Ukrainian karbovanets

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Ukrainian karbovanets
український карбованець (Ukrainian)
Ukraine-1991-Bill-1-Obverse.jpg 1,000,000 Karbovantsiv (1995 obverse).jpg
1 karbovanets 1,000,000 karbovantsiv
ISO 4217 code UAK
Central bank National Bank of Ukraine
 Website www.bank.gov.ua
User(s) Ukraine Ukrainian People's Republic (1st)
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Ukrainian SSR (known outside of Ukraine as Soviet ruble)
Germany Reichskommissariat Ukraine (2nd)
 Ukraine (3rd)
Subunit
 1/100 kopiyka (копійка)
Plural karbovantsi (nom. pl.), karbovantsiv (gen. pl.)
 kopiyka (копійка) kopiyky (nom. pl.), kopiyok (gen. pl.)
Banknotes 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10 000, 20 000, 50 000, 100 000, 200 000, 500 000, 1 000 000 karbovantsiv
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The karbovanets (Ukrainian: карбованець, karbovanets, plural: карбованці, karbovantsi for 2–4, or карбованців, karbovantsiv for 5 or more), also known at one point as koupons or coupons, has been a distinct unit of currency in Ukraine during three separate periods. The name is also used in the Ukrainian language for the Imperial ruble and the Soviet ruble, but not for the modern Russian ruble.

History[edit]

First karbovanets, 1917-1920[edit]

Bank-notes of the Ukrainian People's Republic[edit]

(17 March 1917 - 29 April 1918) In March 1917 in Kiev some political parties formed the Central Rada which proclaimed on November 20, 1917 the foundation of the Ukrainian People's Republic.

And by just December 19 of the same year, a temporary law about the issue of state banknotes by the UPR was adopted. According to this law: "Bank-notes must be issued in karbovanets" (Ukrainian: Карбованець). Each karbovanets contains 17.424 parts of pure gold and is divided into two hrivnas Ukrainian: Гривня or 200 shahs (Ukrainian: Шаг).

The etymology of the name "karbovanets" is debatable: by one supposition it originated in Ukraine from the ancient primitive way to carve (karbuvaty, Ukrainian: Карбувати) numbers of calculations on a rod, and by another supposition -from the carving (incision) on a rim of a metal rouble.

On January 5, 1918 the first Ukrainian bank-note with a value of 100 karbovanets was issued. There is an interesting detail: the trident depicted on the bank-note was proclaimed as a National Emblem of the UPR only 54 days after its appearing on the bank-note, on March 1, 1918. On all issued bank-notes was stated only one series - "AД" and only one number - 185. Combined with the use of ordinary paper (without water-marks) for printing of this bank-note, this led to the appearance of a great number of counterfeit bank-notes in circulation.

On September 20, 1918, the Central Rada proclaimed the issue of bank-notes of the State Treasure in denominations of 5, 10, 25, and 50 karbovanets, to be valid until March 1, 1924. On April 6, the population of Kiev first saw 25-karbovanets bank-notes, and 50 karbovanets bank-notes later appeared, but 5- and 10-karbovanets bank-notes were not released. Primarily this series of bank-notes was issued without designation of series and number. In subsequent issues, the series indicated the place of printing: AK (Kiev) and AO (Odessa).

After occupation of Odessa by military units of Denikin's Army in spring, 1919, the printing house of Odessa continued printing bank-notes of 50 karbovanets. The Ukrainian Government was indignant and proclaimed money issued by the Denikinists to be false (series AO, numbers 210 and above).

It is necessary to mention one more detail of the 50-karbovanets issue. In 1920, the Soviet Government of Ukraine printed some dozens of millions of bank-notes for temporary use by Glavrevkom (Head Revolutionary Committee) in the Western Ukraine. This issue of series AO had numbers from 236 to 250.

The next release by the Central Rada was issued on April 19, 1918 and included denominations of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 shahs. The term "shah" is borrowed by the Central Rada from the ancient name of small coins (change) from as long ago as the 16th century. Shahs were printed in Kiev in sheets of 100, perforated in order to simplify tearing off separate bank-notes. "Shahs" were in circulation until March 1919 when they were abolished by the Soviets. There are many existing bank-notes of this value.

Bank-notes of the Ukrainian State Government[edit]

(29 April 1918-14 November 1918)

Main article: Ukrainian hryvnia

The Congress of Free Hubb'andmen on April 29, 1918 (with the great support of Austrian-German occupants), elected tsarist general P.P.Skoropadsky as Hetman of Ukraine. He proclaimed the overthrow of the Central Rada Government and the foundation of the Ukrainian State.

In Skoropadsky's time, the so-called "paper hryvnias" were introduced in commerce. They were ordered by the Central Rada from Germany.

