"Heads" And "Tails": Why They Are So Called

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"Heads" And "Tails": Why They Are So Called
"Heads" And "Tails": Why They Are So Called

Video: "Heads" And "Tails": Why They Are So Called

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The coin lot - "heads and tails" - is well known to many, but not everyone knows where these names came from. Meanwhile, the names given to the obverse and reverse of Russian coins in the era of pre-revolutionary Russia have come a long way and have been able to survive to this day unchanged.



Step 1

One of the sides of any Russian coin of small denomination, on which the state emblem - a two-headed eagle - was depicted, was called "eagle" even at the turn of the 17-19th centuries. Although the double-headed eagle has become a symbol of the state emblem of the country since the time of Ivan III, the decision to apply this symbol on the first national coins was made only after the monetary reform carried out by Peter the Great. Then the eagle was applied to the obverse of the coin, i.e. on its face.

Step 2

The tradition of calling the side of the coin, which depicts the coat of arms, has been preserved to this day, although during the Soviet era the two-headed eagle was replaced by a globe with a hammer and sickle framed by ears of corn, and now the two-headed eagle is a symbol of the Central Bank Russia, and the state emblem of the Russian Federation. True, now the "eagle" is already on the obverse, and the reverse of the coin, i.e. its reverse, non-face part.

Step 3

"Tails" in the Russian Empire was called the side opposite to the eagle. "Tails" could be either the obverse or the reverse of the coin. Until now, historians cannot come to a consensus as to where this name came from. The most popular version is based on the fact that the people called the face "duck", and until the 19th century, the heads of the ruling monarchs were traditionally depicted on coins with denominations above fifty dollars. Later, "ryashka" was simplified to "tails" and was firmly entrenched in the language.

Step 4

After the monetary reform carried out by Peter the Great, information about the denomination of the coin and the year of minting appeared on the reverse of national coins. In those days, it was customary to apply a large number of decorative elements and patterns on coins, which ordinary people, who did not have a high level of literacy, described as a lattice. So another version of the origin of the name "tails" appeared - from the word "lattice". The tradition of calling the reverse side of the coin, opposite to the one bearing the state symbols, has survived to this day, despite the fact that in different eras this side was both the obverse and the reverse of the coin.

Step 5

At the mints, by chance, so-called zalipushki were issued - coins with two heads or two tails. In modern Russia, the most common ruble coins are minted on both sides. Such coins are very popular among numismatists due to their rarity. Now the cost of one such coin, regardless of its denomination, can go up to 50 thousand rubles.

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