The Russian ruble is the official method of payment in the Russian Federation, in the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as in the two unrecognized republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The ruble is the second oldest currency in the world after the British pound. In the Soviet Union, it was called the Soviet ruble instead of the Russian ruble.
The countries of Belarus and Transnistria also use a currency called ruble, and they are both somewhat based on the Russian ruble.
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Abbreviations of the Russian Ruble
One Russian ruble is divided into 100 kopeks (or copecks). In Russian writing, the currency is рубль: ruble and копе́йка kopeyka: kopeks. The currency has two of its own signs which is something unique in the world.
The primary sign is ₽, similar to the United States dollar ($) and the euro (€), and it has officially been used since 2014 when the Unicode Technical Committee accepted it. The second official sign is py6 which is just an abbreviation of the Russian word for ruble.
The official ISO-4217 code for the Russian currency is RUB. RUB is also what the ruble is called on the forex market.
The Russian ruble is one of few currencies without many nicknames, mostly because the word ruble is short and simple on its own.
The Russian Ruble’s Denominations
Ruble has been the name of the currency in Russia since the 1300s, and it was the first currency to ever adopt a decimal system. Nowadays, it exists in 15 different coins and banknotes, but only 9 out of those fifteen denominations are frequently used. The following denominations are currently available in Russia and they can all be used even though some of them are rarely found.
- 1 kon – rarely used
- 5 kon – rarely used
- 10 kon – rarely used
- 50 kon – rarely used
- 1 ₽
- 2 ₽
- 5 ₽
- 10 ₽
- 5 ₽ – rarely used
- 10 ₽ – rarely used
- 50 ₽
- 100 ₽
- 500 ₽
- 1.000 ₽
- 5.000 ₽
The current coins were introduced in the year 1998 after the currencies latest revaluation. They all have the value on the reverse side and either Saint George, the 2-headed eagle emblem of the Bank of Russia, or the Russian Federation’s coat of arms on the obverse side.
The 5 ₽ to 500 ₽ bills were released in 1998 together with the new set of coins. The 1,000 ₽ and 5,000 ₽ were released in January of 2001 and July of 2006 respectively. Since 1998 the banknotes have gone through 4 separate updates and modifications.
In 2016 the Central Bank of Russia announced that they were going to release a new 200 ₽ and 2,000 ₽ bill, but they are yet to come.
All of the bills, including the two new ones that are about to be released, have famous Russian buildings and landscapes depicted on them. For example, the 500 ₽ bill has a monument to Peter the Great on it, the 100 ₽ has the Bolshoi theater on both sides, and the 50 ₽ has a collection of buildings from St. Petersburg on them.
History of the Russian Ruble
The ruble is the oldest national currency still in use after the British pound. It was used in a few different version during the Russian empire up until 1917 when the February Revolution culminated in the creation of the Soviet Union. However, the modern version of the Russian ruble was not introduced until 1991 when it co-existed with the Soviet ruble until the end of 1993. All the Soviet coins printed from 1961 and onwards remained legal tender until 1998.
The first modern Russian ruble (RUR) replaced the Soviet ruble (SUR) in the early 1990s. But after high inflation and the Russian economic crisis in 1998, when the ruble lost 70% of its value in less than six months, the first modern Russian ruble was replaced with the second Russian ruble (RUB). The RUB is the currency that’s being used today. The exchange rate at the 1998 replacement was 1.000 RUR = 1 RUB.
Russian Ruble Today
Today, the Russian ruble is controlled and issued by the Bank of Russia, the Russian central bank. It is printed at two different locations the main one being the Moscow Mint and the other being the Saint Petersburg Mint.
The Russian currency has experienced quite a few issues and setbacks in the last few years. Including the financial crisis between 2014-2016 that was set off because of falling crude oil prices and the international sanctions put on the country after they invaded Crimea.
Still, to this day, the Russian ruble seems to struggle to gain stability and the Bank of Russia has to step in and take control over it every now and then.
It is a punishable offense for Russian citizens to make any form of a transaction within the country using currencies other than the Russian ruble.
Trade the Russian Ruble
The Russian ruble is popular to trade with due to its global influence, especially on the oil and natural gas markets. In the year 2016, the RUB was the 17th most traded currency in the world representing 1.1% of the daily market share.
There are two specific currencies that most people trade the Russian ruble with. The first one is the Chinese yuan (CNY). This is due to the fact that the two superpowers have a close relationship with each other, and since 2014 all Bilateral trade between the two nations is done in their currencies instead of the American dollar.
The second popular currency to trade RUB with is USD, which is the same for most currencies. The USD is without a doubt the world’s leading currency and it represents more than 80% of the daily forex market share. Because of this, USD is traded with all other world currencies including the Russian ruble.