Sable is a mammal that belongs to the mustelidae family. Now it can be found in the taiga zone of Russia, from the Urals to the Far East. It also lives on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. A few centuries ago, the habitat of the sable was much more extensive, it was found in Finland, Karelia, the Baltic States. The skin of this animal has always been highly valued. This was the reason why the number of sable was rapidly declining, and a massive hunt was conducted on it.
The habitual habitat of the sable is the deep taiga, the boundaries of which it never leaves. At the same time, the more dense the forest, the more comfortable the animal feels there. On its territory, the sable does not tolerate ferrets and weasels. But he gets along peacefully with a marten. In the Urals, you can find a hybrid of sable and marten, which is called kidas. It is slightly larger than a regular sable.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, the number of sable had declined so much that people began to think about preserving it. In 1912, hunting for this animal was banned for three years, but poaching continued to flourish. In January 1917, the first state reserve was opened in the Russian Empire, which was located in the Barguzinsky district. Thanks to these measures, the number of sables was increased.
Fur of sable and other fur-bearing animals in Russia performed the function of money, as it was valued on a par with precious metal. This is where the name of the small Russian coin "polushka" came from. According to Vladimir Ivanovich Dahl, the compiler of the famous dictionary, this meant half the ear of a valuable fur animal.
Sable is unpretentious in nutrition. He actively hunts small rodents, can attack a beka, a chipmunk and even a hare. From plant foods he prefers pine nuts, lingonberries, mountain ash, rose hips. On the coast, he sometimes manages to catch fish. In addition, the sable is very fond of honey, but bee stings can be deadly for him, therefore, you have to be careful.
Two to three years after birth, the sable reaches the age of puberty, and its life expectancy can reach fifteen years. The litter usually has 3-4 cubs, rarely 6-7. Sablelings are born in the spring, after a few months they already begin an independent life. Sable builds nests for itself very rarely, preferring to use natural shelters or occupy someone else's, ready-made, housing.
The sable is easy enough to tame, in this case its behavior resembles the habits of a domestic cat. It is successfully bred on special farms. But, the fur of the animal raised in captivity cannot be compared with the wild one. Even in spite of the fact that on farms the sable is much larger than its "free" congener.
A sable fur coat is an indicator of the owner's wealth. Given the small size of the animal, one full-fledged fur coat can take from 60 to 100 skins, depending on the size of the product. In addition, the skins must be carefully selected according to the color and length of the hair. The average service life of a sable fur coat is 12-14 seasons.
How much did sable cost in tsarist Russia? For example, in 1910 the newspaper Russkoe Slovo published an article about a sharp rise in prices for sable at a fair in Yakutsk. The price of one skin reached 160 rubles. For comparison, the salary of a gymnasium teacher at that time was about 80 rubles a month. At the same time, it was noted that only 200 skins were delivered to the fair.
In 1931, the Soyuzpushnina association was opened in Leningrad, where the famous fur auctions were held. For the Soviet Union, this was a good opportunity to replenish the state treasury. Sable at this auction has always been highly quoted, the cost of one skin started from $ 100 per piece and could reach 500. From Leningrad, famous Russian furs were sold all over the world.
The stamp with the image of a sable was on the metal products of the famous industrialists Demidovs. And it was invented at the beginning of the 18th century by the founder of the dynasty, Nikita Demidov. Later, other Russian metallurgical plants began to use this sign. This was a kind of quality mark for Russian metal.
A sable can be seen on the coats of arms of many cities and regions of our country. For example, this beautiful animal adorns the coats of arms of the Novosibirsk, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk regions, as well as Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk, Yeniseisk. Sable in heraldry is so popular that it is simply impossible to list everything.
The Bank of Russia has issued many commemorative and investment coins with the image of a sable. The most valuable of them appeared in 1994. This is a 200-ruble gold coin. Made of 999 gold. The weight of the coin is 31, 37 g, and the circulation is only 2, 000 copies. Naturally, the value of the coin is much higher than the face value.