Russian Turkish war waged between 1768 and 1774, during which the Romanian Principalities were occupied by Russian armies. This was done by reproducing one side of a Russian pattern prepared in anticipation to the introduction of Russian currency on the territory of Moldavia and Walachia, envisaged as candidates for incorporation to the Tzarist Empire.

5 kopecks 1771 - the other side, not reproduced in 2009

About 5 kopecks 1771 - pattern

The piece is the bearer of a political message, both subtle and categorical in displaying the intentions the issuer had in imposing domination in the region.

The choosing for the 2009 Transnistrian coin's theme can be understood only in connection with the political message of the original pattern it reproduces. The coats of arms of the Romanian Principalities are placed underneath the imperial coat of arms, stating that Russia arrogated the role of protector for Moldavia and Walachia.

The denomination value is in kopecks only - Russian currency -, the Romanian coats of arms appear as subdued and issuer empress Catherine II is explicitly present on the coin through her monogram (on the side not reproduced in 2009). We note that this essay is prior to the coins that effectively entered circulation, coins that had removed all the features that would have offended the Romanians and would have brought affront to the other powers with interests in the region.

The design of the essay imparts that the armies of Catherine II (represented by the bunch of weapons) brought to the two Romanian Principalities liberty (symbolized by the Phrygian bonnet, pileus, born in antiquity by the freed slaves and thusly known universaly as token of earned freedom). The presence of the fasces would mean that the Russians assumed the right of life and death over the Romanians. The fasces, (bundles of rods bound about an axe with a projecting blade) were born by lictors accompanying Roman magistrates and signifying the right of the respective magistrate to apply the punishment either with the rod (beating) or the axe (death). The bicephalous eagle under the talons of which the coats of arms of the Principalities lie shows clearly that in 1771 Russia assumed the quality of protector of Moldavia and Walachia. The diplomatic situation did not evolve probably as desired by the Russians, so that on the coins issued in 1772 and 1773 the references to Russia were reduced to the denomination value (dengas and kopecks).

About Sadagura coins: 1 para/3 denghi and 2 paras/3 kopecks

During the war between the Otoman Empire and Russia waged between 1768 and 1774 the Russian army struck large quantities of bronze coins for Moldavia and Walachia. Empress Catherine II endowed her army with a round budget for this war and a mint, but DID NOT provide the silver or other precious metal for striking. This led to the issue of these two bronze coins the value of which was not covered by anything and which were imposed to the Romanian population for products.

The value is double: first the currency is expressed in paras, small Turkish coins that circulated along many other European currencies in the Romanian Principalities, and then in denghy or kopieky, Russian currencies. This Russian custom applied to the countries that were already or about to be conquered - double legend and double face value coins were struck by Russia for Poland, Finland and Georgia at least, for other countries also, perhaps.

Along with the coins imposed into circulation, Russia prepared proper occupation coins, with value expressed in kopecks only. A replica of such a contemporary pattern of 5 kopecks 1771 is presented on the site.

This is a coin issued by Transnistria. Knowing one might rightfully be wondering what is Transnistria about, we tried to depict on the site the issue as best as we could. Click the links below to clarify yourself.

Transnistria Then and Now | Transnistrian Coinage

For further information confront the Modern and contemporary history section inside the Brief and Comprehensive History of Romanians and Romania page.

Why Transnistrian Coins on Romanian Coins?

Because Transnistrian coins are held in their pockets and used as such by Romanian speaking Romanians on their native land.

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