The ruble or rouble (code: RUB) is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with the same name. The ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks (sometimes transliterated kopecks, or copecks). The ISO 4217 code is RUB; the former code, RUR, refers to the Russian ruble prior to the 1998 denomination (1 RUB = 1000 RUR).
Currently there is no official symbol for the ruble,Various symbols have been put forward as possibilities, including: "PP" (Cyrillic for "RR"), an "R" with two horizontal strokes across the top (similar to the Philippine peso sign), a "P" with two horizontal strikes.
According to the most popular version, the word "ruble" is derived from the Russian verb rubit', meaning to chop. Historically, a "ruble" was a piece of a certain weight chopped off a gold silver ingot (grivna), hence the name.
Names of different denominations
In the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, several coins had individual names:
- ¼ kopek -polushka
- ½ kopek -denga
- 2 kopek -semishnik (mostly obsolete by 20th century), dvshka (20th century) or grosh
- 3 kopek -altyn (mostly obsolete by the 1960s)
- 5 kopek -pyatak
- 10 kopek -grvennik
- 15 kopek -pyatialtnny (5 altyn; the usage lived longer than altyn)
- 20 kopek -dvugrvenny (2 grivenniks)
- 25 kopek -polupoltnnik (half poltnnik) or chetvertak (from the Russian for ¼)
- 50 kopek -poltna or poltnnik
The amount of 10 rubles (in either bill or coin) is sometimes informally referred to as a chervonets. Historically, it was the name for the first Russian 3-ruble gold coin issued for general circulation in 1701. The current meaning comes from Soviet golden chervonets issued in 1923 that was equivalent to the pre-revolution 10 gold rubles. All these names are obsolete. The practice of using the old kopek coin names for amounts in rubles is now not very common. In modern Russian slang only these names are used:
The sixth term derived from five Catherines. Katya (Catherina) having been a slang name for the 100 ruble note in tsarist Russia, as the note had a picture of Catherine II on it. The biggest denomination note as for September, 2009 is 5000 rubles, so all the higher amount nicknames refer to amount and not coin or paper note. Warning: Most of these definitions, i.e. Chirik, Poltos, Pyatikatka, and Kosar come from jail slang Fenya. It is a quite vulgar manner of speaking.
- 1 ruble -Tselkovy , meaning "entire" or "whole"
- 5 rubles -Pyatyorka , "Pyatfan"
- 10 rubles -Chrik , "Chervonets" or Desyatka
- 50 rubles -Poltnnik with some variants like Poltishok
- 100 rubles -Stolnik
- 500 rubles -Pyatikhatka , originally pyatikatka
- 1000 rubles -Shtka or Kosar and a hybrid Shtukar ; "Tonna"(mostly in St. Peterbourg)
- 500,000 rubles -Pol-limona (a half of limon)
- 1,000,000 rubles -Limon
- 1,000,000,000 rubles -Yard
A currency symbol was used for the ruble between the 16th century and the 18th century. The symbol consisted of the Russian letters "P" (rotated by 90ÃâÃÂ° counter-clockwise) and "Y" (written on top of it). The symbol was placed over the amount number to which belonged to. This symbol, however, fell into disuse during the 19th century onward.No official symbol was used during the final years of the Empire, nor was one introduced in the Soviet Union. The characters R and py6 were utilized and remain so today, though they are not official.
In July 2007, the Central Bank of Russia announced that it would decide on a symbol for the ruble. The bank will test 13 symbols for the ruble. This includes the symbol PP (RR in Russian for Russian Ruble), which has received preliminary approval from the Central Bank.However, the people of Moscow have announced support for another tested symbol, a P with a horizontal stroke below the top similar to the Philippine peso sign.The sign has been lauded as simple, recognizable and similar to other currency signs.
Another candidate for a ruble symbol was selected in a competition organized by the Russian News and Information Agency. The "Swanling" symbol was one of 20 winners of the competition and was also one of 8 winners of a competition organized by the website KM.RU in 2006. The symbol has no similarity to any other currency symbol.
