Smithsonian - 2019 Russian Beard Token (Antiqued Copper) - Shire Post Mint
- Type: Token
- Years: 2019
- Mint: Shire Post Mint
- Composition: Copper
- Diameter: 23mm
- Weight: 4.9g
- Mintage: 15,000
- Condition: New - Mint Packaging
- Obverse: Bearded Face with lettering above
- Reverse: Russian Imperial Eagle with Smithsonian Counterstamp
Russia in the early 18th-century was a land of rapid and drastic change. It was on this stage that Peter the Great implemented his beard tax of 1705. Meant to force Russian men to shave their beards like the "modern" men of Western Europe, the tax was placed on any man who chose to keep their face unshaved. Those with the means and motivation to pay the tax were given a beard token just like this, to show city guards they had paid the tax and were free to display their majestic beards.
Both of the designs on this token are taken from the original beard tokens. On the obverse is a bearded face under a Cyrillic inscription which means, "Money taken." This refers to the tax that the holder had paid. A leafy wreath along the rim encircles the words and the design.
The inscription for the year 2019 dominates the reverse. A Russian Imperial Eagle is included above this inscription, while a Smithsonian Sun counterstamp is included below it. That counter stamp takes the place of contemporary counter stamps that would have indicated a second or third year of tax had been paid on the originals. This face also has a wreath on the rim.
This medal has an above average strike and lacks any signs of wear, which means that it is in GEM Brilliant Uncirculated condition. It comes in its original packaging from the Shire Mint. that includes a specialty capsule with a foam insert that was made to hold the uneven edge of a broadstruck token, as this is. Included in the packaging is a story card, which includes background information and a certificate of authenticity.
*Coin condition is based on our professional opinion. Pictures are representative of the coin that you will receive, actual coin may differ slightly, and serial numbers may vary*