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, ruble
1. the standard monetary unit of Belarus and Russia, divided into 100 kopecks
2. the former standard monetary unit of Tajikistan, divided into 100 tanga



the basic monetary unit of prerevolutionary Russia and the USSR. The ruble served as the basis of the Russian decimal monetary system that was established in the early 18th century through the monetary reform of Peter I (1704).

The term “ruble” was first used in Novgorod in the 13th century to denote one-half of a grivna, a silver ingot weighing about 200 g. The ruble ingot was a unit of payment and weight. In the 14th century, rubles came into use in the principalities of central Rus’. When halved, the half-grivna ruble yielded two poltiny, which became the first Moscow rubles. In the second half of the 14th century, when the minting of Russian coins was resumed—ancient Russian coins had been minted in the tenth and 11th centuries, but the minting was interrupted by the Mongol-Tatar conquest—the ruble lost its significance as a unit of weight and became only a monetary unit. In 1534, when the unified monetary system of the Russian state was established, the ruble became the system’s basic monetary unit (1 ruble = 100 kopeks = 200 den’gi = 400 polushki). The weight of new coins was reduced: before the reform, coins for 2.6 rubles were minted from a grivna ingot of silver, whereas coins for 3 rubles were minted from the same-sized silver ingot after the reform.

During the Polish and Swedish interventions in the early 17th century, the ruble was debased, with silver content declining from 68 to 48 g. In 1654, under Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, debased rubles were minted from coins known as efimki. In 1698 the weight of the ruble was made equal to the weight of a German thaler (28.4 g). In 1704 the regular issuance of silver coins weighing 28 grams per ruble was begun, which brought the Russian ruble into use in European monetary systems. In the 18th century the silver content of the ruble was gradually reduced, becoming 18 g in the 1760’s and remaining at this level until 1915, when the minting of full-value silver coins was stopped.

Gold rubles were minted in 1756 and 1779, and in 1770 and 1771 about ten copper rubles were produced on a trial basis. The copper rubles, which contained about 1 kilogram of copper each, were called Sestroretsk rubles, after the mint where they were produced. From 1769 to 1849 both silver rubles and paper rubles (assignatsii) were used for accounting purposes. The paper credit ruble came into circulation in 1841. The reform of S. Iu. Witte put Russia on a single, gold standard in 1897; at the same time, the ruble converted to a gold base. By the end of World War I, only debased paper rubles, called kerenki, were in circulation; they were worth between 6 and 7 prewar kopeks.

The first Soviet ruble was issued in 1919 in the form of a state banknote. In 1921 in the RSFSR, the first silver rubles were minted. In 1922 paper chervontsy were issued, each chervonets equal to 10 gold rubles. In 1923 gold chervontsy containing 8.6 g of gold were minted. In 1924, 1-, 3-, and 5-ruble state treasury notes were put into circulation, and silver rubles containing 18 g of pure silver were minted. In 1937 the value of the ruble was established relative to the American dollar, which contained 0.888671 g of pure gold ($1 = 5.30 rubles). In 1950 it was decided to cease calculating the ruble exchange rate on the basis of foreign currencies. The ruble was converted to a gold base, with a pure-gold content of 0.222168 g ($1 = 4 rubles). In 1961, after the price scale in the USSR had risen by a factor of 10, the gold content was set at 0.987412 g of pure gold. For domestic circulation, treasury notes were printed in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 rubles, and ruble coins of nickel silver were minted.

In 1965 a commemorative metal ruble was minted in honor of the 20th anniversary of the victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45. In 1967 and 1970 commemorative rubles were struck to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution and the 100th anniversary of the birth of V. I. Lenin, respectively. A commemorative ruble to mark the 30th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War was issued in 1975.


Mets, N. D. Nash rubl’. Moscow, 1960.
Spasskii, I. G. Russkaia monetnaia sistema, 4th ed. Leningrad, 1970.


References in periodicals archive ?
The last time the Russian ruble reached these levels was in the late 1990s when the central bank ran out of reserves to protect the ruble, causing a series of quick devaluations, rapid inflation and the Russian government defaulting on its debt.
The ruble has been trading around the 55 mark against the dollar over the past few days having slid at one point last week to around 80.
It is ironic that the Russian ruble has lost 10 per cent of its value against the dollar since late April even though the Russian central bank will not ease its monetary policy and has amassed one of the planet's great petrodollar reserve hoards.
Ruble argues that in these settings, none of which was overly burdened by the heavy hand of state power (national capitals having been located elsewhere, although Moscow became a capital after the Bolshevik Revolution), no group or interest succeeded in asserting and maintaining hegemony over others.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR), which in late November 1991 was authorized by the Russian parliament to take over the State Bank of the USSR (Gosbank) as of January 1, 1992, continued to ship USSR ruble notes and coins to the central banks of the other fourteen countries which had formerly been the main branches of Gosbank in the union republics.
Officials at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, meanwhile, said trade relations between Japan and Russia will not be affected very seriously by the de facto devaluation of the ruble.
Our work on a number of business development initiatives in Russia has shown us that if at least 70 percent to 80 percent of the operating costs of a venture can be sourced locally, then even if its only source of revenue is rubles from local customers, a business has an excellent chance of being profitable.
Furthermore, the loss of value of ruble, in combination with the iPhone 6 price increment signifies that the Apple device is now roughly 70 percent more expensive than in November.
As the Russian authorities announced a series of measures to ease the pressure on the ruble, which slid 15 percent in the previous two days and raised fears of a bank run, many Russians were buying cars and home appliances -- in some cases in record numbers -- before prices for these imported goods shoot higher.
The ruble was around 9 percent firmer against the dollar in volatile trading, with the market also boosted by central bank plans to ease concerns over approaching external debt repayments by Russian firms and stabilize the ruble.
We welcome the initiative of Comparative Economic Studies to publish invited comments on our paper on the IMF and the Ruble Area.