World Coins

2008 coin honors first stamp from Russia

Russia celebrated the 150th anniversary of the first Russian postage stamp with a commemorative coin in 2008.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of Russia.

Editor's note: The following is the fifth piece of a multi-part Coin World series about the intersection of coins and postage stamps prepared by Jeff Starck for the May 2015 monthly edition of Coin World.

Russia celebrates its first postage stamp on a Proof silver collector coin issued in 2008. 

The .925 fine silver 3-ruble coin features a design by S.A. Kozlov, showing three examples of the first Russian stamps, each denominated 10 kopeks. 

The first Russian stamps were issued in December 1857, and they became valid for use as postage on Jan. 1, 1858. 

The stamp’s design bears the Russian double-headed eagle (the national coat of arms) along with two crossed horns for the emblem of the Russian Post. The stamp was printed mostly in brown, with the coat of arms printed in blue. 

The obverse of the 3-ruble coin features Russia’s two-headed eagle, with the legend translating to “Bank of Russia” appearing below. The interpretation of the eagle on the obverse of the coin and that depicted in the stamps’ design on the reverse differ slightly. 

The reverse depicts the corner of a postal envelope with three of the first stamps on it. 

Read other pieces from the series:

Coins that leave their stamp on history

Blue Mauritius stamp among world's most valuable issues

British Guiana's Penny Magenta stamp an expensive, ugly, stamp

Canada's iconic beaver appears on first stamp, 3-cent coin

The stamp at the lower right on the corner of the cover depicted on the coin is highlighted with a “gold insert” composed of 1.55 grams of .999 fine gold. 

An inscription to the left translates to “Delivered in April 1858,” above which appears a legend translating to “150th anniversary of the first Russian postage stamp.” 

A stylized depiction of a steel-tipped fountain pen also appears in the lower part of the reverse design. 

The coin contains 31.1 grams (1 ounce) of silver, measures 39 millimeters in diameter and has a mintage limit of 8,000 pieces. 

The coin currently sells in online auctions for $150 to $200. The 2015 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 values a New example of the stamp at $25,000 and a Used example of the stamp at $850.

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