Maintaining their busy release schedule, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (also known as the Bank of Russia) has released two new silver commemorative coins this month.
The first coin is a 1oz 3 Rouble piece very similar in theme to the “300 years since the founding of Omsk” coin that was released only two month prior, this time however it is the city of Orel that is being commemorated is silver. The second silver coin released is a new addition to the Russian “Treasury of World Culture” series paying tribute to the works of French sculptor Etienne Maurice Falconet, the full review of that coin can be viewed HERE.
The 1oz silver 3 Rouble coin commemorates the 450th anniversary of the founding of Orel, The city of Orel(or Oryol) is located in the east of the Russian Federation about 360 km(22 miles) southwest from Moscow, and serves as the administrative centre for Russia's Oryol Oblast district.
After the region was incorporated into Tsardom of Russia in the 16th century, Ivan the Terrible ordered the construction of a fortress at Orel in 1566. Then by 1702 Orel had grown in status and population to the point where it was officially recognized as a town. Orel was under German occupation for nearly three years during the Second World War. The German Wehrmacht captured the city on October 3rd, 1941 and only lost it again after the Battle of Kursk on August 5th, 1943. Like so many other cities Orel was devastated by the war, with significant parts of it being completely destroyed. Today Orel is a modern city of nearly 130 square kilometers(50 sq miles) with a population of 317 747(according to the 2010 census).
The reverse design of the coin depicts a city view of Orel from an elevated viewpoint, with the Orlik river to the bottom right of the coin. Alexander bridge can be seen entering the city to the right just in front of Orel's Assumption cathedral, which is dedicated to the Archangel Michael. The only inscription on the coin appears to the top and reads : “ОРЕЛ” and then “ОСН. В 1566 Г.” in slightly smaller lettering. This translates as “OREL” and “FOUNDED IN 1566”.
The obverse prominently displays the wonderfully detailed relief image of the crowned two headed eagle clutching an orb and scepter in it's talons, which represents the Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation. The words “РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ”(Russian Federation) appear in a semi circle to the top half of the coin.
To the bottom, below the Coat of Arms, the issuing authority, denomination and date of issue are indicated in three lines. These read “БАНК РОССИИ” (BANK OF RUSSIA), “3 РУБЛЯ” (3 ROUBLE) and “2016”. To the lower left “Ag 925” is written indicating that the coin s struck from sterling silver, or Silver .925 Fineness. The mintmark of the Moscow Mint appears to the lower right along with the number “31.1”. This indicates that the coin was struck at the Moscow Mint and that it contains 31.1grams of metal, or exactly 1 Troy ounce.
The 450th Anniversary of the Foundation of Orel 1oz silver 3 Rouble coin measures 39mm(1.535 inch) and carries a limited mintage of 3000 proof coins.