Russia 10-RUBLES (Y-new) Beaver-Tiger
This coin is from 'The Russian Federation' series celebrating the regions of Russia. This issue is for the Irkutsk Oblast and features a very strange animal that turns out to be a Beaver-Tiger hybrid.
The original coat of arms of Irkutsk (1690) had a tiger with a sable in its mouth, an image that had been in use since 1642. But, in the official description, it was called a "babr" which was a scholarly word for "tiger" at the time.
Fast forward to the 1870s when "babr" had totally fallen out of use, and tigers have disappeared from the area. This is when a French Heraldist with a limited command of the Russian language assumed that "babr" was a miss-spelling of "bobr" which means beaver. So he changed it.
This resulted in a long dispute among local authorities and the image morphed into the fantastical half-tiger, half-beaver. The Soviets got rid of the crazy image, but it was later restored for everyone to enjoy.
This wonderful coin was a gift from Maria!
- Diameter: 27 mm
- Composition: Copper-Nickel in Brass ring