Ten thousand silver and 2,000 gold coins have been minted.

Nureyev defected during the Mariinsky Ballet’s 1961 tour of France, despite KGB efforts to stop him, and subsequently led Paris Opera’s ballet company from 1983 through 1989.

He was famed in Britain for his performances with The Royal Ballet’s Dame Margot Fonteyn, with whom he said he danced “with one body, one soul.”

Diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, Nureyev died on January 6, 1993.

He left a legacy which raised the profile of male ballet dancers, who previously served only as a support to female dancers.