Rare! Silver denga of Grand Duke Ivan III Vasilyevich (1462-1505) w/"Aristotle" reverse, Moscow mint, Russia (Garost #14)

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Horseman with saber, and the circular legend engraved in old cyrillic letters reads: ".КНZЬ.ВЕЛIKI.IВАНЬ.ВАСIЛЬЕВIЧЬ" ("Knyaz velikiy Ivan Vasilyevich" - "Grand Prince Ivan Vasilievich"), circular dotted line / Three-line legend engraved in latin letters reads: "oRNISToTELES ("Aristotle"). 13mmx9mm, 0.30 grams. Moscow mint. Garost #14.

It is thought that the strange reverse inscription refers to the famous Italian builder Rudolfo Fiorovanti delli Alberti. Alberti was invited to Russia by the Grand Duke to build the Uspenski Church around 1475. Alberti was nicknamed "Aristotle" for the breadth of his knowledge. The insription probably indicated that he "bought out" this coin series (i.e. he paid for the minting of these coins and reaped the profit from putting these in circulation) or possibly that Alberti provided the credit to the Grand Duke to issue these coins. Fascinating rare issue, very nice for these!

Ivan III Vasilievich (Russian: Иван III Васильевич) (22 January 1440, Moscow 27 October 1505, Moscow), was a Grand Prince of Moscow and "Grand Prince of all Rus" (Великий князь всея Руси). Sometimes referred to as the "gatherer of the Russian lands", he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde over the Rus, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. He was one of the longest-reigning Russian rulers in history.



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