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Russian Olympic Coins- USSR Coins of 1980

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Originally published on February 11, 2014 Technically speaking this 2014 is the first Russian olympic games...but the USSR (which included Russia, and other parts of the former Soviet Union) did host the summer olympic in 1980.

A large variety of coins were issued, and most were produced in very large quantities, so that they are still obtainable today... with a little bit of online searching.  

All of the coins have a similar obverse with the national arms, Soviet hammer and sickle, with CCCP, and the coin value in Roubles at the bottom.  The reverses are more interesting, showing various summer sports, and the olympic 5 ring logo.  If you look carefully on the reverses there is also often a small mint mark showing that they were stuck in either Leningrad or Moscow.

The most affordable of these coins would be the copper-nickel 1 Rouble piece that was actually struck for circulation.  On the reverse it has the olympic torch.  Over 4 million were made, but a seldomly seen coin in North America….despite being worth less than $5.

The most popular and common coins are the silver issues.  A 28 coin set was minted both in proof, and uncirculated finishes, 14 of each 5 and 10 Roubles.   An alloy of 90% pure silver was used.  Reverses consisted of images from the various summer games.  The set came in an attractive red case.  Strangely enough, these appear with much frequency in older collections of people in the Montreal area, and I think they may have been offered for sale by mail to Royal Canadian Mint customers.  Generally 250,000 to 400,000 of each coin were produced.  Although asking prices usually vary, this set usually sells at retail for a small premium over the silver value.

A six coin set of 100 Rouble gold coins were also offered in both proof and uncirculated finishes.  Struck in 90% gold, but understandably in lesser quantity than the silver; 50,000 - 100,000 of each.  They were offered individually or as a set.  Like the silver, collectors can usually obtain a set at a modest premium to the prevailing gold value.

Somewhat more unusual are the 150 Rouble platinum coins.  Russia is known as one of the major producers of this scarce metal, so it probably seemed natural for them to offer this 5 coin set to collectors.  Again offered in proof and uncirculated finishes.  The total mintage however is understandably much less at about 30,000-35,000 per coin.  

If you have questions about older Russian coins please do not hesitate to call or contact us through our website.


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