A catchup of the latest wave of proof coins from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation

Time to play catchup with what’s been emanating from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Quite prolific, the bank, like many national coin producers, has a very domestic outlook on the subjects chosen, and that gives us a fascinating look at this old and expansive country. Animals and bureaucracy are common subjects, but it’s history and architecture that seem to occupy so much of their output.

We have eight coins to look at here, and every one of them has a building on it. A pair marking the 70th anniversary of Russia recognising the founding of the Peoples Republic of China is about the only one that can be said to not have an architectural focus, but even then, they’ve chosen to represent the two countries with the Kremlin and with Tiananmen Square. I guess it was either that or a bear & panda…

The rest depict historical buildings and are a fairly conservative selection re. design. The pair of coins showcasing the Centenary of the Foundation of the Arkhangelskoye State Museum Estate are easily our favourites, showing a layered and image-packed look at the palace. The Narzan Baths issue is also a nice looking release. Many are members of a series that can trace its origins back over 25 years and over 140 issues – Architectural Monuments of Russia.

A solitary ¼oz gold coin in a field full of sterling silver. A couple of 5oz coins with a nice 60.0 mm diameter stand out from the 1oz releases. All have the expected and beautiful bicephalous eagle emblem by E.V. Kramskaya that has adorned Russian issues in one form or another for years and all are available now. A fascinating cross section of Russian history, as always.

Centenary of the Foundation of the Arkhangelskoye State Museum Estate

The State Museum-Estate Arkhangelskoye is an architectural and park complex of the late 18th – early 19th century in the Krasnogorsk District of the Moscow Region. The museum belongs to the most valuable objects of the Russian nation’s cultural heritage.

The Arkhangelskoye estate was first mentioned in historical documentation of Ivan the Terrible’s time. The Princes Odoyevskies, Golitsyns and Yusupovs owned the estate for three hundred years. Prince Nikolai A. Golitsyn started the construction of the architectural complex. Works to construct the palace and to organise the park were performed in parallel. In the early 19th century, Prince Nikolai Yusupov bought the estate and finally made it a single estate complex. The Prince started a museum in the estate by placing his vast collections of paintings, sculptures, handicraft objects and books.

In 1919, the estate was turned into a historic and art museum, and became accessible to general public.

1oz REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears a relief image of the southern facade of the palace; against the background of a tree there is a relief image of the Venus of the Doves sculpture decorating the staircase between the terraces; there is an inscription along the circumference: ‘ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ МУЗЕЙ-УСАДЬБА АРХАНГЕЛЬСКОЕ’ (THE ARKHANGELSKOYE STATE MUSEUM ESTATE), and at the bottom to the left – ‘100 ЛЕТ’ (CENTENARY).

5oz REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears relief images of the southern facade of the palace and a garden sculpture Artemis and a Deer; there is an inscription along the circumference: ‘ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ МУЗЕЙ-УСАДЬБА АРХАНГЕЛЬСКОЕ’ (THE ARKHANGELSKOYE STATE MUSEUM ESTATE), and at the bottom to the left – ‘100 ЛЕТ’ (CENTENARY).

ARTIST: E.V. Kramskaya

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
3 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 31.1 g fine 39.0 mm Proof 3,000 YES / YES
25 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 155.5 g fine 60.0 mm Proof 1,500 YES / YES

2019 550th Anniversary of the Foundation of Cheboksary

Cheboksary is the capital of the Chuvash Republic. The town was first mentioned in written sources in 1469 when Russian warriors stopped here on their way to the Khanate of Kazan. Since 1555, after the Chuvash territory had voluntarily joined the Moscow State, a stronghold was founded here to protect the country’s Southern borders. Cheboksary Uezd (county) was also established. By the end of the 17th century, the town had lost its defence functions and became an important trade centre in the Volga region.

In 1920, the Chuvash autonomous territory was formed with Cheboksary as its capital. The capital status positively influenced the town’s development. Today, Cheboksary is one of the largest industrial and cultural centres of the Volga region. It is the epicentre of the economic potential of the Chuvash Republic with mechanical engineering, metalworking, textile, energy and construction industries at its core. The city has a well-developed transport, engineering and social infrastructures.

REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears a relief image of points of interest of Cheboksary: the drama theatre, the city hall, and the Church of the Assumption with a stylised depiction of the city on the background; at the bottom there are inscriptions: “ЧЕБОКСАРЫ” (CHEBOKSARY), “осн. в 1469 г.” (founded in 1469).

ARTIST: E.V. Kramskaya

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
3 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 31.1 g fine 39.0 mm Proof 3,000 YES / YES

70 Years of Diplomatic Relations with the PRC

On 1 October 1949, in Beijing, the foundation of the People’s Republic of China was declared from the tribune over Tiananmen Gate. On the next day, on 2 October 1949, the Soviet Union was the first to recognise the PRC and to announce its readiness to establish diplomatic relations with China.

REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears relief images of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin in Red Square in Moscow and Tiananmen Gate in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, between and below the images there is a five-line inscription ‘70 ЛЕТ ДИПЛОМАТИЧЕСКИМ ОТНОШЕНИЯМ РОССИЯ–КНР’ (70 YEARS OF RUSSIA–PRC RELATIONS); the coloured circumference of the coin is decorated with 16-century Russian ornament and stylised Chinese flower patterns.