First ruble, Antiquity -31 December 1921
The ruble has been the Russian unit of currency for about 500 years. From 1710, the ruble was divided into 100 kopeks.The amount of precious metal in a ruble varied over time. In a 1704 currency reform, Peter I standardized the ruble to 28 grams of silver. While ruble coins were silver, there were higher denominations minted of gold and platinum. By the end of the 18th century, the ruble was set to 4 zolotnik 21 dolya (almost exactly equal to 18 grams) of pure silver or 27 dolya (almost exactly equal to 1.2 grams) of pure gold, with a ratio of 15:1 for the values of the two metals. In 1828, platinum coins were introduced with 1 ruble equal to 77²/³ dolya (3.451 grams).On 17 December 1885, a new standard was adopted which did not change the silver ruble but reduced the gold content to 1.161 grams, pegging the gold ruble to the French franc at a rate of 1 ruble = 4 francs. This rate was revised in 1897 to 1 ruble = 2²/³ francs (0.774 grams gold).
With the outbreak of the First World War, the gold standard peg was dropped and the ruble fell in value, suffering from hyperinflation in the early 1920s.
Second ruble, 1 January 1922 -31 December 1922
In 1922, the first of several redenominations took place, at a rate of 1 "new" ruble for 10,000 "old" rubles. The chervonetss was also introduced in 1922.
Third ruble, 1 January 1923 -6 March 1924
A second redenomination took place in 1923, at a rate of 100 to 1. Again, only paper money was issued. During the lifetime of this currency, the first money of the Soviet Union was issued.
Fourth (Gold) ruble, 7 March 1924 -1947
A third redenomination in 1924 introduced the "gold" ruble at a value of 50,000 rubles of the previous issue. This reform also saw the ruble linked to the chervonets, at a value of 10 rubles. Coins began to be issued again in 1924, whilst paper money was issued in rubles for values below 10 rubles and in chervonets for higher denominations.
Fifth ruble, 1947 -1961
Following World War II, the Soviet government implemented a confiscatory redenomination of the currency to reduce the amount of money in circulation. This only affected the paper money. Old rubles were revalued at one tenth of their face value.
Sixth ruble, 1961 -31 December 1997
The 1961 redenomination was a repeat of the 1947 reform, with the same terms applying. The Soviet ruble of 1961 was formally equal to 0.987412 gram of gold, but the exchange for gold was never available to the general public. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ruble remained the currency of the Russian Federation. A new set of banknotes was issued in the name of Bank of Russia in 1993. During the period of hyperinflation of the early 1990s, the ruble was significantly devalued.
Seventh ruble, 1 January 1998 -
The ruble was redenominated on 1 January 1998, with one new ruble equalling 1000 old rubles. The redenomination was a purely psychological step that did not solve the fundamental economic problems faced by the Russian economy at the time, and the currency was devalued in August 1998 following the 1998 Russian financial crisis. The ruble lost 70% of its value against the U.S. Dollar in the six months following this 1998 Russian financial crisis.
By calculating the product of all six redenominations, it is seen that a seventh ruble is equal to 5X1015 original rubles.
In November 2004, the authorities of Dimitrovgrad (Ulyanovsk Oblast) erected a five-meter monument to the ruble.
At the beginning of the 19th century, copper coins were issued for ¼, ½, 1, 2 and 5 kopeks, with silver 5, 10, 25 and 50 kopeks and 1 ruble and gold 5 although production of the 10 ruble coin ceased in 1806. Silver 20 kopeks were introduced in 1820, followed by copper 10 kopeks minted between 1830 and 1839, and copper 3 kopeks introduced in 1840. Between 1828 and 1845, platinum 3, 6 and 12 rubles were issued. In 1860, silver 15 kopecs were introduced, due to the use of this denomination (equal to 1 zloty) in Poland, whilst, in 1869, gold 3 rubles were introduced.In 1886, a new gold coinage was introduced consisting of 5 and 10 ruble coins. This was followed by another in 1897. In addition to smaller 5 and 10 ruble coins, 7½ and 15 ruble coins were issued for a single year, as these were equal in size to the previous 5 and 10 ruble coins. The gold coinage was suspended in 1911, with the other denominations produced until the First World War.
