Unfortunately I do not read Russian so I have not yet completely verified this, but I thought it was interesting enough to pass along on the face of it, since it is 'making the rounds' of the internet, and some have asked me about it.
Here is the reported document in Russian.
As they are not coins for general circulation but rather coins to commemorate the Russian Olympics I do not see this as signficant perhaps as the blogger quoted below. Also it appears that they will be issued in rather limited numbers so will probably price as a collectible and not as currency. That is how it is with commemoratives in limited edition.
Here is the sentence from the document that provoked such a strong reaction in some circles.
"The coins are legal tender cash payment in the Russian Federation and must be accepted at face value in all kinds of payments without any restrictions."I have not yet done all the math to determine the equivalent 'face value' of the coins in other currencies, but I have taken an initial swipe at it.
In the case of the 50 Rouble gold coin, it is 7.78 grams, or 0.25013 troy oz.
At $1700 per ounce, that would make the gold coin worth about .999 x .25013 = .25 ounce of gold, or roughly $425 for a face value coin of 50 roubles.
That is about 8.5 dollars to the rouble. And I don't think many would take that exchange, since the US dollar is now trading at about 30.77 roubles.
Much ado about not too much I am afraid. This strikes me as the $50 face value on the gold American Eagle. I don't even need the legal tender guarantee to make me want to honor that exchange.
Note: A Russian reader informs me that ALL such coins have always been considered legal tender there, as if it matters, given their largely symbolic face value.
Well Aren't These Fine
By Demetrius Tucker
19 December 2012
It seems 2012 is not yet done with its surprises. The Central Bank of Russia has issued three values of bullion (300,000 31.1g silver pieces with a 3RUB face value, 300,000 7.78g gold pieces with 50RUB face, & 100,000 15.55g gold pieces with a 100RUB face value) that can be used as legal tender beginning, well, TWO DAYS AGO!
If you don’t yet understand the ramifications of such a move, don’t worry, it’s not too late. But you want to begin reading now – starting with the history of metals as money...
Read the entire report here.
Here is a Google translation of the Russian document.
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia)
Department of External and Public Relations
107016, Moscow, ul. Neglinnaya, 12, tel.: (495) 771-4417, 771-4669, fax: (495) 771-4932; http://www.cbr.ru
On the issue of investment appeal of precious metal coins
Department of External and Public Relations of the Bank of Russia informs that on 17 December 2012 in the framework of the monetary program "Sochi 2014" Bank of Russia issues a bullion coins dedicated to the XXII Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi: 3 Rubles silver, gold nominal 50 and $ 100, with the year of issue "2012".
Investment silver coin of 3 Rubles (fine metal content 31.1 g, fineness 999, catalog № 5111-0247) has a rectangular shape with rounded corners, length 35.0 mm and a width of 23.0 mm.
On the front and back of the coin is raised.
The obverse of the coin features the relief of the State Emblem of the Russian Federation, there are inscriptions in two lines at the top of "the Russian Federation", below face value coins - "RR 3" and the year of issue - "2012", indicate the metal in the periodic table of elements D. I. Mendeleev, fineness, the mint trademark and the fine metal content...
The coins are legal tender cash payment in the Russian Federation and must be accepted at face value in all kinds of payments without any restrictions.
December 17, 2012
Using materials reference to the Department of External and Public Relations of the Bank of Russia is required.