World Coins

Russia issues a ‘credit card’ that’s also a coin

A 2015 silver 3-ruble coin from Russia celebrates the first credit card in the country, by mimicking the shape and security traits of actual credit cards.

Images courtesy of the Central Bank of Russia.

When it comes to “cash or credit,” the Central Bank of Russia is turning the question on its head.

On Dec. 15, the bank issued a noncirculating legal tender commemorative coin that celebrates the first credit card in the country. The Proof .925 fine silver 3 ruble coin is even shaped like a credit card. 

The obverse of the coin bears an image of the state coat of arms of the Russian Federation, with inscriptions translating to “Russian Federation” and “Bank of Russia.” The denomination and year of issue, 2015, also appear, with symbols indicating the metal, purity and the Mint mark of the Saint Petersburg Mint. 

The reverse side of the coin reproduces a credit card, with 16 “account number” digits, gold accents, and an apparent hologram (of the ruble symbol) meant to mimic security traits employed in actual credit cards. An inscription toward the upper part of the design translates to “Issue of the first payment card NSPK.” 

The coin weighs 31.1 grams and measures 51 millimeters wide and 32 millimeters tall. The mintage limit is 5,000 pieces. 

Interested collectors will have to search the secondary market to obtain this coin.

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