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Fake Russian Wire Money

Fake Russian Wire Money


Additional Specimen     Additional Specimen #2

The image above shows a typical example from the group of eleven fake Russian wire money that came my way in June of 2002, all of which were struck from the same pair of dies but with a variety of strike qualities and orientations. As with genuine wire money no one specimen will have the complete design so I prepared the composites below to show what was on the dies as best could be reconstructed from the 11 specimens. Unfortunately none of the 11 specimens had the horse's head on it.

obverse die reverse die

The reverse inscription is a somewhat corrupt version of a Tsar Boris Feodorovich Godunov (AD 1598-1605) inscription, with the differences highlighted below :

obverse die
Thank you to Mr. Vladimir Belyaev for this information on the inscription variation.

Average WEIGHT: 0.33 grams

Average SIZE: 12.3 X 7.8 mm

STYLE: medium

MANUFACTURE: Die struck from false dies



1) The inscription is somewhat corrupted, and appears to have been engraved by someone unfamiliar with the Cyrillic scripts and words on these coins.

2) These were all struck on blanks prepared to shape ahead of time, unlike genuine wire money that was struck on lengths of wire and then broken apart.

3) I do not have many genuine specimens on hand to compare to but my impression is the Czar's helmet is unlike any I have seen on these in the past.

4) The coins have a very even fabric and are much flatter than one expects on wire money normally, suggesting these were struck with a mechanical press, unlike originals that would be hammer struck.


DEALER: low (I spotted them as soon as looked at the group)


COLLECTOR NOVICE: moderate to high

These are clearly of modern manufacture, and because of the way they came to me I suspect they were made in Poland. No one experienced in wire money and who looks closely at that should be fooled by them, but a novice collector without experience in with these will probably be fooled by them.

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