History of The 1902 Russia 5 Ruble Gold – NGC MS67

Ruble Gold
by: Ben Tseytlin - on Gold & Bullion

The 1902 5 Ruble Gold coin is stunning. It has a diameter of 18.5 mm and is comprised of .900 gold, and the total number minted by the Imperial Russian Mint at St. Petersburg was estimated to be just over 6.2 million. The gold issued by Russia during this time played a key role in the global economy, and was used in diplomacy that allowed the nation to acquire the armaments that would later be used in the First World War. These coins are sought after by historians and other collectors because they highlight a dramatic moment in Russian history and were the final monetary units to be issued by the Romanov family. They showcase the wealth, power and prestige that the family maintained and have the distinction of being one of the few coins from Eastern Europe that are still widely collected worldwide.


Tsar Nicholas II ruled Russia from 1894 until 1917. He was the final Russian emperor, since his reign is associated with the collapse of the Russian empire and the rise of the Bolsheviks. However, like other monarchs, he released mintage which bears his likeness, and which have become an important part of history. He provided a degree of support to the political and economic reforms which were recommended by his top aides such as Pyotr Stolypin and Sergei Witte, but opposition from aristocrats was such that they were not able to be fully implemented.

However, Nicholas maintained strong ties with France and supported modernization, but was resistant to providing the newly established parliament (Duma) greater power. He worked to counterbalance Germany’s efforts to gain a powerful foothold in the Middle East while concluding the Great Game that had been ongoing between the Russian and British Empire. However, his military defeats combined with the influence of Grigori Rasputin enraged the aristocracy which culminated in the fall of House Romanov and the execution of the family.

Coin Highlights

The coin’s obverse side shows a portrait of Nicholas II, which faces the left. It is surrounded by an inscription that translates into “By God’s Grace Nikolai II Emperor and Autocrat of All Russia.” The coin’s reverse side displays an image of a Russian Imperial Eagle that is double crowned and headed, with a Russian state emblem. The eagle holds an orb and scepter inside its talons and below the year of issue and domination can be seen.

Grades And Value

The NGC, or Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, is responsible for grading the coin, which has been given a Mint State 67 designation. Many of these coins have outstanding eye appeal with the mint luster that was originally implemented. However, because these coins are over one hundred years old, one should expect that a few blemishes will be present, such as hairlines, scuffs or marks. This is why the coin will typically be placed in the NGC holder which also comes with a certification label.