Known as Chervonetz which means “red coin”, named because of its high Gold content that often gives the coins a red hue. The coin has a denomination of 10 Rubles and is actually bigger in size and weight than a Sovereign and contains 0.42 grams more fine Gold than its British counterpart.
The design is very interesting - gone are the regal obverses of the Russian Tsars, with George V’s first cousin Nicolas II being the last of the Russian Royals to feature on their coinage. In its place the workers of the Soviet Union are represented with a scene of a farmer sowing grain, with a factory in the background, perhaps representing the change in the country from an agricultural to an industrial economy.
On the coin’s reverse is the famous hammer and sickle design, the symbol of the USSR, representing the union between peasantry and working-class.
The first of these coins were minted in 1920, but strangely they were only struck for a few years. Perhaps even more interesting was that production started again between 1975 and 1982, long after most countries around the world had stopped using Gold coins for circulation.
Recently a very small number of these Gold coins minted in the 1970’s were discovered as part of a hoard, each one in pristine condition! Why they were struck and why they were kept as a hoard is a mystery, but this was during the height of the cold war, so the possible explanations are endless.
It was such a mystery that after the hoard was discovered, the coins were sent to the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation to be independently graded and verified, and remarkably they hit the high grade of MS67, meaning the coins still had full mint lustre with no large obvious marks.