World of Coins

Modern European coins except the euro => Russia and USSR; Belarus, Ukraine => Topic started by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 01:51:34 AM

Title: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 01:51:34 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102108;image)

Minsk, capital city of Belarus.



From Wikipedia:

The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 sq. miles) is forested. Its major economic sectors are service industries and manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including Kievan Rus', the Principality of Polotsk (11th to 14th centuries), the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the Russian Empire.

After the 1917 Russian Revolution, different states arose and competed for legitimacy during the Russian Civil War. This resulted in the rise of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (Byelorussian SSR), which became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922. However, Byelorussia (now known as Belarus) lost almost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919 to 1921. In 1939 Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland, and the Soviet Union took territory from Poland and redistributed it to Byelorussia, Ukraine and Lithuania. The Soviet Union subsequently lost those territories to the Nazis during the Second World War but later regained them, retaining them after the war.

Statistically, the Byelorussian SSR was the hardest-hit Soviet republic in World War II and remained in Nazi hands until 1944. During that time, Germany destroyed 209 out of 290 cities in the republic, 85% of the republic's industry, and more than one million buildings. The Germans' Generalplan Ost called for the extermination, expulsion, or enslavement of most or all Belarusians for the purpose of providing more living space in the East for Germans. Deaths are estimated to have been over 1 million. The Jewish population of Belarus was devastated during the Holocaust and never recovered. The republic was redeveloped in the post-war years, and the Byelorussian SSR became a major center of manufacturing in the western USSR, creating jobs and attracting ethnic Russians.The population of Belarus did not regain its pre-war level until 1971.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:15:06 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102111;image)

Flag of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Byelorussia from 1951 to 1991.



By the 1980s, the neo-Stalinist command economy of the Soviet Union (USSR) had become sclerotic and was failing. Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev attempted to introduce democratic and economic reforms from 1985 onward. However, the Soviet system was essentially unreformable. Moreover, the increasing freedoms unintentionally encouraged nationalism, and various republics of the USSR demanded more autonomy and even independence. After the failed coup attempt of 1991, when hardline communist opponents of Gorbachev attempted to restore old style Soviet rule, Gorbachev's power seeped away. The momentum was now with Boris Yeltsin, who had been democratically elected as the President of the Russian Republic.

Yeltsin had originally been a member of Gorbachev's cabinet until around 1988, when he fell out of favour with Gorbachev and became his political opponent, advocating democracy and a free market. Meanwhile, Byelorussia changed its name to the Republic of Belarus on 25 August 1991. Yeltsin eventually persuaded the leaders of the other big Soviet republics to declare independence and secede from the Soviet Union. Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan all duly seceded, leaving Gorbachev as the president of a Soviet Union that no longer existed. Soon all the Soviet Republics declared independence, and the Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:36:25 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102112;image)

Flag of Belarus, 1991 to 1995.



Upon independence in 1991, Belarus adopted the flag that it had very briefly used before joining the Soviet Union in 1918. Stanislav Shushkevich remained the chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus, which was later renamed the Supreme Council of Belarus.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:39:01 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102113;im)

Coat of arms of Belarus, 1991 to 1995.



Between 1991 and 1995, Belarus used a coat of arms, known as the Pahonia, as its national emblem. The Pahonia was originally a symbol of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, of which Belarus had historically been a part.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:42:13 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102110;image)



Here we see the location of Belarus within Europe.

Belarus is approximately a third of the size of Ukraine.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:44:21 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102109;image)

Map of Belarus.



Belarus has a population of approximately 9½ million.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:51:08 AM
From Wikipedia:

The Soviet ruble and Russian ruble circulated in Belarus until May 1992. They were then replaced by notes issued by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus. The first post-Soviet Belarusian ruble was assigned the ISO code BYB and replaced the Soviet currency at the rate of 1 Belarusian ruble = 10 Soviet rubles. It took about two years before the ruble became the official currency of the country.



Below you see just some of the attractive Belarusian banknotes, issued in 1992, which depicted local wildlife. As a coin collector, I expected at that time that any Belarusian coin designs would be similar and would not be long in arriving. I was wrong on both counts.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 02:52:31 AM
The banknotes at that time featured the coat of arms on the front.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 03:12:12 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102116;image)

Flag of Belarus, 1995 to 2012.



