Russia loves its history and its military, so it comes as no surprise that coins celebrating them are relatively common subjects on national numismatics. First appearing back in 2010, Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is a sterling (0.925) silver coin series highlighting different aspects of the Russian military. Released in trios, each coin is a scant ¼oz in weight and thus quite affordable.
After the 2010 look at the Russian Armoured Force and then three coins depicting their Strategic Rocket Forces in 2011, the series went on hiatus, seemingly giving way to more coins commemorating events in the Second World War. Well now the series is back with a new trio looking at Russia’s famous motorised rifle troops. Rifle troops have been a part of Russian forces since 1857, making the change to motorised divisions in the Soviet period. Some, like the 1940 formed, 2nd Guards Motor Rifle ‘Tamanskaya’ Division, have become amongst the most decorated divisions of Russian land forces.
Like before, the three coins have specific subjects to showcase. One looks at the old, in this case a post-revolutionary picture of a soldier and armoured car outside of the Kremlin, and a second looks at the new – in this case a modern combat soldier with a BTR armoured vehicle in the background. The third simply depicts an emblem of the force. For the rifle troops it takes the form of one quite similar to the national double-headed eagle emblem of Russia itself. That third coin, to us at least, looks like it could be a particularly attractive piece, although offset somewhat by the tiny 25 mm diameter.
Available to order now, although never particularly easy to pick up outside of Russia. Each has a mintage of 5,000 pieces and should come with a certificate of authenticity. We’ve never seen a packaged set of three, which seems like a missed opportunity given the relatively light weight of three coins this size. We don’t believe there will be new coins in this series in 2018, but a threesome showcasing their nuclear supply units is scheduled for 2019. Interesting coins, especially given how much time Russia’s military seems to spend in the news these days.