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2020-09-22 Other articles >

The first money of the Soviet government

Only tram tickets are worse

If there was a competition for the worst money design of all time, one of the contenders for the victory would be the first money of the Soviet government, issued in March 1919. People's Commissariat of Finance of the Russian Federation

Of course, the Bolsheviks were sure that the money they issued was a temporary necessity and a heavy legacy of the past: if we win on a global scale, not only paper money, even gold, according to Lenin's prophecy, will turn into building materials for the construction of 'public latrines'.

Of course, in 1919 the country was in ruins and there was a shortage of basic necessities, and the need to find paper with watermarks for printing money was not exactly considered by the Bolsheviks to be a priority: the Civil war is in full swing, Denikin is eager to Moscow – there are more important tasks than printing money.
When compared in design with the modern money of other issuers of the Civil war period, the first original Soviet money loses even to kerenki and looks more like cut-off coupons for visiting those 'public latrines' than the universal value equivalent.

A simple list of what is not on the first original Soviet money, leads to amazement:
no number and series of the notes;
is not the year of issue;
there is no indication of any provision for issue;
no facsimile signatures nor the people's Commissar of Finance or Treasurer, or even the Director of printing, which is printed;
no watermarks or micro-printing – anything that would protect these sheets from competition with similar products of the printers with a criminal bent;
even the formidable inscription on the responsibility for counterfeiting is not set – probably decided that even if you write - will still be willing.
And what was on the first original money of the country of Soviets?
emblem of the R. S. F. S. R. - the date of the proletarians of all countries unite;
face value of 1 ruble, 2 rubles, 3 rubles, written 5 times and 2 numbers times letters - presumably for those revolutionaries who did not (successfully) pass the material of the 1st grade of elementary school;
and the text is no valid claim: 'The payment mark R. S. F. S. R. is required to be used on a par with credit cards.'
But here we come to the main point – it turns out that the Bolsheviks did not consider their printed products as money – these are 'payment signs', however - mandatory for acceptance on a par (!) with credit money.

If the state issues a salary in pieces of paper with its own coat of arms, they become monetary signs, regardless of what the state itself thinks about this. But the word 'on a par' is inappropriate here – you can't turn settlement signs into banknotes with spells.
The state of the R. S. F. S. R. Saw the light only in 1922 – it was then that the clumsy wording 'settlement sign' was replaced by an inscription corresponding to the economic content of the Soviet rubles – 'money sign'.
The first issue of Soviet money was issued in uncut sheets of 5 x 5, but I have a sheet of 2 x 5 in my collection – so someone was cut off with these 'payment signs', but they did not have a chance to spend them, judging by their excellent preservation – they probably put them in the book as a bookmark and forgot about it.

Первые деньги Советской власти

1 рубль 1919 г., РСФСР

Country : Р.С.Ф.С.Р.
Value : 1 рубль
Year : 1919
Quantity :
Issuer :
Series :
Valid from :
Valid till :
Cancelled :
Alexander R.

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