The Official Opening of Goznak's History of Money Exposition25 àâãóñòà 2016 ãîäà
The long awaited for Goznak event took place on July 1, 2016. On that day, the History of Money Exposition was unveiled at the Exhibition Center of the Saint Petersburg Mint. The exposition was created at the initiative and by efforts of Goznak, the work upon it had been carried out for a few years.
The exposition opening was an important event for the history of Goznak, Saint Petersburg and the whole of Russia. Unique objects from the collection of Munzkabinett of the Saint Petersburg Mint and the Special Fund of Goznak that had been available to a limited number of people for a long time, can now “narrate” the monetary history in Russia to every visitor of the museum. A.G. Siluanov, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, and Arkady Trachuk, Head of Goznak, opened the exposition.
On the eve of the official opening, in the evening of June 30, there took place a preliminary demonstration of the History of Money Exposition for the participants of the 25th International Financial Congress; E.S. Nabiullina, Head of the Bank of Russia, was among the guests.
The official opening of the exposition took place on a hot sunny day, the ceremony started at 12:00 with a cannon shot in the Peter and Paul Fortress. A.G. Siluanov, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, G.I. Luntovskiy, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, heads of regional and federal agencies, representatives of the largest museums of Saint Petersburg. A.V. Trachuk, General Director of Goznak, welcomed the guests with a festive speech: The Peter and Paul Fortress is an important place for the monetary history of Russia. It was here that Peter the Great founded a new Mint that has stricken coins and medals for the whole Russia for almost 300 years, in the new capital. Perhaps, there has not been a more or less important event in the history of our country not reflected in coins struck at the Saint Petersburg Mint. The collection of Goznak and the Mint laid the basis of the History of Money Exposition. Goznak has been printing the Russian banknotes for almost 200 years, the Mints have been striking the Russian coins, and naturally a large amount of artifacts have been collected during the time; some of them have never been exhibited to general public. At the museum, anybody can acquire the information about the Russian money, its history, present and possibly future…
A.V. Trachuk expressed gratitude to those who had contributed to the work upon the exposition. Those were the Bank of Russia, the State Hermitage, the State History Museum, the Russian Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Russian National Library, the Russian companies, the Union of Bonists, in particular, Pavel Zolotarev, a collector from Moscow, who donated unique objects from his own collection to the exposition.
A.G. Siluanov, Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, and A.V. Trachuk, Head of Goznak, cut the symbolic band emblematizing the museum opening. After that, the first persons went on a tour together with guests and journalists.
From fur peltries to plastic cards
The History of Money Exposition is dedicated to the monetary history of Russia, from the ancient times up to the 21st century, from the first coins in circulation within the territory of the Ancient Russia up to the peculiarities of the modern currency unit production and contactless payments. There are over 2.5 thousand of exhibits on display at the exposition, almost two dozens of interactive installations and specially prepared video materials. There is a touch screen next to every showcase, and by pressing a button, one can receive detailed information about the exhibition stand and each separate exhibit and view it at a larger scale.
Very rare exposition objects include the silver rouble of 1654; gold chervonets coins of 1701, 1711, 1925; the state banknote with the face value of 25 roubles of 1769. Many objects have been presented to general public for the first time; in particular, projects of the state banknote of the model of 1843; a project of the state banknote of the model of 1909 with the face value of 5 roubles with autographs of P.A. Stolypin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, and Emperor Nikolay II; project drawings of the soviet banknotes of the 1920 – 1940s; trial coins of 1995 and 1998. There are other unique exhibits – tools for minting coins and medals of the 18th – 20th centuries applied at the Saint Petersburg Mint.
The first sector of the museum is “Money and accounting of Ancient Russia”. One can see a beautiful installation narrating the “coinless” period. However, of course, money already existed then in the shape of valuable fabrics, beads, shells, and decorations… our ancestors – the inhabitants of Ancient Russia paid each other with fur peltries – skins of squirrels, martens, sables.
Along with the most precious exhibits from the stores of Goznak and the Mint, there are holograms and a multimedia showcase at the museum. There are installations narrating the currency reforms, demonstrating the operation of a printing machine, a showcase with counterfeited banknotes and coins, “How an ATM operates” exposition where one can see the interior arrangement of the machine etc. thanks to the video collection, the visitors come to know the modern electronic payment systems at the 21st Century sector of the museum.
The modern 5-kilogram gold and silver commemorative coins were especially popular on the opening day. The face value of the gold giant coin is 50 thousand roubles, it was issued in 2010 for the 150th anniversary of the Bank of Russia; the face value of the silver one is 500 roubles, it was issued in 2012 in the framework of the “200th anniversary of the victory of Russia in the Patriotic war of 1812”.
The coins are the heaviest of the ever minted commemorative coins in Russia. The museum organizers decided everybody would like to hold such a rare coin in his hands, and they were not mistaken. The coins are placed into transparent cubic showcases with round holes for hands on four sides. One can easily put his both hands into the holes and hold, turn, heft and certainly have a picture taken of himself with the coin (but one can’t take the coin out of the showcase or the protective capsule).
The first paper money of Tsarist Russia (the state banknotes of the first type – 25 roubles of 1769), counterfeited banknotes of the model of 1812 printed by Napoleon during his military activities, with which the history of the Expedition of Storing State Papers (Goznak) started etc., - all these unique exhibits are in glass showcases concealed in the wall. To see the banknotes, it is enough to pull out the showcase easily.
“Million” tower laid of 1-rouble coins attracts special attention. There are exactly 1 million coins-“bricks” in the tower. The tower appearance reminds of “Stalin’s” high-risers in Moscow or the Empire State Building in New York. The tower weighs 3.5 tons; its height is about 4 meters.
