One of the coolest of the worlds bullion coins, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) issued St. George the Victorious coin made its gold debut on 01 February 2006 with the silver following on 11 January 2009. It’s never been one of the easiest coins to get hold off outside of Russia, with eBay being the best bet for many, but it’s widely liked for its classic and clean design, devoid of superfluous inscription or decoration. Depicting a striking, stylistic pose of St George, mounted on horseback with a spear piercing a prone dragon, it’s the same for both the ¼ oz gold and the 1 oz silver coins. The obverse carries the superb double-headed eagle that adorns Russian commemorative coins from the CBR.
Unlike most of the world’s major bullion coins, the release schedule for the St George the Victorious is a little spotty to say the least. There were no gold coins issued in 2011, 2013 or 2014, and since it’s launch in 2009, the silver has only reappeared once in 2010. Both were said to have been put on hold while the mint was designing and issuing multiple coin series for the horrendously expensive Sochi Winter Olympics back in 2014, but given it’s a pre-existing design, we find that hard to swallow as a valid reason. Whatever the reasons, both the gold and silver coins are back carrying a 2015 date. Both are listed as having a maximum mintage of 500,000 units, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all will be struck. A proof gold version was released in 2012, but that hasn’t been repeated in either gold or silver since. A silver proof version in particular would, we imagine, be warmly recieved.
A fine coin that deserves a much wider audience than it currently has. Hopefully this relaunch will see the coin move to a more regular annual release, and some bigger silver variants would be a cool addition. The premiums on these are a little too high for the hardcore stacker, but every collector should have one of these in our opinion.