BELARUS, 20 rublei (1991)


BELARUS, 20 rublei, no date (1991), Face: black on blue with yellow diamond underprint, 151x101mm, coupon sheet, P-AA1, stamped, Unc

6 in stock

SKU: 1916374 Categories: ,


Several of the former Soviet Republics tried these “rouble control coupons” as a temporary currency in the first months of independence. The problem was how to control money on the basis of an obsolete currency that wasn’t worth anything in the first place.

Local notes of various types had a bloom during the civil war, but actually continued here and there throughout the Soviet decades. From 1987 to 1995 or so there was another bloom of local notes and “currency substitutes.”

For organizational purposes, banknote collectors tend to make a distinction between national issues and local issues. The Standard Catalog of World Paper Money has a volume dedicated to “specialized” issues, where about 20,000 items are listed. A “complete” catalog would likely have at least 10 times that number. The Standard Catalog numbers for “specialized” notes are designated P-S. There are special catalogs for various series such as German and Austrian notgeld, former Soviet Union, etc.

Paper money, meaning the promise of a government to pay a set amount, and the paper promise allowed to circulate at will, was probably first used in China in the 12th century AD. At that time the merchants and governments of Europe were just writing letters to each other about what they owed.