GOLD REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears relief images of the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin in Red Square in Moscow and Tiananmen Gate in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, between and below the images there is a five-line inscription ‘70 ЛЕТ ДИПЛОМАТИЧЕСКИМ ОТНОШЕНИЯМ РОССИЯ–КНР’ (70 YEARS OF RUSSIA–PRC RELATIONS).

ARTIST: A.A. Brynza

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
25 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 155.5 g fine 60.0 mm Proof 1,500 YES / YES
3 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 31.1 g fine 39.0 mm Proof 5,000 YES / YES

Zheltovodsky Makaryev Convent of the Holy Trinity

Zheltovodsky Makaryev Convent of the Holy Trinity is an orthodox convent located close to the settlement Makaryevo, Lyskovsky district, Nizhny Novgorod Region.

The convent was founded in the 15th century by the Venerable Makary, monk in the Nizhny Novgorod Ascension Pechersky Monastery located on the shore of Lake Zheltye Vody (it subsequently merged with the Volga River). In an attempt to help believers coming to see him, Makary jointly with other men of faith built a church devoted to the Holy Trinity, around which the convent was later established. In 1439, the convent was devastated by Kazan Tatars and was not restored until the middle of the 17th century. It was the time when the convent ensemble, which survived until the present day, was built: the Church of the Dormition with frateries, the splendid Holy Trinity Cathedral bearing resemblance to the Dormition Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, and the Gate Church of the Archangel Michael. The territory of the convent was surrounded by thick walls with watchtowers and solid gates.

In 1991, the buildings of the convent were transferred to the Diocese of Nizhny Novgorod. Today, it is an active convent. The sacred objects of the Makaryev Convent include the altar screen with a particle of holy relics and the head of the Venerable Makary.

REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears a relief image of the Zheltovodsky Makaryev Convent of the Holy Trinity, the lower part of the coin features the Volga river and the monastery reflected in it; along the rim there are inscriptions: ‘СВЯТО-ТРОИЦКИЙ МАКАРЬЕВСКИЙ ЖЕЛТОВОДСКИЙ МОНАСТЫРЬ’ (ZHELTOVODSKY MAKARYEV CONVENT OF THE HOLY TRINITY) at the top and ‘НИЖЕГОРОДСКАЯ ОБЛАСТЬ’ (NIZHNY NOVGOROD REGION) at the bottom.

ARTIST: A.V. Gnidin

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
25 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 155.5 g fine 60.0 mm Proof 1,500 YES / YES

Main Narzan Baths, Kislovodsk

The Main Narzan Baths represent an architectural tourist attraction of Kislovodsk. In the late 19th century, Kislovodsk became one of the most popular Russian spa cities, which necessitated the construction of a special building for Narzan baths. In 1903, a two-storey complex (designed by the architect Andrei N. Klepinin) appeared in the city centre in Topolevaya Alley (currently, Kurortny Boulevard) next to a small Narzan lake. The yellow brick complex was designed in ‘oriental’ style with decorative fixtures specific to Indian and Arab cultures, and with original design elements in the composition and colour. The first floor of the building accommodates Narzan baths, the second floor – rooms for aquatic therapy.

During the Soviet era, the Main Narzan Baths were the principle balneological facility in Kislovodsk. The Soviet elite – renowned writers, academicians and scientists – were treated in this spa.

At present, the building houses a health care centre.

REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc bears a relief image of the facade of the Main Narzan Baths building against the background of the city; along the rim there are inscriptions: ‘ГЛАВНЫЕ НАРЗАННЫЕ ВАННЫ’ (MAIN NARZAN BATHS) at the top and ‘КИСЛОВОДСК’ (KISLOVODSK) at the bottom.

ARTIST: O.G. Shepel

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
3 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 31.1 g fine 39.0 mm Proof 3,000 YES / YES

Aseyev Estate, Tambov

The Aseyev Estate is a museum complex in Tambov and a branch of the Peterhof reserve-museum. At present, it consists of a main building, a fountain and a park.

In early 20th century, Mikhail Aseyev, a prominent cloth manufacturer, bought a land plot with an old park. By 1905, based on the design of L.N. Kekushev, a renowned Moscow architect and a notable modern master, a quite extraordinary building had been constructed. Its architecture combined the elements belonging to three different styles: modern, baroque and classicism. The asymmetrical facades of the building were richly decorated.

In 1918, the whole Aseyevs’ real estate was nationalised and the building became state-owned. Later on, in the 1930s, the estate hosted a cardiological health resort, which continues to operate at present. In 2014, after the restoration, the Aseyev mansion-house was opened as a regular museum.

REVERSE: the mirror field of the disc features a relief image of the building of the Aseyev estate against the background of the estate park, along the rim there are inscriptions: “УСАДЬБА АСЕЕВЫХ” (ASEYEV ESTATE) at the top and “ТАМБОВ” (TAMBOV) at the bottom.

ARTIST: O.G. Shepel

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
3 Rubles (Russia) 0.925 silver 31.1 g fine 39.0 mm Proof 3,000 YES / YES
CENTRAL BANK OF RUSSIA