1kg silver coin with Putin’s face minted to mark annexation of Crimea

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 8:46pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 April, 2014, 9:00pm

For anyone who blinked and missed Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, there's now a giant silver coin celebrating the Kremlin leader for bringing the territory "back home".

The 1kg coins issued by the Art Grani foundry in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk feature Putin's bas relief image on one side and a map of the Crimean peninsula on the other.

"Crimea's reunification with Russia was a historic event which we decided to embody in a souvenir collection of coins," Vladimir Vasyukhin, director of the Ural Mountains foundry, told the Itar-Tass news agency.

Vasyukhin last year visited Crimea and reportedly returned with fond memories.

"And just like that the peninsula has come back home to Russia," Vasyukhin said of the annexation. He said with the recovery of the territory, Putin had "demonstrated the qualities of a wise strategist and politician".

The annexation has been condemned by most world powers as a violation of international law.

The first issue of 25 of the commemorative coins, which are about 25mm thick and 75mm in diameter, will be given to Kremlin officials, Itar-Tass said.

Neither the foundry nor the Russian news sources that wrote about the special "Crimea 2014 Collection" said how much the coins would cost or when a broader quantity would be available to collectors and the public.