The Belarusian ruble or rouble (Belarusian: рубель rubieĺ; sign: Br; code: BYN) is the official currency of Belarus. The ruble is subdivided into 100 copecks (sometimes written as kopecks; Belarusian: капейка kapiejka).
|беларускі рубель (Belarusian)|
белорусский рубль (Russian)
|Plural||The language(s) of this currency belong(s) to the Slavic languages. There is more than one way to construct plural forms.|
|Freq. used||5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 rubles|
|Rarely used||500 rubles|
|Freq. used||5, 10, 20, 50 kapiejkas, 1, 2 rubles|
|Rarely used||1, 2 kapiejkas|
|Central bank||National Bank of the Republic of Belarus|
|Source||National Statistical Committee, December 2017|
First ruble, 1992–2000
As a result of the breakup of the supply chain in the former Soviet enterprises, goods started to be bought and sold in the market, often requiring cash settlement. The Belarusian unit of the USSR State Bank had neither the capacity nor the licence to print Soviet banknotes, so the government decided to introduce its own national currency to ease the cash situation. The German word Thaler (Belarusian: талер), divided into 100 Groschen (Belarusian: грош) was suggested as the name for a Belarusian currency; but the Communist majority in the Supreme Soviet of Belarus rejected the proposal and stuck to the word ruble that was usual for Belarus from the times of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire. In the medieval Grand Duchy of Lithuania of which Belarus was a major part, the word ruble has also been used as a name for a currency in circulation (see Lithuanian long currency).
From the collapse of the Soviet Union until May 1992, the Soviet ruble circulated in Belarus alongside the Belarusian ruble. New Russian banknotes also circulated in Belarus, but they were replaced by notes issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in May 1992. The first post-Soviet Belarusian ruble was assigned the ISO code BYB and replaced the Soviet currency at the rate of 1 Belarusian ruble = 10 Soviet rubles. It took about two years before the ruble became the official currency of the country.
Second ruble, 2000–2016
In 2000, a new ruble was introduced (ISO 4217 code BYR), replacing the first at a rate of 1 BYR = 1,000 BYB. This was redenomination with three zeros removed. Only banknotes have been issued, with the only coins issued being commemoratives for collectors.
Monetary integration with Russia
From the beginning of his presidency in 1994, Alyaksandr Lukashenka began to suggest the idea of integration with the Russian Federation and to undertake steps in this direction. From the beginning, there was also an idea of introducing a united currency for the Union of Russia and Belarus. Art. 13 of the 1999 "Treaty of Creation of the Union State of Russia and Belarus" foresaw a unified currency. Discussions about the Union currency has continued past the 2005 implementation goal set by both nations. Starting in 2008, the Central Bank of the Republic of Belarus announced that the ruble would be tied to the United States dollar instead of to the Russian ruble. "Stanislav Bogdankevich, a former bank chairman, called the decision political, saying it was tied to Belarus' open displeasure at Russia's decision to hike oil and gas export prices to Belarus earlier this year. Belarus' economy is largely Soviet-style, centrally controlled and has been heavily reliant on cheap energy supplies from Russia".
Third ruble, 2016–present
In July 2016, a new ruble was introduced (ISO 4217 code BYN), at a rate of 1 BYN = 10,000 BYR. Old and new rubles circulated in parallel from 1 July to 31 December 2016. Belarus also issued coins for general circulation for the first time. Seven denominations of banknotes (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 rubles) and eight denominations of coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 copecks, and 1 and 2 rubles) are in circulation on 1 July 2016. The banknotes have security threads and show 2009 as an issue date (the date of an unsuccessful attempt at currency reform). Their designs are similar to those of the euro.
First series, 2016
In 2016, for the first time in the whole history of the Belarusian ruble, coins were introduced due to the redenomination. Previously, Belarus was one of the few countries in the world never to have issued coins; this is largely due to the rampant inflation which has been a problem since independence.
Slovakia has offered to mint the coins, and has provided prototypes. The coins of up to 5 copecks are struck in copper-plated steel; the 10, 20, 50 copecks coins are struck in brass-plated steel; the 1 ruble coin in a nickel-plated steel composition and 2 rubles coin in a bi-metallic format (with a brass-plated steel ring and a nickel-plated steel center plug). All coins show the National emblem of Belarus, the inscription 'БЕЛАРУСЬ' (Belarus) and the year of minting on their obverse. The reverse shows the value of the coin accompanied by different ornaments with their own meanings.
|2016 Belarusian ruble coins|
|Image||Value||Technical parameters||Description||Date of|
|1 copeck||15||1.25||1.55||Copper-plated steel||Plain||National emblem of Belarus, name of the country, year of minting||Value, the ornament symbolizing wealth and prosperity||2009||1 July 2016|
|10 copecks||17.7||1.80||2.8||Brass-plated steel||Reeded||Value, the ornament symbolizing fecundity and vital force|
|1 ruble||21.25||2.3||5.6||Nickel-plated steel||Value, the ornament symbolizing the pursuit of happiness and freedom|
|2 rubles||23.5||2.0||5.81||Brass-plated steel ring with a nickel-plated steel center plug||Lettered||National emblem of Belarus, name of the country, year of minting, divided by Bahach ornament|
Belarus is a large producer of commemorative coinage for the numismatic market, most particularly gold and silver bullion coins and non-circulating legal tender. With The first coins of the Republic of Belarus were issued on December 27, 1996. Their designs range from fairly commonplace to unique and innovative; themes range widely from "native culture and events" to fairy tales and pop culture topics not related to Belarus at all. A majority of these coins have a face value of 1 ruble, there are also a few denominated as 3, 5 rubles and higher amounts. All these coins are considered novelties and are unlikely to be seen in general circulation.
