The first silver commemorative coin for 2017 has been issued by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) and it’s another of those eclectic subjects that Eastern European mints do so well. Pyotr Petrovich Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky (14-01-1827 – 11-03-1914) was the head of the Russian Geographical Society for more than 40 years and was a talented geographer and statistician.
Born into a noble family, Semenov was an avid art collector, leaving a collection of old Dutch Masters to the Hermitage Museum on his death. He amassed a collection of around 700,000 insects, over a hundred being named after him. An explorer and a statistician, he was a member of 53 learned societies.
The coin, minted at the Moscow Mint, designed by A.D. Schablykin (sculpted by O.G. Shepel), depicts Shansky in full explorer attire with his beloved Tian Shan mountains in the background. A couple of outlined riders complete the design. The obverse is the usual, very cool Russian double-headed eagle emblem. Struck in half an ounce of sterling silver, the coin has a mintage of 3,000 pieces and is available now.
OBVERSE: on the mirror field of the disc the relief image of the National Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation, over it the semicircular inscription along the rim “РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ” (RUSSIAN FEDERATION), framed on both sides by doubled rhombuses, below under the coat of arms: to the left indications of the precious metal and its fineness, to the right the fine metal content and the mint trade mark, at the bottom in the centre, in three lines the inscription “БАНК РОССИИ” (BANK OF RUSSIA), the denomination of the coin “2 РУБЛЯ” (2 RUBLES), the year of issue “2017 г.” (2017).
REVERSE: on the mirror field of the disc the relief image of P.P. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky with mountains in the background, contour images of two riders on both sides of the traveller’s figure, the one on the left sitting on horseback, the one on the right riding a camel, above along the rim the inscription “П.П. СЕМЁНОВ-ТЯН-ШАНСКИЙ” (P.P. SEMYONOV-TYAN-SHANSKY), to the right below in two lines the dates “1827” and “1914”.