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Russian emergency banknotes 1915-1917


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The First World War broke out in 1914, causing a huge lack of small change. People started hoarding coins because of their value. It was decided to issue banknotes of 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 50 Kopeks to replace coins. The notes were placed into circulation in 1916, the Imperial Ordinance was given in December 1915. 10, 15 and 20 kopeks were never released to circulation and they are quite rare.




50 Kopeks

The note is printed on paper with decorative watermark. The watermark represents white stripes and dark, white-centered squares. The size of the note is 100x60mm. The note is printed with two colors: texture and ornaments are blue, background is yellow. On the obverse is the Imperial Coat of Arms surrounded by laurel wreath. The denomination is placed under it, reading "50 KOPEKS 50". Under the denomination is text "In use in equal terms with silver coins". On the reverse is text which warns about counterfeiting the note. The denomination "50 KOP" is mentioned twice, the imperial eagle is on the middle.

10, 15 and 20 Kopeks

These notes are printed on similar paper as the 50 Kopek note. They are sized 80x45mm. The notes are printed with two colors: 10 Kopek with blue(ornaments and text) and red(background), 15 Kopek with red(ornaments and text) and yellow(background) and 20 Kopek with dark green(ornaments and text) and violet(background). Otherwise the notes are similar to the 50 Kopek note.

1, 2, 3 and 5 Kopeks

Paper and watermarks are similar as with the other notes. Decorations and textures are printed with black, backgrounds as follows: 1 Kopek with yellowish brown, 2 Kopek with greyish brown, 3 Kopek with green and 5 Kopek with blue. On the obverse is text "In use in equal terms with copper coins".


1 Kopek note as an example:



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