Spitsbergen 50-RUBLES (KM Tn7) Polar Bear
Although Spitsbergen is a Norwegian territory, these are Russian coins minted in St. Petersburg for Russian coal miners working on the island.
There were three series of Spitsbergen coins minted in 1946, 1993, and 1998. This series (and the 1946 series) apparently did circulate among the workers of the Arktikugol mining company, although they are technically called "tokens". The inscription on the obverse reads 'Spitsbergen' over top of the Polar bear, and the word under the bear is 'Arktikugol' (Arctic Coal).
The Polar bear aka Ursus maritimus stands on top of the world, or close to it at 78° north latitude, as depicted on the coin. The map the bear stands over looks like the entire Svalbard archipelago.
- Diameter: 24 mm
- Composition: Copper-Nickel clad steel
- CAT#: KM Tn7