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Introduction | Overview | Structure | History | Factors affecting change in exchange rates | Daily trend of Russian rouble | Weekly trend of Russian rouble

Rouble is currency unit that is used by three countries namely Belarus, Russia and Transnistria. Though, in the past, it was widely in use by other countries as well like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Latvia, Tajikistan and Ukraine but with the downfall of the Soviet Union, all these countries introduced new currencies for themselves. The subunit to the currency is served by "kopeks" or "copecks".

Most important among the rouble denominated currencies is the Russian rouble that is currency of the Russian federation, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. It has been a Russian currency unit for over a long time but the current rouble was introduced in 1992. Russian rouble is one of the few currencies in the world that does not have an official currency symbol, but still, symbols like R and py6 are used in day-to-day operations of exchange. The currency code and the numeric code for the currency as per to the ISO 4217 regulation are RUB and 643.


The word rouble is taken up from a Russian verb "rubit" that means, "to chop" and was used for a chopped off piece of silver ingot in the previous times. The currency is also known for a number of nicknames it had, almost each face value had a different nickname attached to it in Russian language such as 2 kopek coin had nicknames like "semishnik", "dvushka" or "grosh", 3 kopek coinís name was "altyn", 5 kopek coin was known by name "pyatak", 10 kopek coin as "grivennik", 15 kopek coin as "pyatialtynny", 20 kopek coin had nickname "dvugrivenny" and 50 kopek coin was known by the name "poltina". The banknotes also, were given individual names with which they were known in the daily usage, most popular among them was "chervonet", name of 10 roubles either in coin or banknote.

Russia is the second largest producer of oil in the world after Saudi Arabia. The high amount of exports of oil contribute maximum to the revenues of the economy especially foreign exchange. Though according to the finance minister of Russia, the situation may affect rouble and consequently the other sectors of the economy adversely as it is the source of inflation to the value of the currency.


Russian federation retained the currency of the Soviet Union i.e. rouble after the latter got split up in 1991. The Bank of Russia has been taking care of the flow and circulation of the currency in the country as the central bank. The printing and minting function is being managed by Goznak since 1919, the year it was established. The rouble banknotes, like most of the currencies in the world, wasnít a portrait series when the first issue of modern rouble was made in 1993. Even in the past, portraits were a part of the Russian currency banknotes but the new Russian rouble was lacking them when it was launched. The bank note denominations that are in currently include 7 face values that are 5, 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and 5000 roubles. These notes can be differentiated according to their colors as they are all based on different color patterns. These notes also posses images of various symbolic buildings and constructions that are mentioned in list below
  • 5-rouble note (Green) - The millennium of Russia monument on the obverse side and fortress wall of Novgorod Kremlin on the reverse side
  • 10-rouble note (Dark green and dark brown) - The bridge across Yenisei River on the front side and Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric plant on the backside
  • 50-rouble note (Blue) - Sculpture at the foot of the Rostral Column on the obverse side and former stock exchange building on the reverse side
  • 100-rouble note (Brown-green)  - Sculpture of the portico of Bolshoi theatre on the front side and the Bolshoi theatre on the backside of the note
  • 500-rouble note (Violet-blue) - monument of Peter the great on the obverse and Solovetsky Monastery on the reverse side of the currency note
  • 1000-rouble note (Blue-green) - monument of Yaroslav I the wise on the front side and the church of Precursor in Yaroslavl on the backside
  • 5000-rouble note (Red-orange) - monument of Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky on the obverse and bridge of Amur on the reverse side of the banknote

The 5-rouble note is no more issued and has been replaced by the 5-rouble coin but is still a legal tender. The coinage is also issued in 7 denominations namely 1, 5, 10 and 50 kopek, 1 rouble, 2 and 5 roubles. The coins have their respective engraved values on the reverse sides. The obverse sides of the coins having the face values below 1 rouble i.e. 1, 5, 10 and 50-kopeck coins have an engraved image of St. George, the warrior riding on horse and killing a serpent with a spear. The coins having 1 rouble or more face values depict a 2-headed eagle i.e. the emblem of the Bank of Russia on their front sides. The smaller values of 1, 5, 10 kopek are now rarely used. In 1999, a 1 rouble commemorative coin was also launched showing an embossed image of the poet Aleksander Pushkin on the obverse and the profile of the poet on the reverse side.


For more than 500 years, rouble has been serving as the currency of Russia. Historical sources suggest that rouble appeared in the city Novgorod where it was used to refer to Novgorod grivna that looks much like silver. Since the 15th century, rouble was used for payments as weight of grivna was assumed to be the common standard weight of that time. The popularity of rouble as a mean of exchange spread even outside the boundaries of the country. During the 16th century, rouble coins were started to get produced for the exchange in daily operations and rouble no longer meant a bar of silver since then. In 1534, the monetary system in the country was combined and rouble continued as the official monetary unit. The state took the purchase of silver in itís own hands in 1648 and banned all private dealings in silver. Minting of rouble coins in every town and state was stopped and was allowed to be minted only in Moscow.

In 1710, rouble, for the first time, was divided into 100 kopeks. Its value was standardized by Peter I @ 28 grams of silver. The coins were made from silver at that time usually but the higher denominations were also minted using gold and platinum. The first gold rouble was introduced in 1897 but the value of the currency was revalued three times during the First World War. The second official version of rouble came out only in banknotes after the World War I in 1922 and it was valued at 1 new rouble = 10000 old roubles. In 1923, again a need was felt to revalue the currency and that was done @ 100 to 1 and only the banknotes were circulated and not the coins. The rouble was then re-revalued again in 1924 because the gold dollar was introduced against 50000 roubles of the 1923 issue. This time coinage was also issued in the currency unlike the previous three issues. This version of the currency was continued for comparatively a longer span of time and no revaluation was done until in 1947 after world war II when the money in circulation was needed to be reduced.

Until 1937, rouble adopted a dollar base @ 1 US dollar = 5 roubles and 30 kopeks but in 1950, again it was valued against gold standards. The modern rouble that is still in circulation in 1993 when USSR got split up and it no longer uses the gold standard for valuation.

Factors affecting the exchange rates between two countries

The volatility in the foreign exchange rates depends upon a numerous macro economic factors that have different degrees of importance to different economies of the world. Some special and exceptional factors affecting the rates may also exist in the case of different countries. Following are shown the common factors on which the foreign exchange rate depends

  • Flow of imports and exports between the countries
  • Flow of capital between the countries
  • Relative inflation rates
  • Fluctuation limits on exchange rate imposed by the governments of the countries
  • Merchandise trade balance
  • Rate of inflation in the country
  • Flow of funds between the countries for the payment of stock and bond purchases
  • Relative growth
  • Short term and long term interest rate differentials
  • Cost of borrowings
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