More of new money

Deputy Chairman of National Bank’s Board, Dmitry Lapko, invites journalists to National Bank’s Central Repository, to be among first to see new, British-printed Belarusian banknotes

Deputy Chairman of National Bank’s Board, Dmitry Lapko, invites journalists to National Bank’s Central Repository, to be among first to see new, British-printed Belarusian banknotes (already kept for seven years, at particular temperature and humidity) and coins minted by Lithuanian Mint and Slovak’s Kremnica

New banknotes impossible to forge

Grounds for choosing new design

Much like the previous notes, printed in Russia, the new designs feature monuments of architecture and city planning. Resembling Euros, although these do not depict architecture, the new Belarusian notes are multi-coloured (like the latest US Dollars).

New banknotes displayed by the Deputy Chairman of the National Bank’s Board, Dmitry Lapko
Belarusian banknotes rise in size by 4mm as they rise in denomination, while the colours range from warm and simple to more complicated and cold’, as explains Svetlana Nekrasova, the National Bank’s chief specialist. The face features a Belarusian architectural monument and the reverse a landmark historical period — from ancient (a site preserved in the Brest Region) to modern times. The images aim to inspire patriotism and to create a rich representation of the diversity of the country’s regional culture.

Banknotes are printed on special paper protected against forgery, with easily recognisable watermarks overlaying the image, and metalised thread, resembling a dark stripe, running through the paper. There are also fragmented patterns on the note which, when held up to the light, fit together to spell out the value. There are six visible degrees of protection, in addition to many more invisible elements, which only banks and specialists can detect.

For partially sighted people

In the lower left-hand corner, each note also bears ‘Braille’, enabling those with poor sight to detect the value by feel. Meanwhile the written value is written large, supplemented by colour distinction.

Coins in need

Belarus is the only European country yet to introduce coins, but that is soon to change. Of course, coins have the advantage of lasting 10-15 years, while banknotes tend to need replacement within 6-12 months. Moreover, it’s easy to deface paper money.

The new denomination, and use of coins, aims to help control inflation. From January-September, this fell from 17.1 to 11.9 percent and, in 2016, is set to reach no more than 12 percent. Within five years, inflation should stand at just 5 percent.

A one Kopeck coin is set to replace the current lowest value of banknote: Br100. Like all coins in circulation, its averse will feature the state emblem and the reverse will depict an image representing the value. In addition, the reverse side of 1, 2 and 5 Kopecks will be decorated with an ornament symbolising wealth. Symbols of fertility and life are to be depicted on the 10, 20 and 50 Kopeck coins, while 1 and 2 Roubles will bear symbols of happiness and freedom.

Like banknotes, coins will be differentiated by size, having various diameters: the 1 Kopeck is 15mm in diameter, made from steel alloy covered in copper (the colour is red); 2 and 5 Kopecks are the same, but with a larger diameter; and the 10, 20 and 50 Kopecks are yellow, being made from steel covered with copper and brass. The 1 Rouble is white, owing to its copper-nickel coating, while the 2 Rouble coin is dual-coloured and is the largest, at 23.5mm in diameter (weighing 5.81 grams and being 2mm thick). It’s made from two alloys: copper-brass and copper-nickel. In addition, coins have a special rim, with cuts of a certain size, and small details difficult to reproduce illegally.

Costs involved

According to Mr. Lapko, to produce a banknote or a coin back in 2008-2009, cost around 1-4 Eurocents. However, to replace 600m of the ‘old’ banknotes, just 80m new banknotes (seven times fewer) and 400m coins are needed. It will cost much less to store and distribute currency. Moreover, the National Bank promises to consider printing banknotes of larger ‘value’.

How to pay

From July 1st to December 31st, 2016, banknotes from 2000 will continue to be circulated alongside the new notes and coins and all will be legal tender.

Avoiding inflation

From July 1st to December 31st, 2016, during the simultaneous circulation of old and new money, economic entities will need to fix two prices: old and new — to avoid the temptation to round off prices to their own benefit.


The National Bank’s Board notes that coins may be produced for souvenir purposes using any material (including non-metals) but that any one-side copy should be of at least 25 percent smaller or larger than the ‘true’ size, while twoside copies should be at least half as large or small as an original, to avoid confusion.

By Aelita Syulzhina
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