In addition to two new silver commemorative coins, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation is also releasing several circulating commemorative coins this month. Amongst these are no less than three new additions to Russia's long running “Ancient Towns of Russia” series.
This will mark the first new additions to the series since 2014, when the “Nerekhta” coin was issued. The series of bimetallic 10 Rouble coins has been running since 2002 and now consists of a total of 37 issues across the series.
The first of the three coins pays tribute to the town of Rzhev located in the Tver Oblast region of Russia. Located on the Volga river, the first documented mentions of Rzhev can be found as early as 1019 and 1216. The reverse of the coin depicts a view of Rzhev from across the Volga with the town's Coat of Arms appearing above. The outer ring of the bimetallic coin holds the reverse legend that reads : “ДРЕВНИЕ ГОРОДА РОССИИ” (ANCIENT TOWNS OF RUSSIA) to the top and “РЖЕВ” (RZHEV) at the bottom.
The second coin is dedicated to the town of Zubtsov which is situated at the confluence of the Volga and Vazuza Rivers in the Tver Oblast region of Russia. The first recorded mention of Zubtsov was in a chronicle from 1216. The centre of the reverse design features a view of Zubtsov depicting the Dormition Cathedral of Zubtsov, which is recognized as a federal monument. Zubtsov's Coat of Arms is depicted just below the cathedral. The reverse legend again reads : “ДРЕВНИЕ ГОРОДА РОССИИ” (ANCIENT TOWNS OF RUSSIA) at the top only replacing the town's name of “ЗУБЦОВ” (ZUBTSOV) at the bottom.
The third coin to be released for the Ancient Towns of Russia series for 2016 is in honour of the town of Velikiye Luki in the Pskov Oblast region of Russia. Velikiye Luki is situated on the banks of the Lovat River and the name literally means “great meanders”. Velikiye Luki was first mentioned in a chronicle simply as Luki in the year 1166. The reverse design depicts a view of the town that features the ramparts of what remains of the former Velikiye Luki fortress. The town's Coat of Arms appears to the top of the coin. Again the legend is recorded in the outer ring of the coin and is unchanged from the two other coins motioned above, only replacing the town name at the bottom with “ВЕЛИКИЕ ЛУКИ” (VELIKIYE LUKI ).
The three coins all share the same obverse design that prominently features the coin's denomination of “10 РУБЛЕЙ” (10 ROUBLES) on the centre disc, with the mintmark appearing just below that. A security feature is included inside the “0” of 10 РУБЛЕЙ, the letters “РУБ” (RUB) can be seen when holding the coin at specific angles. This security feature is included to try and deter counterfeiting of the coin. The obverse legend is inscribed on the outer ring, along the rim, and reads : “БАНК РОССИИ” (BANK OF RUSSIA) to the top and “2016” at the bottom. A laurel branch is engraved to the left and an oak branch to the right of the design.
The Ancient Towns of Russia series is circulating commemorative series of 10 Rouble coins and as such these coins will have ha mintage of five million coins each(5 000 000). The outer ring is comprised of brass and the inner disc from a cupronickel alloy. The coins measure 27mm(1.063 inch) in diameter. The coin contains edge lettering that reads :“ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ” (TEN ROUBLES) that repeats twice and is separated by two stars at either end.