As in the past I wanted to share the recent arrival of some coins that I thought might be of interest to readers. The latest are three Belarusian coins from the Folk Legends series that caught my eye due to the very distinctive designs.
The Republic of Belarus has an extensive commemorative coin program, which has honored famous people, cities, architectural monuments, history, and various cultural aspects. The various coins have been minted in gold, silver, or base metal with very low mintages. A listing of their commemorative coin issues can be found here.
The coin shown above is the 2012 Legend of the Bear 20 Rubles Silver Coin, first released in December 2012. The obverse design contains the State Coat of Arms of the Republic of Belarus in the upper portion and a spinning wheel in the center with its pattern changing into the structure of tree rings. The images of bears and men appear surrounding the wheel, as the characters of the folk legend. The reverse design contains an intricately detailed and very distinctive image of a bear, surrounded by mythological symbols of Belarusian legends.
The silver version of the coin is struck to proof quality in .925 silver with a weight of 33.62 grams and diameter of 38.61 mm. The mintage is indicated as just 2,000 pieces. The copper nickel version is proof-like with a weight of 15.50 grams and diameter of 33 mm. The mintage is also 2,000 pieces.
The National Bank website lists the original sales price for the silver coin at 600,000 Belarusian Rubles, or around 70 USD. The coins seem to be sold mostly in Belarus and does not seem to be too many dealers who carry the coins. I was able to pick up the coin on eBay at a price only modestly above the issue price. The coin came shipped from Poland.
So far, there are five releases listed for the Belarusian Folk Legends series comprising the following:
- The Legend of the Stork
- The Legend of the Cuckoo
- The Legend of the Skylark
- The Legend of the Tortoise
- The Legend of the Bear
All of these were produced in both silver (20 Rubles) and copper nickel (1 Ruble) versions. The mintages indicated for the first three issues were 5,000 pieces each. This was reduced to 3,000 for the tortoise and then 2,000 for the bear.
The coins all feature the same basic design with the spinning wheel and silhouetted animals on the obverse and a highly detailed and stylized image of the animal on the reverse. Along with the bear, I also purchased the stork and cuckoo coins. These can be found at lower prices compared to the bear.
Issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, these coins are actually minted by the Lithuanian Mint. Earlier this year, I shared a Lithuanian coin that I was particularly impressed with.