100746 | RUSSIA. Yekaterina II Velikaya 1790-EM copper 5 Kopeks.
100746 | RUSSIA. Yekaterina II Velikaya (Catherine II 'the Great') copper 5 Kopeks. Dated 1790-EM (43mm, 49.28 g, 12h). Yekaterinburg mint.
Crowned imperial double eagle facing, holding scepter and orb; crown above; ПЯТЬ • КОПƃЕКЪ on ribbon below / Crowned monogram within wreath. Edge: Cross-hatched.
Bitkin 644; KM (C) 59.3. Choice Mint State. Warm brown surfaces, with a good deal of underlying luster.
Yekaterina (Catherine) was born as Sophie of Anhalt-Zerbst, a German princess who would ultimately be wedded to the future emperor of Russia, Pyotr (Peter) III. The marriage, however, was an unhappy one, and just six months after his accession to the Russian throne, Peter was dead from a coup, possibly based in part upon the wishes of his wife, now proclaimed as empress Catherine II. Her reign would be pivotal, reviving the spirit of her former husband's much beloved grandfather, Peter I 'the Great,' and bringing forth an emerging European power in the form of the Russian Empire. Important to this was the successful campaign in 1783–led by Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin-Tauricheski, a favourite of Catherine–to annex the Crimean peninsula. This move gave Russia vital access to the Black Sea and, by extension, the ever-important Mediterranean. Catherine died in 1796, having a reign which would be one of the most successful and important in Russian history.