In 1992, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 50 copecks, 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 rubles. These were followed by 20,000 rubles in 1994, 50,000 rubles in 1995, 100,000 rubles in 1996, 500,000 rubles in 1998 and 1,000,000 and 5,000,000 rubles in 1999.
|1992 — 1999 series|
|Image||Value||Dimensions||Main Color||Description||Date of|
|50 copecks||105 × 53 mm||Orange-pink||Image of sciurus||Pahonia ("Chaser")||25 May 1992||1 January 2001||31 December 2000|
|1 ruble||Grey blue||Image of the running European hare or "zaichik" which earned the currency its nickname|
|3 rubles||Green||Image of beavers|
|5 rubles||Blue and pink||Image of wolves|
|10 rubles||Dark green||Image of the Eurasian lynx with kitten|
|25 rubles||Orange||Image of moose|
|50 rubles||Violet||Image of brown bear|
|100 rubles||Green-brown||Image of wisent|
|200 rubles||Yellow-green||Image of the train station square||8 December 1992|
|500 rubles||Violet-red||Victory Square, Minsk|
|1,000 rubles||Green||National Academy of Sciences of Belarus in Minsk||3 November 1993||31 December 2003|
|1,000 rubles||110 × 60 mm||Large image of the number 1,000||16 September 1998|
|5,000 rubles||105 × 60 mm||Red||Trinity Hill in Minsk||Pahonia||7 April 1994|
|5,000 rubles||110 × 60 mm||Large image of the number 5,000||16 September 1998|
|20,000 rubles||150 × 69 mm||Olive-yellow||National Bank of the Republic of Belarus||Pahonia||28 December 1994|
|50,000 rubles||Light brown||Kholm Gate||Brest Fortress Memorial||15 September 1995|
|100,000 rubles||Grey-brown||Opera and Ballet Theatre (Minsk)||Scene from the ballet "Favourite" («Избранница») by E.A. Hlebau||17 October 1996|
|500,000 rubles||Orange-red||The Republican Trade Unions' Palace of Culture in Minsk||Architectural decorations on the Republican Palace of Culture of Belarus||1 December 1998|
|1,000,000 rubles||Sky-blue||The National Museum of Arts of Belarus in Minsk||Fragment of the picture "Portrait of wife with flowers and fruits" by I. Khrutski||30 April 1999|
|5,000,000 rubles||Light violet||Minsk Sports Palace||Image of the "Raubichy" sports complex||6 September 1999|
In 2000, notes were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 5,000 rubles. In 2001, higher denominations of 10,000, 20,000 and 50,000 rubles were introduced, followed by 100,000 rubles in 2005 and 200,000 rubles in 2012. There were no coins or banknotes issued in copecks.
"On 1 September 2010, new rules of Belarusian orthography came into force. According to the old rules, the correct spelling of the word “fifty” in Belarusian was “пяцьдзесят,” (pyats'dzesyat) but under the new rules, it should be spelled “пяцьдзясят,” (pyats'dzyasyat) the difference being that the seventh character was the Cyrillic letter YE but is now the Cyrillic letter YA. As a result of these new rules, the existing 50- and 50,000-ruble notes dated 2000 now technically contain errors where the denominations are spelled out on the notes. On 29 December 2010, the National Bank of Belarus introduced new 50- and 50,000-ruble banknotes to bring the inscriptions on the notes into compliance with the new rules of Belarusian spelling and punctuation. The images, colors, and sizes of the notes remain consistent with the preceding issues of the same denominations dated 2000. The modified 50-ruble notes also no longer has a security thread, and the modified 50,000-ruble notes have replaced the solid security thread for a 2-mm wide windowed security thread."