On August 5, 1918, the first bank-note which appeared in commerce was the 3.6% state-bond with the name "Bank-note of the State Treasure". State-bonds were printed with eight coupons, four coupons on each side. Primarily they were to be issued for the purpose of internal loans. But the general lack of circulating banknotes led to state-bonds and even separate coupons being used as paper money.

On October 17, 1918 Hetman's government received from Germany another supply of bank-notes with values of 2, 10, and 100 hryvnias, as ordered by the Central Rada. A bit later, bank-notes of 1000 and 2000 hrivnias were received. They were needed by Hetman's Government due to exaggerated inflation in Ukraine. They bore the abbreviation of the Ukrainian State(УД, Ukrainian: Українська Держава), an official name of Ukraine in Hetman's time.

These hryvnias were issued on October 17, 1918, 59 days before Hetman's overthrow.

Bank-notes of the Ukrainian Directorate[edit]

(14 November 1918 - June 1920)
The defeat of Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I resulted also in the break-up of Ukraine's occupation regime (Hetman Skoropadsky's government). On the night of November 14, 1918, in Bila Tserkva, the Government of the Ukrainian Directorate was formed with V.K.Vynnychenko, S.V.Petlyura and others at its head. Within a month, military forces of the Directorate occupied Kyiv. On January 16, 1919 the Government of the Directorate declared war on Soviet Russia. This action required issuing enormous sums of money.

In Kiev, the Directorate used reserves of bank-notes which were issued previously by the Central Rada's governments.

The military campaign of the Directorate turned out to be unsuccessful, and the offensive of the Red Army forced the Directorate to leave Kyiv and to settle for some time in Vinnytsia (February 5, 1919). There the Directorate used 3.6% State bonds for their purchasing power. Under the pressure of Soviet forces, the Directorate retreated still farther to Ternopil, and then Stanislav (now Ivano-Frankivsk) by the end of February 1919. Beginning in March 1919, one of the most unsuccessful series of bank-notes (5 hryvnias) was issued. Compiled from different elements of earlier Ukrainian banknotes, 5-hryvnia bank-notes were hastily printed on grey paper and contained an error in their text: гривна instead of гривень. Some bank-notes with such misprints entered circulation. The next bastion for the embattled Directorate was Kamanets-Podilsk, where it held out for almost a year and issued a few more bank-notes.

First, in August 1919, banknotes were printed with the value of 100, 250, and 1000 karbovanets. For printing of these bank-notes, they used clichés (slugs of type) that had been prepared by the Hetman's government.

One of the best bank-notes among all Ukrainian paper-money is a bank-note of 1000 karbovanets. This bank-note was issued in Kyiv and entered circulation on November 13, 1918. Printing was continued by the Directorate government in October 1919 at Kamyanets'-Podilsk, and in 1920 at Warsaw. The last issue is unknown.

A bit later, lower denomination notes - 10 karbovanets (August 1919) and 25 karbovanets (October 1919) were put into use. The design of the 10 karbovanets (tank-note) was prepared in Hetman's period and their obverse had the large letters УД which designated the Ukrainian state (Ukrainian: Українська Держава).

The last bank-notes of the Directorate were prepared in Austria. The series contained bank-notes of 50 and 1000 hryvnias. But they were never issued (only some specimen copies are known). On November 20, 1920, the Directorial Government was disbanded by S.V. Petlyura's edict and its provision of currency ended.

Bank-notes of the Ukrainian SSR[edit]

(1919–1920)
At the beginning of 1919 in Kharkiv the government of the Soviet Ukraine was formed. It represented Soviet Russia in its war against the Directorate. By Lenin's direction Russia financed the Ukrainian Soviet government. However, a period of unprecedented inflation was triggered by the Civil War and resulted in a sharp deficit of circulating money, especially petty bank-notes.

The People's Commissar (narcom) of Finance of the USSR, with the mutual consent of the RSFSR government, decided to use the 10 karbovanets bank-notes of the Directorate. This note's cliché and artwork (without series and numbers) were captured by the Red Army on February 5, 1919. during the takeover of Kyiv from the Petlyurian troops. The Soviet bank-note differed from the Directorate's in paper, ink, water-marks, and the location of their series and numbers.

One more bank-note of 50 karbovanets with Soviet symbolics was printed. On June 1, 1919, the Soviet Ukraine united with the Soviet governments of Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Belarus in a common revolutionary front, and only one monetary unit was legitimized - the ruble of the USSR. The necessity of printing separate bank-notes was gone, and the 50-karbovanets bank-note is known only by some specimen copies.

