Embarking on this numismatic journey through the turbulent years of the reign of Peter I the Great is ambitious, and scary too, a task that a hobbyist with a patchy memory of Russian history could ever undertake. The man is the major problem to the narrative of course, because of his countless deeds welded indelibly in the popular folklore and political propaganda lionising the Czar the shipbuilder, the victor ever young and wise, the justice and the forefather of the Russian Imperial statehood in its revolving evolution up until the present. Visiting Saint-Petersburg perhaps is the only way that one would have a chance to appreciate the extend of what was done, and at what cost, to turn a medieval czardom, backward in most aspects from politics and governing to trade and technology, into a major European power with independent political agenda and far-reaching goals. Not the least place in this transition belongs to the coins – now merely the silent witnesses of the history, but then the power that fuelled the state machine building the modern army, navy and new cities, and pushing territorial expansions and new national identity which is now phobically stamped in the West as the insatiable Russian Imperial appetite. Continue reading here.