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1988 St. Vladimir 3 ruble


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For a long time ever since the Imperial Russian era, the Russians were never allowed to have commemorative coins since 1914, the last being the Gangut ruble. It was only until 1965 during the Soviet era that the Russians finally managed to mint their first ni-cupro commemorative coins, but precious metal commemorative coins never appeared until the Russians won their Olympics rights in 1980, only to see their numismatic program flying out of the window, as mintage numbers were too high and the rest of the world boycotted Soviet goods.


8 years later, just 3 years before the Soviet Union fell, perhaps the Russian mints, LMD and MMD were finding innovative ways to sell such coins overseas.


The first commemorative precious metal series that was minted after the Olympics games is the series called "1000 years of Old Russia coinage, literature, the architecture of the baptism of Russia". Minted in 4 different precious metals, 2 in silver, 2 in gold, 1 in palladium and 1 in platinum, this set is indeed impressive, but is starting to be VERY difficult to find.


Here are two coin examples of the first set that I have, as well as the packaging:


Packaging 1:



First coins minted in St. Vladimir



St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev



Packaging 2 - very likely to be a product marketed to the overseas market as the cupboard around it is 100% English, which is not likely to be sold in Russia.



There are various packaging in Japanese and German, but I cannot confirm if these are arranged with some private companies and the Russian mints.


A more deluxe presentation that have been on ebay several months ago is the 4 coin set without the gold coins (I wonder why though - white colored coins looks ugly against yellow colored ones???) The rarest of all is a packaging that features all 6 coins but I have only seen one example up on the internet.


Nevertheless, the price of that coin up on auction in my opinion seems to be quite high, considering that it does not mention of COAs or any kind of boxes. I am never too sure if the Mints actually ever bothered to put them into boxes for every single one of them with the COAs.

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