The name of the gold coin is a clear indication of its alloy. Loosely translated "chervonetz" (also Tschervonetz or Chervonetz, plural: Tscherwonzen) means "red coin" and refers to the copper content that complements the gold content of 900/1000 fine gold to increase their scratch resistance and gives the 10-ruble gold coin a reddish shimmer.
1923, shortly after the end of the Russian Civil War and one year after the founding of the Soviet Union, a Russian gold coin was minted for the first time. It bore the name and arms of the Russian SFSR - not the newly formed Soviet Union. This Russian gold coin, with some gaps, was minted until 1982.
Its total weight is 8.6026 grams, with a fineness of 900/1000 which equals a fine weight of 7.7416 grams (almost a 1/4 ounce), with the nominal value of 10 Rubles.
From 1922, “Chervonetz" was also the name of the currency on Soviet banknotes, and the name was also commonly used for banknotes / coins etc. from various western currencies. But with the currency reform of 1947 those notes were abolished.
Since the Russian currency reform in 1947, the value of ten old Rubles is 1 new Ruble. But from the perspective of the nominal value this does not matter, because the value of its material significantly exceeds it. Experts suggest that the Chervonetz is a reference to another famous gold coin, the Vreneli.
From 1975 to 1982 the Soviet Union issued Chervonetz gold coins with the old design again. There were fifteen years of significant political and social upheaval behind the new state, a participation in the war and economic hard times. The Soviet Union desperately needed foreign currency and specifically used the minting and sale of the 10-Ruble gold coin abroad to bring fresh foreign currency into the country.
The design of the Chervonetz was maintained throughout the whole time they were minted and in all minting years all the words and transcriptions on the Chervonetz gold coin, including the nominal value, are written in Cyrillic letters.
Already on the front of the first post-revolutionary Ruble gold coins the later, strongly idealized style is seen, which would shape all areas of art for many decades of the Soviet Union. The Chervonetz shows a farmer standing legs apart, looking to the right, with the right arm extended to the side in the process of distributing the seed. In his left hand he carries a basket of seed that is relieved with a cloth across his chest and shoulder. On the same level of his right thigh in the background a rising sun can be seen with different lengths of beam lines. Before that, a plow is engraved in side view. Behind the farmer in the background a silhouette of an industrial plant with smoking chimneys can also be seen. Above the farmer the nominal value is engraved. The year of issue is found in the lower half on the left and follows the outer ring of points.
The obverse shows a hammer and a sickle, surrounded by ears before a rising sun, which represents workers and peasants as the two pillars of the state. The seal is framed by a wreath of grain narrowing itself towards the top. In addition, on the back is the inscription "PCOCP" (meaning RSFSR = Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic). Exception is the minting year 1925, because the letters written below of the emblem instead are "CCCP" (meaning USSR = Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The edge of the coin is smooth and bears the inscription "Leningradskii Monetny Dvor" ("Leningrad Mint").
The inscription begins to the left of the ornament surface and ends on her right side. It cites the known Communist rallying cry from the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels "Workers of all countries, unite!" including an exclamation mark at the end. The obverse is also completed by a circumferential ring of raised dots.
The minting history of the Chervonetz is quite interesting, because between the minting years 1923, 1925 and the resumption of mintage from 1975 to 1982 there is a large time gap. Besides coins from 1923, especially the coins from the 1980s are very popular with collectors.
There was only one denomination minted which is almost equivalent to the fine weight of a quarter ounce of gold used today.
Occasionally PROOF Chervonetz or Chervonetz gold coins in mint state (BU) were issued from the older minting years (e.g. 1980: 100,000 units), aimed more for collectors. The total circulation of high uncirculated coinage (e.g. 1977: 2,000,000 shares) lead to investor-friendly trade prices. The minting years 1923, 1980, 1981 and 1982 can achieve collector premiums. The original editions of 1923 are rare and therefore are only available at high collector premiums. Or they have been almost completely melted, like the edition of 1925, apart from a handful of copies. The remaining gold coins can only be found in museums.
Only the 10 Ruble-Chervonetz gold coins minted from 1975 to 1979 are suited as investment coins. The coinage in these years was high, often in the millions, and so not of interest for collectors.
1 The weight displayed is the fine metal content of the item. It does not reflect the actual weight of the product which may be higher.
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