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The Entrance to the Zoo cost only forty kopeks

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Author: Bulanov D. A.

Year: 1928

The word kopek, kopeck, copeck, or kopeyka (in Russian: копейка, kopeyka) derives from the Russian kop'yo (копьё) — a spear. The first kopek coins, minted at Novgorod and Pskov from about 1535 onwards, show a horseman with a spear. From the 1540s onwards the horseman bears a crown, and doubtless the intention was to represent Ivan the Terrible, who was Grand Prince of all Russia until 1547, and Tsar thereafter. Subsequent mintings of the coin, starting in the 1700s, bear instead Saint George striking down a serpent. In 1704, Russia was the first country in the world to introduce a decimal monetary system, where one ruble was equal to 100 kopeks.

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