Disclosure: Our content does not constitute financial advice. Speak to your financial advisor. We may earn money from companies reviewed. Learn more
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins were first issued by Imperial Czarist Russia, then revived by the Soviet Union, and later recontinued under the Bank of Russia patronage over the past few years. The Bank of Russia has been minting and promoting these pieces since it was founded in 1992. Up to this point, the investment and collectable coins came out under the auspices of the State Bank of the USSR from 1965 to 1991, and under the Czars before that from 1701. As an exotic world gold coin full of turbulent history, they are an interesting choice for gold investors and historical world gold coin collectors alike.
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins Background and History
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins were first offered to the citizens of the new Russian Republic back in 1996. At this time, the Bank of Russia decided it would offer investment grade gold coins on its domestic markets. These coins were then made legal tender throughout all of the vast territories of the Russian Federation by an edict of the Bank of Russian Board of Directors in 2001, which also made the silver Sable coins legal tender issues at that time.
These coins are struck in both the St. Petersburg and Moscow mints. All possess a beautiful and high quality design standard as well as perfectly struck images. They are popular not only in Russia but also overseas. International collectors have occasionally rated them as the best world gold coins in opinion polls conducted by several numismatic organizations and their publications.
These coins did not start their lifespan with the Russian Republic or even the Soviet Union era versions. They first appeared for circulation and bullion purposes in 1701 under the eventful reign of the appropriately named Czar Peter the Great. The word comes from the Russian “Chervonny” which translates to “High Quality” and “Red.” With an original Imperial Russian era gold purity of 98.6 percent, they are a high quality gold coin for the day in which they were originally minted.
The second series of these Chervonets Gold Coins appeared under the Soviet Union. The Soviets were interested in boosting their economy and financial system by creating currency with an intrinsic gold value and natural gold standard backing. These coins were bigger and had a lower gold purity of 90 percent. The Soviets issued these coins with a face value of 10 Roubles in 1925 and from 1975 to 1982. They used the original Soviet era design with current striking year dates. At this time, these were not intended for general circulation but rather as a true gold bullion coin issue.
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins Physical Characteristics
USSR Chervonets Gold Coins of the Soviet series feature the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic State Emblem in their center. The shield is surrounded with a wreath made of ears and containing the image of the hammer and sickle set atop a sunbeams background. The classic communist mantra appears on the rim set off by a circle of dots, the undying rally cry is “ПРОЛЕТАРИИ ВСЕХ СТРАН СОЕДИНЯЙТЕСЬ!” or in English WORKERS OF THE WORLD, UNITE! The year of mintage appears at the bottom towards the left side.
The front side of coins is called the “obverse” by numismatists the world over. The modern Bank of Russia issued Russian Chervonets Gold Coins' obverse feature the Bank of Russia Emblem in the form of a two headed eagle whose wings are down. Beneath that it states in Russian BANK OF RUSSIA in a semicircular inscription. This is framed by a circling of dots and other inscriptions around the rim. The top states Fifty Roubles on the George the Victorious Coins or 10 Roubles on the Chervonets coins, and the bottom declares the year of mintage. To the left the letters depict the periodic table of the elements sign for the metal gold and the fineness towards the right with the relevant mint mark.
The coin “reverse” is the rear side of coins. Russian Chervonets Gold Coins portray the heroic imagery of St. George the Victorious as he sits astride his horse and slays the infamous dragon of medieval lore. These St. George the Victorious coins come in a higher purity of 99.9 percent gold and appear much like the reverse sides of the British Sovereign coins. At 24 Karats gold, they are far purer than both the original Imperial Russian and older Soviet versions of the Chervonets coins.
Russian Chervonets Gold Coins come in two sizes, the 10 Rouble face value Chervonets and the 50 Rouble valued George the Victorious coins. The dimensions of the Chervonets version are as follows:
- Mass: 8.603 grams
- Diameter: 22.6 mm
- Thickness: 1.7 mm
- Content: 7.742 grams gold
- Purity: 90.0% gold
The main difference between these and the George the Victorious coins lies in the gold purity. The superior George variants are 99.9 percent pure gold. Otherwise their sizes and dimensions are nearly identical with their less pure Chervonets cousins.
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins Pricing
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins come with face values of 10 Roubles. While this amount is a significant legal tender in Russia today, the gold content makes their intrinsic value far higher. No one in the Russian Federation would willingly choose to spend these coins at face value when their intrinsic value exceeds $1,000 per coin. The intrinsic value is mostly based upon the spot price of the gold content contained therein. A slight premium pertains to these bullion pieces as to all bullion coin issues to cover the mints' costs of producing and distributing the coins themselves.
It is this intrinsic value of the coins which gives them their fair market value. Market value is important because it determines the coin values for when they are included in an investment or retirement portfolio or a coin collection. The market price of these coins rises and falls alongside the daily range of gold prices in international precious metals market trading. You can follow this in actual real time live simply by navigating over to our homepage.
Can IRA Accounts Contain Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins?
Soviet and Russian Chervonets Gold Coins are just exotic enough to make you doubt that the IRS will allow you to include them in your American IRA retirement account. It is at their sole discretion as to whether or not a given world bullion gold or silver coin is permitted to be purchased with these funds or not. They judge these coins on two main questions. Is their gold purity of the highest in the world, and are they too collectable or not?
You must first commit to a purchase of $5,000 minimum of IRS approved gold and/or silver bullion in order open such an account. Once you have done this you can always add another purchase with a minimum of $1,000. You might already have a traditional IRA account and wish to transfer it over to a self directed IRA vehicle. This is relatively easily done via the rollover process. Your new IRA account administrator will handle all orders on your behalf as well as shipping and storage arrangements as you direct them. Speaking of storage, the IRS requires that you keep these coins not at home or in your local bank safe deposit box, but rather in the secure vaults of one of their approved IRA depositories. The two largest of these are Brinks and Delaware Depository. They will ensure your bullion remains unsullied by your hands and safeguard them from theft until the day when you have your IRA administrator give the order either to sell them or take them out as a distribution. In the case of the latter, this will be the first time you are able to physically possess or even handle them. You do not want to cross the IRS on these strict rules and regulations.
The minimum IRS enforced standard of gold purity for coins to be allowed within your IRA retirement vehicle is set at a high mark of .995 gold fineness. As the Chervonets coins only contain .900 purity, they are ineligible for inclusion. Ther purer George the Victorious coins have the required .995 purity at .999, but they ultimately fail because of their premium amount over spot gold. Sadly for those who love an unusual and relatively rare world gold bullion coin issue, neither the Imperial Russian, Soviet era, or Russian Federation issued Chervonets or George the Victorious gold coins may be a part of your IRA account. This does not disqualify them from other types of retirement, investment, or coin collection portfolios. Obtaining these coins is a matter of finding a reputable coin or bullion dealer who stocks these unusual coins.
Sign up to learn more. It's free!
If you're worried about the economy and want to learn tips on how to protect your retirement savings in case of another systemic collapse, sign up to our monthly newsletter now for free! We cover topics such as: precious metals investing, inflation, currency devaluation, national debt, the Fed's financial policies, world politics, and much more. Join now and we'll send you a free PDF report entitled “5 scams to avoid when investing in bullion gold & silver”