Definitions

Ruble

Ruble

[roo-buhl]

The ruble or rouble (in Russian: рубль rubl' ) is a unit of currency. It is currently the currency unit of Belarus, Russia, and Transnistria, and was the currency unit of several other countries, notably countries influenced by Russia and the Soviet Union. One ruble is divided into 100 kopeks or copecks.

Coinage/paper bill values

Paper bills:

10 rubles, 50 rubles, 100 rubles, 500 rubles, 1000 rubles, 5000 rubles, Coins:

1 kopek, 2 kopek (USSR), 3 kopek (USSR), 5 kopeks, 10 kopeks, 15 kopek (USSR), 20 kopek (USSR), 50 kopecks, 1 ruble, 2 rubles, 5 rubles, 10 rubles (usually, minted with some special insignia for some events, like the city jubilees)

Etymology

Origin

According to one version, the word "ruble" is derived from the Russian verb рубить, rubit, i.e., to chop. Historically, "ruble" was a piece of a certain weight chopped off a silver ingot (grivna), hence the name. Another more convincing version is that the name comes from the Russian noun рубец, rubets, i.e., the seam that is left around the coin after casting: silver was added to the cast in two steps. Therefore the word ruble means "a cast with a seam".

It was the Russian equivalent of the mark, a measurement of weight for silver and gold used in medieval western Europe. The weight of one ruble was equal to the weight of one grivna.

In Russian, a folk name for "ruble", tselkovy (целковый, wholesome), is known, which is a shortening of the "целковый рубль" ("tselkovyi ruble"), i.e. a wholesome, uncut ruble.

The word kopek, kopeck, copeck or kopeyka (in Russian: копейка, kopeyka) derives from the Russian kop'yo (копьё) – a spear. The first kopek coins, minted at Novgorod and Pskov from about 1535 onwards, show a horseman with a spear. From the 1540s onwards the horseman bears a crown, and doubtless the intention was to represent Ivan the Terrible who was Grand Prince of all Russia until 1547 and Tsar thereafter.

It is worth noting that Russia was the first country in the world to introduce a decimal monetary system (1704) where one ruble was equal to 100 kopeks.

English spelling

Both the spellings "ruble" and "rouble" are used in English. The form "rouble" is preferred by the Oxford English Dictionary, but the earliest use recorded in English is the now completely obsolete "robble". The form "rouble" probably derives from the transliteration into French used among the Tsarist aristocracy. There is some tendency for North American authors to use "ruble" and other English speakers to use "rouble", and also some tendency for older sources to use "rouble" and more recent ones to use "ruble", but neither tendency is absolute. An accurate, but ungainly, English transliteration is rubl'.

Plurals in Russian

The Russian plurals that may be seen on the actual currency are modified according to Russian grammar. Numbers 1, 21, 31 etc. will be followed by nominative singular рубль, копейка. Numbers 2-4, 22-24, 32-34 etc. will be followed by genitive singular рубля, копейки. Numbers 5-20, 25-30, 35-40 etc. will be followed by genitive plural рублей, копеек.

Other languages

In several languages spoken in Russia and the former Soviet Union, the currency name has no etymological relation with ruble. Especially in Turkic languages or languages influenced by them, the ruble is often known (also officially) as som or sum, (meaning pure), or manat (from Russian moneta, meaning coin).

Soviet banknotes had their value printed in the languages of 15 republics of the Soviet Union.

List of rubles

Current

Obsolete

(This list may not contain all historical rubles, especially rubles issued by sub-national entities)

References

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