Fourth, fifth and sixth rubles
The first coinage after Russian civil war was minted in 1921 with silver coins in denominations of 10, 15, 20 and 50 kopeks and 1 ruble. Golden chervonets were minted in 1923. These coins bore the emblem and legends of the RSFSR. In 1924, copper coins were introduced for 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopeks, together with further silver 10, 15 and 20 kopeks, 1 poltinnik (50 kopeks) and 1 ruble. From this issue onwards, the coins were minted in the name of the Soviet Union. Copper ½ kopek coins were introduced in 1925. The 1 ruble was only issued in 1924 and production of the poltinnik was stopped in 1927, while the ½ kopek ceased to be minted in 1928. In 1926, aluminium-bronze replaced copper in the 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopeks and, in 1931, the remaining silver coins were replaced with cupro-nickel. This coinage was unaffected by the redenominations of 1947 and 1961. However, 1961 did see the introduction of new coins, with 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopeks in aluminium-bronze, and 10, 15, 20 and 50 kopeks and 1 ruble in cupro-nickel-zinc. In 1991, a new coinage was introduced in denominations of 10 and 50 kopeks, 1, 5 and 10 rubles. The 10 kopeks was struck in brass-plated steel, the 50 kopeks, 1 and 5 rubles were in cupro-nickel and the 10 rubles was bimetallic with an aluminium-bronze centre and a cupro-nickel-zinc ring. After the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation introduced coins in 1992 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 rubles. The 1 and 5 rubles were minted in brass-clad steel, the 10 and 20 rubles in cupro-nickel and the 50 and 100 rubles were bimetallic (aluminium-bronze and cupro-nickel-zinc). In 1993, aluminium-bronze 50 rubles and cupro-nickel-zinc 100 rubles were issued, and the material of 10 and 20 rubles was changed to nickel-plated steel. In 1995 the material of 50 rubles was changed to brass-plated steel, but the coins were minted with the old date 1993.
Regularly issued commemorative one ruble coin during this period is practically identical in size and weight to a 5 Swiss franc coin (worth approx. €3 / US$4). For this reason, there have been several instances of (now worthless) ruble coins being used on a large scale to defraud automated vending machines in Switzerland.
1 and 5 kopek coins are rarely used (especially the 1 kopek coin) due to their small value and in some cases may not be accepted by stores or individuals. In some cases, the 10 kopek coin is also occasionally refused. All these coins began being issued in 1998, despite the fact that some of them bear the year 1997. Since 2000, bimetallic 10 ruble circulating commemorative coins have been issued. In 2008, it was proposed by the Bank of Russia to withdraw 1 and 5 kopek coins from circulation and to round all the prices to 10 kopeks, although the proposal hasn't been realized as of 2010. The material of 1, 2 and 5 ruble coins was switched to nickel plated steel in the second quarter of 2009. In October 2009, a new 10 ruble coin made of brass plated steel was issued and the 10 ruble banknote will be withdrawn by 2012. Bimetallic 10 ruble coins will continue to be issued. A series of circulating Olympic commemorative 25 ruble coins will start in 2011. The new coins will be made of cupromickel.
The Bank of Russia also issues other commemorative coins ranges from 1-10,000 rubles.
In 1769, state assignats were introduced for 25, 50, 75 and 100 rubles, with 5 and 10 rubles added in 1787 and 200 ruble in 1819. The value of the assignats fell relative to the coins until, in 1839, the relationship was fixed at 1 coin ruble = 3½ assignat rubles. In 1840, the State Commercial Bank issued 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 rubles notes, followed by 50 ruble credit notes of the Custody Treasury and State Loan Bank. In 1843, state credit notes were introduced in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 rubles. These circulated, in various types, until the revolution, with 500 rubles notes added in 1898 and 250 and 1000 rubles notes added in 1917. In 1915, two kinds of small change notes were issued. One, issued by the Treasury, consisted of regular style (if small) notes for 1, 2, 3, 5 and 50 kopeks. The other consisted of the designs of stamps printed onto card with text and the imperial eagle printed on the reverse. These were in denominations of 1, 2, 3, 10, 15 and 20 kopeks.
