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2021-06-29 Other articles >

State Bank of the Northern Region-GBSO

1 ruble of the sample of 1898 with a perforation: punched either by a bank, or by a lazy person, or by a crook

From August 1918 to February 1920, an independent territorial entity with an administrative center in Arkhangelsk – the Northern Region-existed in the north of the European part of Russia.
Political power was in the hands of the VUSO-the Supreme Administration of the Northern Region, which was headed by a former deputy of the All-Russian Constituent Assembly, N. V. Tchaikovsky, who was hostile to the Bolsheviks.
The Bolsheviks, who hastily left Arkhangelsk in early August 1918, took with them the entire stock of cash for 93 million rubles in the form of checks of the Arkhangelsk branch of the State Bank, the so – called walruses, that were not put into circulation.
To eliminate the shortage of cash, the VUSO had not only to legalize the walruses that were in the hands of the population, which had a facsimile signature of a hostile meaning - 'Commissar Dmitriev', but also to allow other banknotes to enter the territory of the Northern Region, which had to be pre-perforated with the inscription GBSO (State Bank of the Northern Region).
Almost all banknotes that were in use fell under perforation: paper 50-kopeck denominations of the 1st World War, and large pre-war ruble denominations - a hundred-ruble 'katenka' and a five-hundred-ruble 'petenka', and kerenki of all colors – from 20-40 ruble to 250 ruble dumok, and 5% bonds of the'Freedom Loan'.
In order to legalize banknotes of the all-Russian issue by applying GBSO perforation and make it possible to use them on the territory of the Northern region, residents of Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, small towns and villages had to find a branch of the state bank and stand in line at the cash register.
Some craftsmen in the North reasonably believed that such a task could be handled at home with the help of an ordinary needle: after all, making several holes on real money is not the same as making fake money, and the fact of home legalization of real money is difficult to prove.
If our compatriots in 1919 were driven to such amateur activity by the lack of development of the network of state bank branches in the North and their own laziness, then how can we explain the similar activity of some mountaineers already in our time, perforating banknotes of 100 years ago with the abbreviation GBSO?
The answer is simple: the banknotes of the all-Russian issue were issued in circulations many times exceeding the number of those banknotes that got into the Northern Region and were legalized by perforation. This means that banknotes with GBSO perforation are more rare and are more expensive than those without perforation.

My 1 ruble of the sample of 1898 of the NB-232 series with the signatures of A. Shipov and Ev. A Geilman with a GBSO mark, acquired in the first years of my passion for bonistics, could be perforated in 3 ways:
  • in a bank in 1919;
  • by folk craftsmen in 1919;
  • by lovers of easy money in our time.
Judging by the uneven holes, I'm leaning towards the 2nd or 3rd option.
For a collector, the 2nd option is still preferable, because even a clumsy work of 100 years ago that did not reach the state bank of a lazy person will be more valuable than the fakes of a modern crook.

Государственный Банк Северной области - ГБСО

1 рубль 1898 г., Россия, перфорация

Country : Россия, Северная область
Denomination : 1 рубль
Year : 1898
Quantity :
Issuer :
Series :
Valid from :
Valid till :
Cancelled :
Alexander R.

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