Collectible banknotes and paper money items from Russia extend much farther back in history than the notes of many other countries. Although the earliest banknotes can be extremely rare, there are some quite old notes seen for sale sometimes. More modern Soviet and Russian notes, also, have proven highly collectible and are, of course, somewhat easier to find for sale.
The earliest Russian banknotes were issued in 1769, and were known as assignats. At first simple pieces of paper with printed text, assignats were more lavishly decorated on later issues. Many denominations and issues of these assignats are virtually never seen for sale; other examples to crop up from time to time. Reproductions may also be found for sale.
In 1843, the assignat system was canceled and new banknotes, state credit notes, were issued. Slightly easier to find for sale, Russian state credit notes were issued in a variety of denominations and often boast lovely designs. Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Russia’s state credit notes began to resemble modern banknotes.
In 1897, Russia changed to the gold standard, and new currency was issued. Pre-1898 notes were officially destroyed as people swapped them for the new bills, making examples still around today particularly collectible.
The World War I years saw some interesting Russian banknotes issued, including postage stamp banknotes and small-value notes denominated in kopecks. From 1915 until the late 1920s Russian paper money experienced a rather chaotic and, from a collector’s point of view, tantalizingly complicated and varied, flurry of issues. Different types, shapes, and values of banknotes from different governments were released, and many of these are, happily, very interesting historically and graphically and often affordable besides.
The busy banknote situation had calmed down by about 1928, and for much of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union issued several infamously well-designed banknotes, including many collectible foreign exchange certificates and other collectibles.
In 1992, the Bank of Russia (БАНК РОССИИ) took over the banknote system after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Modern Russian banknotes are renowned for their striking, bold designs. Russia continues to make headlines with its banknotes, announcing in March 2013 a special commemorative 100-rouble banknote in honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Russian banknotes for sale listings can include items from a large variety of eras, governments, and styles. Check the listings here and come back often to see the latest.
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