|This article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2010)|
|Headquarters||17 Mytnaya St. Moscow, Russia|
|Products||currency, postal stamps, medals, badges|
|Owner(s)||Russian government (100%)|
|Parent||Ministry of Finance|
Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Goznak" (short for Государственный знак, or State Insignia) is a Unitary enterprise in Russia, responsible for the production of coins and bank notes. The agency administers the whole process cycle of bank note manufacturing. It incorporates several factories involved in different stages of the production cycle. Although the initial scope of Goznak had been the production of bank notes, the production of coins was added to its field of operations in 1941. Production of orders of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation was also administered by Goznak.
Goznak combines paper and printing facilities, which manufacture money, government bonds, checks, letters of credit, savings-bank books (сберегательная книжка), lottery tickets, postage stamps, blanks of passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, as well as publications of high artistic value and special and high-grade paper. Goznak also controls mints, which manufacture small change, orders, decorations, and commemorative medals. It also manufactures credit cards, banking cards, phone cards, and SIM chips. Goznak not only prints Russian money, but also prints banknotes of foreign countries, including Lebanon, Yemen, Guatemala, Indonesia and Egypt.
During the reign of Peter the Great, the Russians established the Saint Petersburg Mint in 1724, which would centralize coinage in Russia and begin to produce different kinds of badges and medals used for decoration.
In 1818, on September 4 (August 21 Old Style) in Saint-Petersburg the Expedition of Storing State Papers (Экспедиция заготовления государственных бумаг) was founded by the Decree of Emperor Alexander I under the authority of the Ministry of Finance; Dmitry Guriev, Minister of Finance, assigned engineer Agustín de Betancourt to design and build the modern, steam-powered currency printshop.
In 1838, a Russian academician Moritz von Jacobi (known as Boris Yakobi in Russia), employed at this Department, used his invention of galvanoplastics to produce printing plates for the first time in printing history. In the 1890s, an employee of the Department Ivan Orlov invented and developed a new printing method called "Orlov's printing" (Орловская печать). Also, he built multicolor printing presses, which would serve as a prototype for modern multicolor printing presses. Orlov's machines were still in use in some countries in the 1970s.
After the October Revolution of 1917, the Department of State Currency Production was reorganized and renamed Goznak (short for Государственный знак, literally State Ensign or Insignia). Although the initial scope of Goznak had been the production of bank notes, the production of coins was added to its field of operation in 1941, when the Leningrad mint was taken over by Goznak. Goznak had its own All-union Research Institute in Moscow. In the 1920s, a Goznak employee and a prominent Soviet sculptor Ivan Shadr created the first samples of the Soviet money. In the 1950s – 1960s, an employee of the Goznak’s Moscow Printing Factory V.A.Oleynik invented an original money counting device, which would be further developed by other workers of the All-union Research Institute. Thus, all of the paper and printing factories and mints of the Goznak were equipped with the counting machines.
Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Goznak" incorporates eight branches:
- Moscow Mint
- Perm Printing Factory
- Saint Petersburg Paper Mill
- Saint Petersburg Mint
- Moscow Printing Factory
- Research Institute of Goznak (Moscow)
- Krasnokamsk Paper Mill
- Moscow Printing Works
After the revolution of 1917 the Saint-Petersburg Mint of Goznak was renamed the Leningrad Mint. Its original name was returned in the 1990s. The Saint-Petersburg Paper Mill of Goznak was also called the Leningrad Paper Mill during the Soviet period.
In 1997, Perm Printing Factory launched telecards for public telephones. During the first year of the new site more than one million cards were produced. The quality of cards is fully in line with the international standard.
In 1999, the Moscow Mint, for the first time in the history of Russia won the tender for the manufacture of currency for India. In October 1999, they signed an agreement with India for the manufacture of copper-nickel coins two and five rupees.
At the beginning of 2006, the Moscow Printing Factory of Goznak (MPF Goznak) started with the personalization of the first ePassports. The current ePassport — often described as a biometric passport — does not contain any biometric data yet. Since the production capacities were low, the ePassport was only issued for certain regions of Russia. Starting in 2008, MPF Goznak increased its production capacity significantly. The ultimate goal was an output of more than 5 million ePassports per year. The personalization equipment for the Russian ePassport is provided by the German company Mühlbauer AG. Between January 2008 and September 2008, over 800 thousand ePassports were issued.
On September 3, 2008, Goznak celebrated the 190th anniversary of its currency printing shop. This 2008 anniversary also coincided with the issuance of the one-millionth Russian ePassport.
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