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Russian Empire Россійская Имперія 22nd October 1721 - 7th November 1917

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Old 08-18-2014, 05:21 PM   #1
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Russian Imperial Coin Bracelet

I was recently given a bracelet which looks like the one in the photo. The photo is just a sample one I found on ebay, but the design is almost identical. Coins date from around 1836 onwards and are mostly 20 or 15 kopecks coins.

I was wondering about the history of such things and how/why they were made? From what I can see in various auctions the item is not particularly valuable, assuming it's actually real anyway. Was it a fashion at times to wear such jewelry in imperial culture? For example in the British culture, it was common to have sovereign (gold coin) rings or necklaces. It's not common now, but at one time it was. Can anyone tell me a little about these items? Thanks.
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Last edited by scook17; 08-18-2014 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 08-18-2014, 06:08 PM   #2
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Re: Russian Imperial Coin Bracelet

This sort of item is widespread throughout Europe and also exists in other areas. They are rather common female attire in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

In Britain it was common to make them out of silver (pre-1936) threepences (as my grandmother wanted - she just saved the coins but fortunately the jewellery was never made although she intentionally saved enough for two). I have seen various examples from over the continent with sets of similar local coins and even American examples using silver three cent coins and a Japanese one made out of silver five Sen coins.

When we move into Eastern Europe and areas there were in (or formally in) the Ottoman Empire it was fashionable for women to drill holes in coins and tie them together into a sort of chainmail which was an expression of their Christian faith. This is why there are now so many period silver coins available to purchase in Bulgaria and neighbouring nations for pennies - all with holes in them.

It was simply a fashion that went out of style and unfortunately destroyed the numismatic value of the coins. Such a poor investment as the coins would have had more purchasing power back then than collector value now.

I have seen some rather dubious retailers call them "awards" or "militaria" but they were simply a passing fashion and if soldiers etc had them it was because a loved one had given it to them as a keepsake or the such and not because "they'd run out" of Medals etc.
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