When you do not expect to find anything except for some metal trash, it is especially pleasing to unearth a valuable item! :) And here it is – the Novgorod hryvnia!
History remembers many ups and downs, and lots of strange things, too. One of them was a coinless period marked by almost complete absence of both national and foreign coins in circulation. There are several versions of why this happened. One of them is the Mongol-Tatar invasion. A huge quantity of gold and silver was brought from Europe to Ancient Rus during the years of the Mongol-Tatar Yoke. The main function of money was creation of the national gold reserve and accumulation of personal savings and hoards.
In Ancient Rus hryvnia was both weight and monetary unit. These were molded from old coins taken out of circulation.
The first hryvnias looked like massive silver and gold ingots that were sooner weight standards rather than real money – they were used to measure precious metals. Kiev hryvnias weighed about 160 grams and looked like hexagonal ingots,
whereas Novgorod hryvnias looked like long bars weighing about 200 grams.
Hryvnia received its name from the piece of women’s jewelry – a gold bracelet or hoop, which was worn on the back of the neck (in Ukrainian – “hryvna”).
There is also a version that hryvnia was not only the first currency, but also the first award in Ancient Rus. According to a legend, exactly one thousand years ago Prince Vladimir awarded the epic hero Alyosha Popovich with a gold hryvnia for military heroic deeds.
The custom of rewarding people with gryvnias for good state service did really exist. For example, in one chronicle it is written that when Prince Boris was killed (he was later canonized by the Orthodox Church), his servant was killed too, and the murderers took a gold hryvnia – which he had received from the Prince as a reward – from his neck.
It is worth mentioning that in those times such one hryvnia was enough to buy a farm with five or seven houses,
or an excellent war-horse,
or twenty cows, or ten ordinary horses))
The author of the report used a Mars Discovery coil during his search.