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The ruble or rouble ( rubl , plural rubli; see note on English spelling and Russian plurals with numbers) (code: RUB) is the currency of the Russian Federationmarker and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhaziamarker and South Ossetiamarker. It is Fiat money. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Soviet Unionmarker and the Russian Empiremarker prior to their breakups. Belarusmarker also uses currency with the same name. The ruble is subdivided into 100 kopeks (sometimes transliterated kopecks, or copecks, , plural: ). 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, though the abbreviation руб is in wide use. Various symbols have been put forward as possibilities, including: "РР" (cyrillic for "RR"), an "R" with two horizontal strokes across the top (similar to the Philippine peso sign),₱, a "Р" with two horizontal strikes.


According to the most popular version, the word "ruble" is derived from the Russian verb руби́ть, rubit', meaning to chop. Historically, a "ruble" was a piece of a certain weight chopped off a 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 or dénezhka
  • 2 kopek - semishnik (mostly obsolete by 20th century), dvúshka (20th century) or grosh
  • 3 kopek - altyn (mostly obsolete by the 1960s)
  • 5 kopek - pyaták
  • 10 kopek - grívennik
  • 15 kopek - pyatialtýnny (5 altyn; the usage lived longer than altyn)
  • 20 kopek - dvugrívenny (2 grivenniks)
  • 25 kopek - polupoltínnik (half poltínnik) or chetverták (from the Russian for ¼)
  • 50 kopek - poltína or poltínnik

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 (сове́тский золото́й черво́нец) 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:

  • 5 rubles - Pyatyórka (Пятёрка), "Pyatífan" (пяти́фан)
  • 10 rubles - Chírik (чи́рик), "Chervónets" (черво́нец) or Desyátka (деся́тка)
  • 50 rubles - Poltínnik (полти́нник) with some variants like Poltishók (полтишо́к)
  • 100 rubles - Stólnik (стольник)
  • 500 rubles - Pyatikhátka (пятиха́тка), originally pyatikátka (пятика́тка)
  • 1000 rubles - Shtúka (шту́ка) or Kosár (коса́рь) and a hybrid Shtukár (штукарь); "Tónna" (то́нна) (mostly in St. Peterbourg)
  • 500,000 rubles - Pol-limóna (пол-лимо́на, a half of limon)
  • 1,000,000 rubles - Limón (лимо́н)
  • 1,000,000,000 rubles - Yárd (ярд)

The fifth term derived from "пять кать" (five Catherines). Katya (катя, 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.

Currency symbol

A currency symbol was used for the ruble between the 16th century and the 18th century. The symbol consisted of the Russian letters "Р" (rotated by 90° counter-clockwise) and "У" (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 Unionmarker. The characters R and руб 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 РР (RR in Russian for Russian Ruble), which has received preliminary approval from the Central Bank. However, the people of Moscowmarker have announced support for another tested symbol, a Р 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. [32372] [32373]

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. [32374] [32375] [32376]


First ruble, Antiquity - December 31 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 77⅔ dolya (3.451 grams).

On December 17, 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 = 2⅔ 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, January 1, 1922 - December 31, 1922

In 1922, the first of several redenomination took place, at a rate of 1 "new" ruble for 10,000 "old" rubles. The chervonets (червонец) was also introduced in 1922.

Third ruble, January 1, 1923 - March 6, 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 Unionmarker was issued.

Fourth (Gold) ruble, March 7, 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 - December 31 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. 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, January 1, 1998 -

The ruble was redenominated on January 1, 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 .

In November 2004, the authorities of Dimitrovgradmarker (Ulyanovsk Oblast) erected a five-meter monument to the ruble.


First 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 złoty) in Polandmarker, whilst, in 1869, gold 3 rubles were introduced. [32377] 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 Switzerlandmarker.

Seventh ruble

In 1998, the following coins were introduced:
Currently Circulating Coins [32378]
Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Diameter Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1 kopek 15.5 mm 1.5 g Cupronickel-steel Plain Saint George Value 1997
5 kopeks 18.5 mm 2.6 g
10 kopeks 17.5 mm 1,95 g Brass 1997-2006, Brass plated steel 2006- Milled for brass and plain for plated Saint George Value 1997
50 kopeks 19.5 mm 2.9 g
1 ruble 20.5 mm 3.25 g Cupronickel 1997-2009, Nickel plated steel 2009- Milled 2-headed eagle emblem of the Bank of Russia Value 1997
2 rubles 23 mm 5.1~5.2 g Broken reeding
5 rubles 25 mm 6.45 g Cupronickel-copper 1997-2009, Nickel plated steel 2009- 1997
10 rubles 22 mm 5.63 g Brass plated steel Broken reeding 2-headed eagle emblem of the Bank of Russia Value 2009

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 . Note that all these coins began being issued in 1998, despite the fact that some of them bear the year 1997. There are now 10 ruble commemorative coins (bimetallic) intended to replace 10 ruble notes.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, however, as of 2009 the proposal hasn't been realized. 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 will be issued and the 10 ruble banknote will be withdrawn.

