The History of Russian Currency

The basic unit of Russian currency is the ruble. Many people today think of the ruble as only relating to money. But what they might not realize is that this currency started off as being a unit of weight only.

The word “ruble” originally meant to chop or to cut. And, one theory says, it referred to the pieces of silver that had been cut out of a larger piece. Over time, the term started to apply to those metallic pieces themselves.

The ruble has a long and varied history. Even the word for this Russian currency has been spelt in different ways over the years. In North America, the name is often spelled as “ruble”. Other English speakers write it as “rouble”.
History of Russian Currency
Confusingly, the word ruble is also used for other currencies in some Eastern European countries. So it is easy to think that all these different currencies are somehow connected. But they are not.

If you are travelling to Russia, be sure that you have converted your currency into Russian rubles only. Having said that, you can safely use this Russian currency in other states such as Belarus, South Ossetia, Transnistria and Abkhazia.

The ruble was also the world’s first decimalized currency. Back in the early 1700s, one ruble was declared to be equal to 100 kopeks.

The ruble was originally the currency of the old Russian Empire and also the Soviet Union, before it was dissolved. When the old Union broke up in 1991, the ruble continued as the currency of the Russian Federation. But in the years since then, it has devalued significantly against other world currencies.

So despite the fact that the word ruble is still used for Russian currency today, the currency itself is very different to what it used to be in the past. Like Russia itself, the history of the ruble is full of fascinating twists and turns.

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