The Bank of Russia has issued the first commemorative silver coin for 2017. The coin celebrates the 190th anniversary of the birth of the renowned Russian geologist Pyotr Petrovich Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky(1827 - 1914).
P.P. Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky was a prolific scientist, geologist, statistician and art collector who's contribution to 19th century Russian society is undeniable. He managed the Russian Geographical Society from 1874 until his death in 1914, and was the first European to properly explore the as-to-then largely unknown mountains of the Tian Shan. He also served as the Chairman of the Central Committee for Statistics(which became the Statistical Committee of the Ministry of Interior ) from 1864 to 1891. When he passed on in 1914 he was a member of 53 learned societies, he had discovered dozens of new species of insects(with a personal collection of over 700 000 specimens) and was one of the most respected scientists of his age.
The reverse of this commemorative silver coin depicts an image of a young Pyotr Semyonov-Tyan-Shansky while on an expedition standing with a walking stick seemingly admiring a view, perhaps even the scenic panorama of the Tengri Tag. The background is populated by the Tian Shan mountain range that he is best remembered for describing. On opposite sides of his figure are the silhouettes of mounted explorers. To the right is a figure riding a camel while a stoic figure on horseback is seen to the left. The reverse legend is written to the top, along the rim, and reads : "П.П. СЕМЁНОВ-ТЯН-ШАНСКИЙ" (P.P. SEMYONOV-TYAN-SHANSKY). To the lower right are the dates “1827” and “1914” in two horizontal lines.
The obverse in turn features a wonderfully detailed relief image of the National Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation at it's centre. "РОССИЙСКАЯ ФЕДЕРАЦИЯ" (RUSSIAN FEDERATION) is inscribed along the top rim punctuated with double rhombuses at either end. The issuing authority, denomination and date of issue are described to the bottom of the obverse design in three horizontal lines. "БАНК РОССИИ" (BANK OF RUSSIA), "2 РУБЛЯ" (2 RUBLES) and "2017 г." (2017). Then, in smaller lettering, to the left of the Coat of Arms appears “Ag 925” indicating that the coin is struck from sterling silver and the fine metal weight of “15.55” gram similarly appears to the right. The mintmark of the Moscow Mint(MМД) is seen just below the weight.
The reverse of the coin was designed by A.D. Schablykin while O.G. Shepel worked as the sculptor for this design. The coin is only available in a proof finish and measures 33mm (1.2992 inch). The 2 Ruble silver commemorative coin has a total mintage of 3000 coins and forms a part of the Outstanding Personalities of Russia series.