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.

CHINESE WINDMILL

REVERSE: on the mirror field of the disc the relief image of the chinese windmill, sitting on a leaf of an endemic plant, to the right below – the inscription along the rim: “АЛКИНОЙ” (CHINESE WINDMILL)

DESIGN: E.V. Kramskaya (obverse), A.D. Schablykin (reverse)

SCULPTING: A.A. Dolgopolova (obverse), E.A. Tolzin (reverse)

MINT: Moscow Mint (MМД)

MANUL CAT

REVERSE: on the mirror field of the disc – the relief image of the manul sitting on stones, to the left above – the inscription along the rim: “МАНУЛ” (MANUL).

DESIGN: E.V. Kramskaya (obverse), A.D. Schablykin (reverse)

SCULPTING: A.A. Dolgopolova (obverse), A.I. Molostov (reverse)

MINT: Moscow Mint (MМД)

RED KITE

REVERSE: on the mirror field of the disc – the relief image of the red kite soaring in the air, to the right above – the inscription along the rim: “КРАСНЫЙ КОРШУН” (RED KITE)

DESIGN: E.V. Kramskaya (obverse), A.D. Schablykin (reverse)

SCULPTING: A.A. Dolgopolova (obverse), E.A.Yastrebova (reverse)

MINT: Moscow Mint (MМД)

OBVERSE

The Central Bank of Russia issues some good images of their coins, but we’ve been asked a few times if they’re actually black or not. The answer is no, it’s just the way they’re photographed, and the coins are clean struck and free of colour and plating. Just to give you an idea, we took the issued image (left) and modded it to look more like the images other mints use. The process applies to all the coin reverse sides as well.

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, on 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: “2016 г.” (2016)

Designed by E.V. Kramskaya, and sculpted by A.A. Dolgopolova

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SPECIFICATION

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
2 RUBLES 0.925 SILVER 17.0 g (15.55g fine) 33.0 mm PROOF 7,000 YES / YES
CENTRAL BANK OF RUSSIA