The History of Money Museum, created upon the initiative and at the expense of Goznak, a Russian producer of coins, banknotes, security papers, and stamps, opened a new virtual exhibition “Tokens of the Victory”. The exhibition is located at the Capital Funds Building at St. Petersburg’s Peter and Paul Fortress and timed to the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic war. Unique objects from Goznak’s collection – banknotes, awards, postage stamps, government bonds of the time of the Great Patriotic war – are on display. Including objects never exhibited before, in particular, trial samples of the Order of Suvorov – the highest award for military commanders founded during the war.
A Wealth of Interesting Objects on Display
The history of the Great Patriotic war is narrated with the help of Goznak’s products at the “Tokens of the Victory” exhibition. Unique objects are on display here – sketches and trial variants of military awards; samples of government bonds approved by the People’s Commissar of Finance A.G. Zverev; a sample of medal “For the defeat of Germany in the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945” approved by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in May 1945; sketches of banknotes with the portraits of outstanding military commanders of the past and plain heroes of the war – aviators, foot soldiers and the Red Navy sailors.
Tools for minting medals and coins of the war years as well as sketches of the Orders of Suvorov, Kutuzov and Alexander Nevskiy approved by I. Stalin; trial samples of the Order of Suvorov produced in Krasnokamsk in 1942; letters of gratitude for those awarded with the Order of Victory produced specially for I. Stalin and L. Brezhnev.
Among the exhibits, there are approved samples of tickets of cash and prize lotteries of the wartime, IDs of the employees of NKVD (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) and SMERSH (Military Counterintelligence Service), food coupons. Nobody knew about the existence of some of the objects earlier – for example, sketches of bonds of the Kolkhoz and Cooperative Loan for the National Defense designed at Goznak in the autumn of 1941.
Reception and Commemoration of the War in Russia
A special section of the exhibition is dedicated to the memory of the war. Throughout the last three quarters of the century the enterprises of Goznak developed and produced commemorative coins, award and commemorative medals, lapel badges, postage stamps and envelopes connected with the Great Patriotic war. Sketches of jubilee medals and commemorative coins of the soviet time, trial variants and approved samples of coins, including samples of a medal dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Victory that was not put into production because the issue was considered too costly.
Commemorative coins dedicated to jubilees of the Victory produced in the modern Russia since 1995 are also on display, in particular, 1-kilogram gold and silver coins as well as coins produced for the coming 75th anniversary of the Victory.
Separate showcases are dedicated to the veterans of the Great Patriotic war and employees of Goznak.
The History of Money Museum
The “Tokens of the Victory” Exhibition complements the main “History of Money” exposition opened by Goznak in 2016 in the building of Anninskiy Cavalier of the Peter and Paul Fortress. The tradition of organizing temporary exhibitions in the halls of the Capital Funds Building started in 2017. The “Tokens of the Victory” exhibition is the fourth – before it, there had been exhibitions dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the events of 1917, the 200th anniversary of Goznak and the 250th anniversary of the Russian banknotes.
An informational booklet has been traditionally issued for the exhibition opening. Moreover, a commemorative token of the exhibition has been minted at the Saint Petersburg Mint.
It will be possible to visit the “Tokens of the Victory” exhibition not virtually but in the traditional meaning of the word right after removal of restrictions for the work of museums.
Work of the Enterprises of Goznak During the Wartime
The war was a serious trial for the enterprises of Goznak. They were to provide the country with products of great state importance – banknotes, coins, security papers, documents, government bonds and certainly state awards the numbers of which grew dramatically during the wartime. Almost right after the beginning of the war, the Leningrad Mint was incorporated into Goznak; in the summer of 1941, it was evacuated to Krasnokamsk where the Paper Mill of Goznak founded before the war operated already. The Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak was evacuated to Krasnokamsk and Tashkent. Another enterprise of Goznak – the Leningrad Paper Mill – was reprofiled to military products – antimustard-gas paper and even bomb shells.
In 1942, a new mint was opened in Moscow. Its main specialization was the issue of state awards – orders, medals, lapel badges (the orders for awards during the war grew 250 times to compare to the pre-war time).
In 1943, the Leningrad Mint resumed working in its historical building within the territory of the Peter and Paul Fortress. They started minting medals “For the Defense of Leningrad” in the besieged city.
For more information visit Goznak’s website.
CoinsWeekly constantly reports on new online exhibitions that can be visited free of charge from your home. Examples are the exhibition “Barbarian Tsunami” dedicated to the Migration Period and the Online Collection of the British Museum including thousands of numismatic objects.