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Background on 1980 Olympic coins


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I was too young for the Olympics but like any other Russian family had many trinkets like pins, towels, etc.


I have a few sets including the big red 28 piece proof set, 6 coin 1 Rouble set in a presentation box with a sticker Made in Canada on both.


So here are some questions:


Were the coins sent from USSR to Canada where they were distributed to USA?

Were the presentation boxes made in USSR or Canada?

How much paperwork came with these sets?

How many sets are there?

I'm aware of: 28 piece proof and unc.

5 sets of individual series - Were there both proof and unc?

1 set of 1 Rouble coins - Were there both proof and unc? Mine is unc/proof-like

1 set of Gold in proof and unc

1 set of Platinum in proof and unc


What else can you share about those days in regards to these Olympic coins?





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Appearently this is the best I can answer at the moment.


In regards with the precious metals and non-precious metal Olympics coin set of the Soviet Union, appearently there are too many varients of packaging that I don't recommand you to collect them all!


The nicupro coins that I am aware of are packed in at least 4 different packaging and the blue casing with proof nicupro coins being very difficult to find. I was thinking there could be up to 7 different ones but I am not too sure if they are official or not.


With the silver commemorative coin sets, originally there are supposed to be 5 different sets as there are 5 different motives. These are in blue-black boxes and appear in both proof and uncirculated. There are ones in red boxes but so far the only ones that I see only feature the first three silver commemorative coins released in the red box set. I cannot comment how scarce these are these days.


Platinum coins, regardless of proof or uncirculated appear in single coin boxes like this:




Gold coins come in similar boxes except they are in black boxes.


Now to the problem of what you call huge boxes like this:




The problem with huge boxes with precious metal coins seem that there are boxes that made in both Canada AND Germany, which means that there should be two varients of boxes for all precious metals. One of which that you described is what I have shown that is it has two hinges in the front to close the box. The other varient is like an album type made in Germany with one "button" to close it.


Some of the boxes made in Canada only have the first two series in it, that is a low 11 coins in it. That is how it seemed that it was released back in 1978. An extremely rare varient that I have seen has only 11 coins in it but it has BLUE lining instead of the typical red lining that you might see all over auction sites. I don't know if it is custom made or just something else.


Paperworks in it is another maddening case. There should be at least 5 or 6 in the case of gold coins, trying to explain the purpose of why these coins were minted written in both English and French. And then there is a giant certificate from the Goznak Mint, certifying that it's from the Soviet Mint, blah blah blah. And if the set passed through some North American distributors, it would have some more interesting pamplets which I don't really want to go into mad details. I am not too sure about the other set since I don't really want to own two similar sets at the same time, as well as I paid a dear tax when I shipped it here. Customs here love to tax me dearly.


Lastly, if you think the hype is in the Olympics coins, perhaps there is as there is a terrible GOLD olympics coin minted WITHOUT the year! ;) However, sold at the same time are the Chervonets which failed miserably. Proof Chervonets were only minted in 1980 to coincide with the Olympics event and to find it with the proper certificate and box is a real nightmare - 3 years ago when I found one here, it was auctioned off at over 400+USD whereas a typical proof chervonets would only have gone off at around 200USD! :ninja:


Please feel free to barge in any questions or doubts - half of the stories here are based upon what I see on auctions over the years.


I hope I answered most of your questions Rusty - it's a pretty long story.

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In Australia - makes you wonder why I'm here. Too often, I see dealers removing the coins off the cases and... you don't want to know what happens next.


Another headache bit is I don't think all of the 28 coins were made in both Leningrad and Moscow Mint. I believe that in the past, all coins were minted in Leningrad and only when Leningrad Mint can't handle any excess, Moscow Mint was there to help. In fact, Leningrad Mint seemed to have minted all of the Olympics coins, from nicupro to platinum and Moscow Mint just did what Leningrad Mint couldn't handle. Only platinum coins were strictly minted by Leningrad Mint. This was then changed and Moscow Mint generally handled gold and some silver commemorative coins and Leningrad Mint handled other precious metals and unusual experimentations such as the 1990 smaller denomination palladium, 1991 gold ballerina.


You might have a total of 4 combinations as follows:


LMD proof


MMD proof



I never bothered to try but I don't know if they exist.


The best catalogue book that I have is "Proshloe v monetax, Pamyatnvle monetvi 1832-1991g", by A.V. Yuriva, Moscow Finance and Statistics 1994, which tells what coins were minted by what mint and the mintage figures. Unfortunately it doesn't tell much about the Moscow Olympics coins. What the book does tell is how much proof / uncirculated coins were minted, it does not give a breakdown of how much proof / uncirculated either mints struck. I would assume that Moscow Mint is relatively harder to find but I don't think that it generically applies to 1980 Olympics coins.

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