The Bank of Russia also issues other commemorative coins ranges from 1-10,000 rubles. See [32379] for listing.


First ruble

Imperial issues

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.marker but most were not issued.

RSFSR issues

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.

Second ruble

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.

Third ruble

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 USSRmarker, 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.

Fourth ruble

In 1924, state currency notes were introduced for 1, 3 and 5 gold rubles (рубль золотом). 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".

Fifth ruble

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.

Sixth ruble

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.

Banknote Series of the Sixth Ruble
Series Value Obverse Reverse Issuer Languages
1961 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 rubles Lenin or views of the Moscow Kremlinmarker Value, and views of the Moscow Kremlinmarker for 50 rubles or higher USSR 15
1991 1, 3, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 rubles Russian3
1992 50, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000 rubles USSR for 1000 rubles and lower
Bank of Russia for 5000 and 10,000 rubles
1993 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 rubles Moscow Kremlinmarker with the tri-color Russian flag Bank of Russia
1995 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000, 100,000, 500,000 rubles Same design as today's banknotes, where 1 new ruble = 1000 old rubles. See below.4, 5
The 1000 ruble note did not continue as a 1 new ruble note.

Seventh ruble

In 1998, the following banknotes were introduced:

1997 Series [32380]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse Watermark printing issue
5 rubles (not used now)1 137 × 61 mm Green The Millennium of Russiamarker monument on background of Saint Sophia Cathedralmarker in Veliky Novgorodmarker Fortress wall of the Novgorod Kremlinmarker "5", Saint Sophia Cathedral in Veliky Novgorod 1997 January 1, 1998
10 rubles2 150 × 65 mm Dark-green and dark-brown Bridge across Yenisei Rivermarker in Krasnoyarskmarker, Chapel Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric plantmarker "10", Chapel January 1, 1998

20013, 20044
50 rubles Blue and violet, respectively Sculpture at the foot of the Rostral Column on background of Petropavlosk Fortressmarker in Saint Petersburgmarker Former stock exchange buildingmarker "50", Peter and Paul Cathedralmarker
100 rubles Brown-green-burgundy Sculpture on the portico of the Bolshoi Theatremarker in Moscowmarker The Bolshoi Theatremarker "100", The Bolshoi Theatremarker
500 rubles Violet and blue, respectively Monument to Peter the Great, sailing ship and sea terminal in Arkhangelskmarker Solovetsky Monasterymarker "500", Peter the Great
1000 rubles 157 × 69 mm Blue-green Monument to Yaroslav I the Wise John the Baptist Church in Yaroslavlmarker "1000", Monument to Yaroslav I the Wise 2000, 20044
5000 rubles Red-orange Monument to Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky in Khabarovskmarker Khabarovsk Bridgemarker over the Amurmarker "5000", Head of the monument to Muravyov-Amursky June 2006

  1. The 5 ruble note is very rare now, as it is being replaced by a 5 ruble coin. It is now out of print, although it is still a legal tender.
  2. The 10 ruble note will no longer be printed starting January 2010 and will be replaced by the 10 ruble coin.
  3. Banknotes of the 2001 revision bear the fine print "модификация 2001г." 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):
*Moiré 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 Yaroslavlmarker for 1000 rubles.

All Russian paper money is currently printed at the state-owned factory Goznak in Moscowmarker, which was organized on June 6, 1919 and has continued to operate ever since. Coins are minted in Moscow and at the Saint Petersburg Mintmarker, which has been operating since 1724.

U.S. dollar]] 1998-2009
Year Lowest ↓ Highest ↑ Average
Date Rate Date Rate Rate
1998 01 Jan 5.9600 29 Dec 20.9900 9.7945
1999 01 Jan 20.6500 29 Dec 27.0000 24.6489
2000 06 Jan 26.9000 23 Feb 28.8700 28.1287
2001 04 Jan 28.1600 18 Dec 30.3000 29.1753
2002 01 Jan 30.1372 07 Dec 31.8600 31.3608
2003 20 Dec 29.2450 09 Jan 31.8846 30.6719
2004 30 Dec 27.7487 01 Jan 29.4545 28.8080
2005 18 Mar 27.4611 06 Dec 28.9978 28.3136
2006 06 Dec 26.1840 12 Jan 28.4834 27.1355
2007 24 Nov 24.2649 13 Jan 26.5770 25.5516
2008 16 Jul 23.1255 31 Dec 29.3804 24.8740
2009 13 Nov 28.6701 19 Feb 36.4267
Source: USD exchange rates in RUB, Bank of Russia

See also


  1. .

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