|Image||Value||Dimensions||Main Color||Description||Date of|
|1 ruble||110 × 60 mm||Green||The building of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus||Denomination in figures||1 January 2000||1 January 2003||31 December 2003|
|5 rubles||Rose-red||View of the Trayetskaye Pradmyestsye in Minsk||1 September 2004||30 June 2005|
|10 rubles||Light blue||The building of the National Library of Belarus||1 March 2013||31 March 2014|
|20 rubles||150 × 69 mm||Olive-yellow||The building of the National Bank of Belarus||The interior of the building of the National Bank of Belarus|
|50 rubles||Orange-red||The Kholm Gate - fragment of the Memorial Brest Hero-Fortress||The main entrance to the Memorial Brest Hero-Fortress||1 July 2015||1 July 2016|
|100 rubles||Green||The National Academic Great Opera and Ballet House of Belarus in Minsk||Scene from ballet "Favourite" by E.A. Hlebau||1 January 2017||1 January 2022|
|500 rubles||150 × 74 mm||Light brown||The Republican Trade Unions' Palace of Culture in Minsk||Architectural decorations on the Republican Palace of Culture of Belarus|
|1,000 rubles||Light blue||The National Museum of Arts of Belarus in Minsk||Fragment of the picture "Portrait of the wife with flowers and fruits" by I. Khrutski|
|5,000 rubles||Light violet||Minsk Sports Palace||Image of the "Raubichy" sporting complex|
|10,000 rubles||Pink||Panorama of Vitebsk city||Summer amphitheatre in Vitebsk||16 April 2001|
|20,000 rubles||Grey||Gomel Palace||A view of the palace from A. Idzkouski's picture in Homyel||21 January 2002|
|50,000 rubles||Sky blue||A castle in the settlement of Mir, Karelichy district, Hrodna Voblast||Decorative collage of architectural elements of Mir Castle||20 December 2002|
|100,000 rubles||Orange||The Nesvizh Castle||View of the Radziwills' Castle in Niasvizh from a painting by the Belarusian artist Napoleon Orda||15 July 2005|
|200,000 rubles||Light green||The Mogilev Maslennikov Art Museum||Decorative collage of architectural elements of the museum building||12 March 2012|
In 2016, banknotes were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 rubles. On 4 November 2015, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus announced that the banknotes that had been in use at that time would be replaced by the new ones due to the upcoming redenomination. The redenomination would be made in a ratio of 1:10,000 (10,000 rubles of the 2000 series = 1 ruble of the 2009 series). This currency reform also brought the introduction of coins, for the first time in The Republic of Belarus.
The banknotes are printed by the United Kingdom-based banknote manufacturer, security printing, paper-making and cash handling systems company De La Rue. As for coins, they have been minted by both the Lithuanian Mint and the Kremnica Mint. Both banknotes and coins have been ready in 2009, but the financial crisis prevented them from being put into circulation immediately, resulting in a 7-year delay conditional on the necessity to lower inflation. Their designs are very similar to the Euro banknotes.
On 2 January 2009, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus lowered the exchange rate of the ruble by 50%.
On 24 May 2011, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus lowered the exchange rate of the ruble by 56%. Alexei Moiseev, chief economist at Russia's VTB Capital, said at the time that "a '91-style meltdown is almost inevitable", referring to the crisis which accompanied the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
In January 2015, the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus devalued its currency by 23% against the United States dollar despite efforts to keep Russia's ruble crisis from spreading across the border. As of Saturday 1 February, one U.S. dollar was worth 15,400 Belarusian rubles; by Tuesday, it fell to 15,450 rubles to the dollar, as per data from the Belarusian Central Bank's website.
|Current BYN exchange rates|
|From Google Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From Yahoo! Finance:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From XE.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From OANDA:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
|From fxtop.com:||AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB|
- Economy of Belarus
- Lithuanian long currency - the Lithuanian ruble, the currency in medieval Belarus
- "Coins Put into Circulation by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus | National Bank of the Republic of Belarus". www.nbrb.by. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
- National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. "NBRB banknotes". Retrieved 2006-12-30.
- "Will rouble become Belarus currency?". Pravda.ru. 2003-12-02. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
- Belarus new redenominated notes (B137 - B143) reported for 01.07.2016 introduction BanknoteNews.com November 5, 2015. Retrieved on 2015-11-05.
- On redenomination of the Belarusian ruble since July 1, 2016 National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (nbrb.by). Retrieved on 2015-11-05.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-07-13. Retrieved 2016-07-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) О проведении с 1 июля 2016 г. деноминации белорусского рубля
- "Banknotes and Coins of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus". National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
- "Banknotes of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Out of Circulation". National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
- Linzmayer, Owen (2011). "Belarus". The Banknote Book. San Francisco, CA: BanknoteNews.com. Retrieved 2011-08-21.
- "Banknotes of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in Circulation". National Bank of the Republic of Belarus.
- "Panic ensues amongst Belarus residents after 56% devaluation of national currency". Baltic News Network. May 24, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- Stern, David L., Belarus faces an economic precipice, GlobalPost, May 31, 2011 06:34. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-10-21. Retrieved 2012-07-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Belarusian Ruble Drops 20% Against Dollar in January". The Moscow Times. February 3, 2015. Retrieved August 9, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Money of Belarus.|
- National bank of the Republic of Belarus - Official Exchange Rates (English)
- Information about Belarusian commemorative coins (English)
- Catalog of Belarus Banknotes Archived 2015-07-22 at the Wayback Machine
- LIVE Belarus Ruble eXchange Rates : BYR (English)
- Coins of Belarus at CISCoins.net
- Complete Gallery of Belarus Banknotes (issued and unissued)
- Belarus - a Strong Nation for the 21st Century, Jessop and Bridgot, 2017 Oxford Press, pp. 15, 17, 28, 29, 33, 42, 163, 285, 386.