From the history of Armenian coins: Money circulation in USSR

From the history of Armenian coins: Money circulation in USSR

The mintage stopped in 1925 and then re-started in 1926, when coins with the value of 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopecks were made of aluminum bronze.

With formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1924, the government orders to exchange all types of currency in circulation for USSR bank notes. At that time, these were bank notes with the value of 1, 3, 5, 10 and 25 chervontsy (chervonets – a ten-ruble bank note) and gold coin, also called chervonets, thus making a two-chervonets currency system: the gold-based and soviet, which were devaluating.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Also in 1924, new treasury notes with the value of 1, 3 and 5 rubles were issued as subsidiary for chervontsy.

After a long break, mintage re-started. The coins of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic had the value of 10, 15 and 20 kopecks (billon), as well as 50 kopecks and 1 ruble (silver). The coins of the USSR were: 1, 2, 3, 5 kopecks (copper), 10, 15, 20 kopecks (billon) and 50 kopecks, 1 ruble (silver). In 1925-1928, a copper coin with the value of half-kopeck was put into circulation.

The mintage stopped in 1925 and then re-started in 1926, when coins with the value of 1, 2, 3 and 5 kopecks were made of aluminum bronze. In 1927, mintage of silver coins was stopped while billon coins were made till 1931. Coins valued at 10, 15 and 20 kopecks were minted of nickel silver and later of copper-nickel alloy.

In 1926-1932, notes of the USSR State Bank with the value of 1, 2, 3 and 5 chervontsy were issued. Notes valued at 1, 3 and 5 rubles were printed in 1928-1934.

2 USSR chervontsy of 1928

In 1937, a new series of bank notes with the value of 1, 3, 5 and 10 chervontsy was printed, followed by 1, 3 and 5 rubles issuance in 1938.

1 ruble bank note of 1938

In 1947, to improve the currency circulation and get rid of money surplus a reform was implemented in form of denomination with confiscation. However, many regard this reform as confiscation only, because the prices, salaries and other payments remained unchanged. 10 old rubles were exchanged for 1 new ruble during one week. Simultaneously, notes of the USSR State Bank with the value of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 rubles were put into circulation.

1 ruble bank note of 1947

In 1961, another currency reform was carried out with the aim to change the standard of price. The Central Committee of the Communist Party described the reform as the “most humane in history.” By early February 1961, about 90% of cash was exchanged for new bank notes. The prices went down, but at the same time 1, 2, 3 kopecks were not devaluated and their value increased by 10 times.

After the reform of 1961, coins with the value of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 kopecks and 1 ruble, as well as 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100-ruble bank notes were put into circulation.

1 ruble bank note of 1961

In 1991, another money reform was implemented under Finance Minister Valentin Pavlov. During 3 days, citizens had to change up to 1000 rubles in 50- and 100-ruble bank notes for new ones. Just two weeks before the reform, Pavlov made a statement saying that no changes in the finance system are expected. According to the authorities, this measure was meant to freeze fraudulent gains - the income of profiteers, corruptionists and shadow business, thus stopping the inflation. Simultaneously, deposits of the Savings Bank were frozen and on April 1 prices went up throughout the USSR. At that time, new bank notes with the value of 1, 3, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 were put into circulation.

100 ruble bank note of 1991

In 1992, new bank notes with the value of 50, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 and 10000 rubles were printed to be circulated along with those issued in 1961 and 1991.

1000 ruble bank note of 1992

Till November 22, 1993, when the Armenian national currency was issued, the republic used the USSR currency.

The material was prepared in cooperation with Gevorg Mughalyan, the numismatist of the Central Bank of Armenia.

Viktoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN.Net, Varo Rafayelyan / PanARMENIAN Photo
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