Paper Money

Ukraine goes retro with new note bearing 1917 design

Ukraine went retro to commemorate the 100th anniversaries of the Ukrainian Revolution of 1917 to 1921 and the first Ukrainian paper money. 

At the end of December, the National Bank of Ukraine issued a souvenir bill called “One Hundred Karbovantsiv” that the bank says duplicates the design of the first Ukrainian bank note in 1917 as designed by Georgy Narbut. The note measures 80 millimeters by 170 millimeters in size and is printed on a special security paper made of flax fibers and cotton cellulose.

The main image of the face side is a 1917 state credit note with the denomination expressed in Cyrillic in the center. Above the inscription on the left, and in the center, is a trident, a historic Ukrainian symbol dating back to the coins issued by Prince Volodymyr the Great (980 to 1015), and that would become the Ukrainian state emblem in 1918.

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The face value of 100 karbovantsiv appears four times on the back of the note and reflects the diversity of the country’s population at the time. The denomination is expressed in numerals in the center, in Russian at the top left, Polish at the top right, and Yiddish at the bottom center. Specialist Dmitry Markov explained that “Jews were still a large part of population and could not be ignored.” The language also appears on other notes of Ukraine and Belorussia.

The total printing was 80,000 notes, with 20,000 placed in commemorative folders and sold by the bank for 156 hryvnias, or $5.40, each.

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