Provisional Government issues
In 1917, the Provisional Government issued treasury notes for 20 and 40 rubles. These notes are known as "Kerenki" or "Kerensky rubles". The provisional government also had 25 and 100 rubles state credit notes printed in the U.S.A. but most were not issued
In 1918, state credit notes were introduced by the R.S.F.S.R. for 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 rubles. These were followed in 1919 by currency notes for 1, 2, 3, 15, 20, 60, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 rubles. In 1921, currency note denominations of 5, 50, 25,000, 50,000, 100,000, 1 million, 5 million and 10 million rubles were added.
Only state currency notes were issued for this currency, in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 rubles.
As with the previous currency, only state currency notes were issued, in denominations of 50 kopeks, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10,000 rubles. In early 1924, just before the next redenomination, the first paper money was issued in the name of the USSR, featuring the state emblem with 6 bands around the wheat, representing the language of the then 4 constituent republics of the Union: Russian SFSR, Transcaucasian SFSR (Azerbaijani, Armenian, and Georgian), Ukrainian SSR and Byelorussian SSR. They were dated 1923 and were in denominations of 10,000, 15,000, and 25,000 rubles.
In 1924, state currency notes were introduced for 1, 3 and 5 gold rubles. These circulated alongside the chervonets notes introduced in 1922 by the State Bank in denominations of 1, 3, 5 10 and 25 chervonets. State Treasury notes replaced the state currency notes after 1928. In 1938, new notes were issued for 1, 3 and 5 rubles, dropping the word "gold".
In 1947, State Treasury notes were introduced for 1, 3 and 5 rubles, along with State Bank notes for 10, 25, 50 and 100 rubles.
In 1961, new State Treasury notes were introduced for 1, 3 and 5 rubles, along with new State Bank notes for 10, 25, 50 and 100 rubles. In 1991, the State Bank took over production of 1, 3 and 5 ruble notes and also introduced 200, 500 and 1000 ruble notes, although the 25 ruble note was no longer issued. In 1992, a final issue of notes was made bearing the name of the U.S.S.R. before the Russian Federation introduced notes for 5000 and 10,000 rubles. These were followed by 50,000 and 100,000 ruble notes in 1993 and 500,000 rubles in 1995. Since the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian ruble banknotes and coins have been notable for their lack of portraits, which traditionally were included under both the Tsarist and Communist regimes. With the issue of the 500 ruble note depicting a statue of Peter I and then the 1000 ruble note depicting a statue of Yaroslav, the lack of recognizable faces on the currency has been partially alleviated.
1. The 5 ruble note is very rare now. It is now out of print, although it is still legal tender.
2. The 10 ruble note is no longer printed starting January 2010. Replaced by the 10 ruble coin.
3. Banknotes of the 2001 revision bear the fine print meaning "modification of year 2001" on the left watermark area.
4. Banknotes of the 2004 revision also bear the similar fine print. More importantly, new security features have been added, including (but not limited to):
All Russian paper money is currently printed at the state-owned factory Goznak in Moscow, which was organized on 6 June 1919 and has continued to operate ever since. Coins are minted in Moscow and at the Saint Petersburg Mint, which has been operating since 1724.
- Moir pattern: The area appears to be one color from one angle, stripes from another angle.
- Wider metallic thread
- Microperforation (100 rubles and above): Denomination numeral formed by dots (small laser perforated holes in the paper)
- Color shifting ink (500 rubles and above): The emblem of the Bank of Russia for 500 rubles, and the city emblem of Yaroslavl for 1000 rubles.
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