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NNP Blog

Mar 07 2020

Bowers & Ruddy Proposal for 1980 Olympic Coinage

From Q. David Bowers comes a fascinating item recently added to Newman Portal, a coinage proposal for the 1980 Moscow Olympics prepared by the Bowers & Ruddy rare coin firm in 1975. The proposal was submitted to Vneshtorgbank, a Russian bank with specialty in foreign trade, and suggested that Bowers and Ruddy be appointed director of an international consortium to produce and market the pieces. Bowers & Ruddy was well positioned to take a leadership role and made a number of suggestions, such as increased production of silver and nickel coins, which could be manufactured with greater profit margins than gold pieces. Mintages of the order of a million coins were suggested, with a total market opportunity of $150 million. The proposal came to naught as the pieces were ultimately struck in the Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow Mints, and the story of the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Games is well-known. 

Link to Bowers & Ruddy 1980 Olympic coinage proposal on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/536113?Year=1975&take=50
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