We all pass comment when we find out a coin series takes many years to complete. Treasures of Stanislaw August, Mountains & Flora, Biblical Stories and their like are all running into tens of coins over several years, but some series have been at it for simply ages, and the Central Bank of Russia certainly have with their Red Book Data wildlife series of ½oz silver coins. This year will see the release of three new coins, in line with the banks new release schedule implemented in 2008 of releasing three coins every other year. Prior to that, and going all the way back to 1993, the bank launched three new entrants every year.
These three coins take the series up to a massive sixty releases and depict the Manul Cat, Chinese Windmill, and the Red Kite. Each animal is noted in the Red Data Book, a Russian state document which records rare and endangered species of animals, plants and fungi, as well as some local subspecies that exist within the territory of the Russian Federation and its continental shelf and marine economic zone. Sadly, there seems to be a lot of content, but we have seen some recent good reports coming from the country, like the continued recovery of the Amur Tiger for example.
The coins are clean-struck and all have the excellent double-headed eagle emblem of Russia on the obverse. The reverse face of each coin depicts an image of the animal with some cyrillic script giving the animals name. Other than that they are nice and clean, all other inscriptions kept where they belong on the obverse. The coins are produced in sterling (0.925) silver and have been since 2005, before which they were 0.900 silver. They carry a denomination of 2 rubles, the case since 2008 as prior to that they were denominated at 1 ruble. Each coin comes in a capsule with a Certificate of Authenticity and are available to order now. We’ve seen sets of all three on Ebay for around £85.