Second karbovanets, 1942-1945[edit]

During the Nazi occupation of Ukraine in World War II, the German occupying government (Reichskommissariat Ukraine) issued banknotes denominated in karbovanets (karbowanez in German). The karbovanets replaced the Soviet ruble at par and was in circulation between 1942 and 1945. It was pegged to the Reichsmark at a rate of 10 karbovantsiv = 1 Reichsmark.

Third karbovanets, 1992-1996[edit]

Single use coupons issued at 1991

In November 1990, with the collapse of the Soviet planned economy, the Ukrainian SSR introduced one-time coupons, which were distributed to Ukrainian residents. The coupons were needed in addition to Soviet rubles in order to buy groceries and living essentials. On January 10, 1992[citation needed], the karbovanets replaced the Soviet ruble at par, with the ISO 4217 code being UAK.

The karbovanets, which suffered from Hyperinflation, was replaced by the hryvnia in 1996, at a rate of 100,000 karbovantsiv = 1 hryvnia. When the hryvnia was introduced in 1996, a 15 day period was in effect from September 2-September 16, 1996, during which both the karbovanets and hryvnia were in circulation. The use of the karbovanets for all kinds of payments stopped completely after September 1996 and the only accepted currency after was the hryvnia.

Banknotes[edit]

First karbovanets[edit]

In 1917, the Central Rada of the Ukrainian People's Republic introduced 100 karbovantsiv notes. These were followed in 1918 by State Treasury notes for 25 and 50 karbovantsiv. That year also saw the issue of postage stamp currency denominated in shah and various bonds, together with state credit notes in denominations of 2, 10, 100, 500, 1000 and 2000 hryven. The Directorate issued notes for 100, 250 and 100 karbovanets in 1918, followed by 10 and 25 karbovanets in 1919. State notes for 5, 50 and 1000 hryven were issued in 1920.

Second karbovanets[edit]

Banknotes were introduced in June 1942 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 karbovanets. The banknotes were in dark colour, carrying nearly all inscriptions in German, and a warning in both German and Ukrainian stating "falsification of banknotes is punished by imprisoning". The obverse of the notes all featured a portrait, including children, a peasant, a miner, a seaman and a chemist. The Nazi Reichsadler also appeared.

Third karbovanets[edit]

In 1991, notes were introduced in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 karbovanets (also called kupons[1] or coupons). All 1991 banknotes were of the same design, picturing Lybid from the monument of the founders of Kiev on the obverse, and the Sophia Cathedral on reverse. The banknotes did not carry individual serial numbers or signatures. In 1992, banknotes for 100, 200, 500, 1000 karbovanets were issued, which carried serial numbers and were better protected to counterfeiting.

In 1993, banknotes for 2000 and 5000 karbovanets were issued. Having similar design as 1992 banknotes, they were the first to carry the Coat of arms of Ukraine. In the same year, notes for 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000 karbovanets were also introduced into circulation, which were bigger in size and pictured the Volodymyr Monument on the obverse and the Kiev Opera on reverse. Subsequently, banknotes for 200,000 and 500,000 karbovanets were introduced in 1994, followed by 1,000,000 karbovanets banknote in 1995, which pictured Taras Shevchenko Monument in Kiev.

See also[edit]

Preceded by:
Russian ruble
Reason: independence
Currency of Ukrainian People's Republic
December 19, 1917 – March 1, 1918
Succeeded by:
Ukrainian hryvnia
Preceded by:
Ukrainian hryvnia
Reason: coup d'état
(on April 29, 1918)
Currency of Ukrainian State
April 1918 – December 1918
Succeeded by:
Ukrainian hryvnia
Reason: coup d'état
(on December 14, 1918)
Soviet karbovanets, known outside of Ukraine as Soviet ruble
Preceded by:
Ukrainian hryvnia
Reason: Soviet occupation
(November 1920)
Currency of Ukrainian SSR
1920 – 1942
Succeeded by:
Second (Nazi) karbovanets
Reason: Nazi occupation
(1941)
Preceded by:
Second (Nazi) karbovanets
Reason: Soviet occupation
(1944)
Currency of Ukrainian SSR
1945 – 1992
Succeeded by:
Third Ukrainian karbovanets
Reason: Independence
(on August 24, 1991)
Second (Nazi) karbovanets
Preceded by:
Soviet karbovanets
Reason: Nazi occupation
(1941)
Currency of Reichskommissariat Ukraine
1942 – 1945
Succeeded by:
Soviet karbovanets
Reason: Soviet occupation
(1944)
Third karbovanets
Preceded by:
Soviet karbovanets
Reason: Independence
(on August 24, 1991)
Currency of Ukraine
1992 – 1996
Succeeded by:
Ukrainian hryvnia
Reason: inflation
(on September 2, 1996)

Ratio: 1 hryvnia = 100 000 karbovanets

References[edit]

External links[edit]