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In 2002 the Central Bank of the Russian Federation began an annual program that each year commemorates some of their historical towns on bi-metallic 10 Ruble coins. The coins picture the city and its arms on one side and has the standard Russian 10 Ruble obverse on the other. Unlike a lot of coin programs throughout the world there is no set regularity to the number of coins released each year in this series, with some years seeing 4 coins issued and other years only 3.
Kem is a historic town and the administrative center of Kemsky District of the Republic of Karelia, Russia, located on the shores of the White Sea where the Kem River enters it.
Kem was first mentioned as a demesne of the Novgorod posadnik Marfa Boretskaya in 1450, when she donated it to the Solovetsky Monastery (situated in the White Sea several kilometers off shore). In 1657, a wooden fort was erected there. Also wooden is the town's remarkable cathedral, built in 1711–1717. It is a fine example of the tented roof-construction so popular in old Russian architecture. The cathedral's iconostasis features precious 17th-century century icons from Novgorod.
In the center of the disc indication of the denomination of the coin: 10 RUBLES, inside of the figure 0 hidden pictures of the number 10 and of the inscription RUB visible by turns on changing angle of vision, in the lower part of the disc the mint trade mark SPMD, on the ring along the rim above the inscription: BANK OF RUSSIA, below the year of issue 2004, to the left and to the right stylized twigs of plants going over to the disc.
Architectural panorama of the town, above the coat of arms of Kem, over it on a ribbon the semicircular inscription: ANCIENT TOWNS OF RUSSIA, below the inscription along the rim KEM.
ДРЕВНИЕ ГОРОДА РОССИИ
300 corrugations and the inscription ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ (TEN RUBLES) recurring twice and divided by asterisks.
ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ ⋆ ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ ⋆