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Small Coins Of The Soviet Union: 1 Kopeck (Soviet Union, 1973)-Article

Updated: Jan 5, 2022

This small Soviet coin represents the 1st denomination coin of the Soviet Ruble (6th Issue, 1961). Coins of this type were issued, along side the 6th Soviet Ruble. Which circulated from 1961, till the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991. Making this design fairly long-lived, in terms of modern currency.

Notably the coin is a reeded-edged design made of a brass alloy (58% Copper, 40% Zinc, 2% Manganese) and weighs 1 g. Its dimensions are 15 mm (0.59 in) wide and 0.9 mm (0.035) in thick. Making it smaller in size than a US Penny (19.05/0.75 in), in that respect.


The observe is fairly sparse, featuring the coin's "1 Kopeck" value and "1974" mint year. Despite having 15 official languages, the text is minted only in Russian. As Russian was the de facto language of government and commerce within the Soviet Union.

Besides this, the only embellishments are bound bundles of wheat. Used to wreath the observe text.


The reverse features the Emblem of the Soviet Union, wreathed by bundles of wheat. Notably the wreath contains 15 ribbons (7+1+7), known as orbits. These are used to represent the 15 Soviet republics. Below are the initials "CCCP", representing the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

It should be noted these initials are in Cyrillic script, rather than standard/Latin. As some unaware beginner collectors may make this misunderstanding.

Size Comparison

A Soviet 1 Kopeck with US Penny for scale.
A Soviet 1 Kopeck with US Penny for scale.

Additional Notes

  • Kopeck is based on the Russian word for "Spear", as early Russian coins depicted a spearman on horseback.

  • Brass alloy was used to mint all 6th Ruble coins from 1-5 Kopeck, which only varied in size.

  • Due to fixed pricing, small items such as match boxes, buttons, and razor blades were consistently valued at 1 Kopeck.

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