This article examines the history of patents of rank, not to be confused with patents of nobility, in Russia from their introduction in 1714 to their elimination as a result of the reforms of the 1860s. Patents of rank as a formal documentary credential confirming the holder’s rank is one of the largest coherent sets of documents available, yet has received very little interest from researchers until now. This article explores the development of the format and texts of these patents on the basis of legal acts published in the Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire, various archival documents, and the texts of the patents themselves (drawn from collections in the Library of the Academy of Sciences, BAN; the Military-Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineers, and Communications Forces, VIMAIViVS; and the St. Petersburg Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, SPbII RAN). The article pays special attention to the decorative elements, the methods of producing the patents, and the costs of producing them. The cost for obtaining one of these patents depended on the rank being conferred: the higher the rank, the higher, naturally, the cost. The article also describes the basic steps in procuring a patent and its range of uses.