Soviet Union "Death Sentence" Coins - 1920's
Soviet Union "Death Sentence" Coins - 1920's
Soviet Union "Death Sentence" Coins - 1920's

Soviet Union "Death Sentence" Coins


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Ships in 3 - 6 days within the US. Orders of $50 or more ship free!

Includes info cards and Certificate of Authenticity.

Your purchase will match the quality of the items shown.

Origin: These 20 kopeck coins, dated 1923 to 1931, are among the last silver coins ever issued for general circulation by the Soviet Union. They earned the grisly nickname of "death sentence" coins due to executions ordered by Joseph Stalin that targeted Soviet workers in the financial sector, who had failed to take all silver coins out of circulation.

The historical documentation for these "death sentences" comes from letters written from Stalin to Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, one of his closest supporters. Due to silver shortages and economic turmoil, Stalin had ordered the confiscation of all silver coins in order to melt them down and issue base metal replacements. However, collection efforts did not go to plan as the Russian people continued to hoard these more valuable silver coins.

Clearly frustrated that the "results of the battle against the coin shortage [were] almost nonexistent," Stalin ordered a purge of the finance ministry and central bank, and to "definitely shoot two or three dozen wreckers from these apparaty, including several dozen common cashiers."

Despite Stalin's ruthless attempts to force the collection of these coins, many still survive to the present day. Now, anyone can own these amazing pieces of modern history!

Source: Kosheleva, L., et al. Stalin's Letters to Molotov, 1925-1936. Edited by Lars T. Lih et al., Yale University Press, 1995. JSTOR, Accessed 23 July 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Your order will include:

  • One USSR 20 Kopeck coin, dated 1923 - 1931
  • Glass top leather display box
  • Detail card with relevant information about the relic
  • Certificate of Authenticity


History Hoard relics are guaranteed authentic and have a 100% money back policy. Read more about the History Hoard Promise. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Your Certificate of Authenticity is more than just a piece of paper—it's a promise to you.

When you buy from History Hoard, you can rest assured that each of your new relics has been thoroughly inspected under the careful eyes of an antiquities specialist. Only items that are 100% certain to be authentic get sent to our customers.

Plus, we take great care to source our relics from only vetted antiquities experts, who are also committed to providing genuine and ethically sourced relics.

Check out this video to see the most basic things we look for when authenticating coins:

To read more about our promise to you, click here.

Actually, many relics are able to be owned by anyone.

Typically, museums only want to display items that are either very rare or incredibly well preserved. This leaves many items that don't make the cut, and these are able to be owned by individuals.

While the items we sell aren't "museum grade," they still carry with them the same amount of history and uniqueness. Each relic was still hand made by a person, hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

One of our core values is not to damage or alter any of the artifacts we sell.

History needs to be preserved—after all, there is a limited amount of it that survives—but it is also something to be shared with the masses. For this reason, we put our relics in sturdy display cases that are safe to handle, but are mindful that someday the relic may need to be taken out again.

No glue or resin holds the items in place. Instead, we're developed our own method for holding the relics securely in their displays using pressure alone. In fact, any of our relics can be removed in their original condition by simply opening the display case.

You can find our complete FAQ section here.