This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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A 200-lot auction of scarce Soviet coins is being conducted by Alexander Basok. The auction is part of several installments of Soviet coins. Basok will offer a total of more than 2,000 different Soviet items.
Lots in this first sale can be viewed online www.rustypennies.com under “Current Sale.” Bids can be submitted by e-mail or postal mail. The closing date is Sept. 5.
The Soviet government started striking coins in 1921 but did not release them into circulation until 1924. Most of the time the need for coinage in circulation was so great that very few coins were kept by collectors.
Also, collecting Soviet coins was not popular among numismatists there. Until the late 1970s, the only mint striking coins was in Leningrad. During a 900-day siege of the city 1941-1943, the mint was evacuated but it lost most of its staff and was often operated by unprepared new workers.