An attentive visitor will pay attention to coins with the image of a horseman with a spike, “printed” into the floor along the perimeter of the museum. It is an image of the first national-level coin of Russia – kopeck (the sample of 1535 – 1538).
Special signs with the sector name will help you to learn in which thematic area of the museum you are. For example, “Currency circulation during the revolution and the Civil war (1917 – 1922)”. An installation in the sector narrates an interesting fact – during the revolution, the money showed such depreciation that that people found the only useful application for it – as fuel for the stove. There is a stove, wood and high stacks of depreciated money in the showcase. During the Civil war, the money showed impetuous depreciation, and the process of “creating money” went simultaneously – the country was flooded with “kerenkas”, “pyatakovkas”, “morzhovkas”, “opium money”. The economy in the country was put into chaos, and the citizens often found it more profitable to feed the fire with the banknotes than to buy wood with them.
A decoration element attracting attention is medallions of tempered glass with a relief image repeating the reverse of the Russian coins of various epochs. The medallions adorn the stair railings and the second floor skirting; one can follow the history of the Russian money along these decoration elements.
The video projectors transmit images of portraits of the personalities who have contributed to the development of the Russian monetary system to the ceiling arches continuously. “Determine the security feature” interactive quiz offers to check one’s knowledge of security features of the Russian banknotes. Thus, you will be offered to put security features of three categories (tactile, transmitted light, tilt) into the places of their location on the banknote. After that, the computer will calculate the number of correct answers and display the points.
On the second floor of the museum, separate stands are dedicated to the detailed description of the monetary production at Goznak. Now all those who are interested in the production of coins and banknotes can learn its details at the museum. The stand narrating the coin production is equipped with a screen where one can see a video about the work of the Mint of Goznak, and the audio guide will describe the sequence of the coin production operations; the showcase itself has all tools and materials necessary for the coin striking. The whole range of coins in use in the Russian Federation is also presented here. A similar showcase narrates the banknote production. Separate showcases display the award system of the Russian Federation.
After the end of the excursion, A.G. Siluanov, the Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation wrote a note in the book of visitors and answered the journalists’ questions:
The museum is really modern and shows the whole history of the Russian State development, because any country exists only when it has a budget, currency circulation, and on the basis of various epochs of our history, we can also follow the epochs according to the money condition. When there were difficulties in the country development, they also affected the money quality. When the country was strong, financially strong, the money power was different too. There were gold chervonets coins and monetary units provided with gold. And vice versa, during the inflation, one could burn the banknotes in a stove…
A big job
Prior to creating the exposition, Goznak carried out a big job of restoring Anninskiy Cavalier and the adjoining buildings.
It was no coincidence that the idea to create the exhibition area at Anninskiy Cavalier, the former arsenal of the Peter and Paul Fortress appeared. The Peter and Paul Fortress occupies an important position in the Russian money circulation history. In 1724, Emperor Peter the Great decreed to found a coin production site at Trubetskoy Bastion.
According to Peter the Great’s idea, the mint was to become an exemplary enterprise equipped with modern machinery and experienced specialists, corresponding to the status of a European capital that he had designed Saint Petersburg to be.
The Emperor’s idea was fulfilled. The mint in the Peter and Paul Fortress has been striking the Russian coins and state awards for almost three centuries. The high quality of its products is well-known not only in Russia, but throughout the world. There has not been an important event in the history of our country not reflected in the products of the Mint.
The Saint Petersburg Mint, the oldest enterprise of Goznak, still operates in the Peter and Paul
Fortress, in the building in Sobornaya Square built at the beginning of the 19th century specially for coin minting.
In the 1960s, a number of buildings within the territory of the Peter and Paul Fortress were given over to the supervision of the Leningrad Mint, including the building of Anninskiy Cavalier as well as the House of Fund Assets opposite it.
In 2007, accessory services and warehouses of the Saint Petersburg Mint were moved outside the Fortress; Anninskiy Cavalier and the House of Fund Assets were vacated of equipment, coin blanks, spare parts and materials. At the same time, Goznak started the restoration of the historical buildings. After the restoration works were completed, the funds were generated and the History of Money Exposition was created. All the works, including the restoration and preparation of the exposition, were financed by Goznak.
The unique in their historical value and modern objects comprise a most interesting museum collection. The exposition narrates the history of the Russian currency circulation in a clear, light and interesting way. And this history is indissolubly related to the history of our great country.
A few words about Goznak
Goznak has counted its history since 1818, when the Expedition of Storing State Papers was founded.
August 21, 1818 (Old Calendar) was the birthdate of the Expedition; it was then that Emperor Alexander I put his resolution “So be it” on the project of foundation of the Expedition. A unitary manufacturing site was created on the Fontanka Embankment; it united all the stages of money production – from papermaking up to the design development and banknote printing. In 1919, after moving to Moscow, the Expedition was reorganized and received the name of Goznak. Today Goznak encorporates eight branches: the Moscow Printing Factory, the Perm Printing Factory, the Moscow Printing Works, the Saint Petersburg Paper Mill, the Krasnokamsk Paper Mill, the Moscow Mint, the Research Institute and the Saint Petersburg Mint that was added to Goznak in 1941.
The uniqueness of Goznak is in its ability to carry out the complete cycle of works connected with security product issuing and circulation organization.
Among the priority directions of Goznak’s activities is the production of banknotes, subsidiary and commemorative coins, state awards of the Russian Federation, blanks of documents proving the identity of the citizen of the Russian Federation within the territory of our country and abroad,state security papers, excise and special stamps, postage stamps, special kinds of security paper as well as personalization and processing of documents in the interests of the governmental authorities. In 2016, the procedure of reorganization of Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Goznak” into Joint Stock Company “Goznak” with 100% of shares remaining the property, was completed.
Source: "Money and Credit", August 2016. Edition of the Bank of Russia