Exciting pages of history

Denomination in the USSR and Belarus: when and how it happened
1947. Wartime rationing system was discontinued and old treasury notes were exchanged for new ones at a rate of 10:1. Savings banks exchanged amounts of up to 3,000 Roubles at a special fair rate of one to one and larger amounts were exchanged with a reduction factor. Old banknotes lost their value after December 29th (conversion began on December 16th). The exchange did not affect coins.


New money after denomination of 2016

1961. The exchange rate stood at ten to one but did not affect 1, 2 or 3 Kopeck coins, which remained in circulation. In fact, the value of copper coins increased a hundredfold over a 13 year period. The exchange of coins in denomination of 5, 10, 15 and 20 Kopecks was done in the same way as with paper money. The US Dollar was worth 4 Roubles before the reform and 90 Kopecks afterwards.

1991. 100 and 50 Rouble banknotes were exchanged, with the official reason given as ‘unearned income and counterfeit money control’. However, the ‘Pavlov reform’, initiated by Minister of Finance Valentin Pavlov, had a more pragmatic goal, of eliminating the emerging gap between the richest and poorest social groups. Restrictions on exchange were harsh, with citizens only able to exchange 1,000 Roubles each, within a three day period, from January 23rd-25th. Individual withdrawals from Sberbank were also limited and could not exceed 500 Roubles per citizen per month.

1994. Back in 1992, new banknotes depicting animals were introduced in Belarus: the famous ‘zaichik’ (hare), squirrel, beaver, lynx, wolf and bison. However, while the new banknotes were being printed, inflation led to rapid price increases, and it was decided to increase the denomination of the new banknotes by adding an imaginary zero to the figure on the bill. The ‘zaichik’, denoted as ‘1 Rouble’ became worth ten. Later, in 1994, the imaginary zero was removed, and prices for goods and services were recalculated.
2000. Inflation continued, with Belarusians becoming ‘millionaires’. By 1999, a banknote with a face value of 5 million Roubles was in circulation and it was decided to lose three more zeros.

By Olga Korneeva

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