In 1994 Belarus appeared to begin to make the transition to a democracy.

From Wikipedia:

A two-part election for the presidency, on 24 June 1994 and 10 July 1994, catapulted the formerly unknown Alexander Lukashenko into national prominence. He garnered 45% of the vote in the first round and 80% in the second, defeating Vyacheslav Kebich who received 14% of the vote.

In May 1995 Lukashenko held a referendum on the question of adopting a new flag and national emblem. The new state symbols were adopted on 14 May 1995. With a voter turnout of 64.7%, the new flag was approved by a majority in the ratio of three to one (75.1% to 24.9%). Upon the results going in favor of President Lukashenko, he proclaimed that the return of the Soviet-style flag brought a sense of youth and pleasant memories to the nation.

 
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 03:20:03 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102117;image)



The national emblem of Belarus seen above was adopted in June 1995.

From Wikipedia:

It featured a ribbon in the colors of the national flag, a map of Belarus, wheat ears and a red star. The emblem is an allusion to one that was used by the Byelorussian SSR, with the biggest change being a replacement of the Communist hammer and sickle with an outline map of Belarus.

In the center of the emblem sits an outline of Belarus, superimposed over the rays of a golden sun. The sun is partially covered by a globe, with the landmass (part of Eurasia) in purple and waters in blue. Lining the left and right sides of the emblem are stalks of wheat, superimposed with flowers. Clovers adorn the left wheat stalks; flax flowers adorn the right. Wrapped around the wheat stalks is a red and green ribbon bearing the colours of the flag of Belarus; the ribbon meets at the base of the emblem, where the name 'Republic of Belarus' is inscribed in gold in Belarusian. At the top of the emblem there is a five-pointed red star.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 03:48:08 AM
From Wikipedia:

In 2000 a new ruble was introduced (ISO 4217 code BYR), replacing the first at a rate of 1 BYR = 1,000 BYB. This was redenomination with three zeros removed. Only banknotes were issued, with the only coins issued being commemoratives for collectors.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 03:49:30 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102118;image)


In 2012 the flag was amended slightly. Still Belarus issued no coins, and by this point I thought that it never would.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 03:53:11 AM
From Wikipedia:

In July 2016, a new ruble was introduced (ISO 4217 code BYN), at a rate of 1 BYN = 10,000 BYR. Old and new rubles circulated in parallel from July 1 to December 31, 2016. Belarus also issued coins for general circulation for the first time. Eight denominations of coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 copecks, and 1 and 2 rubles) were issued into circulation on July 1, 2016.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 04:18:54 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102119;image)



The 1, 2 and 5 kopek coins are all made of copper-plated steel.

The common obverse features the national emblem.

The reverse features the denomination and a national ornament symbolizing wealth and prosperity.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 04:20:52 AM
One curiosity of this set is that the coins all bear the date of 2009. Apparently they were minted in 2008 and 2009 at the Kremnica Mint in Slovakia.

Lukashenko apparently postponed the release of the coins for many years, until the redenomination of 2016.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 04:22:49 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102120;image)



The 10, 20 and 50 kopek coins are all made of brass-plated steel.

The common obverse features the national emblem.

The reverse features the denomination and a national ornament symbolizing fertility and the life force.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 04:31:36 AM
(http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=39617.0;attach=102121;image)



The 1 ruble coin is made of copper-nickel plated steel.

The 2 ruble coin is bimetallic: a copper-nickel-plated steel center within a brass-plated steel ring.


The obverse features the national emblem.

The reverse features the denomination and a national ornament symbolizing freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 04:38:36 AM
Apparently the 2 ruble coin was an afterthought and was not minted until 2016, at the Lithuanian Mint. It was minted with the year 2009, so that it fits with the other coins in the series.

After such a long wait, it is fortunately quite an attractive set. It is noticeable that it follows the layout of a euro set, in terms of metals used and also in terms of the bottom tier of coins (1, 2, 5 kopeks) and the middle tier of coins (10, 20, 50 kopeks) sharing the same designs, while the 1 and 2 rubles are slightly different. Even the denominational system used mirrors that of the euro.

The "national ornament symbolizing freedom and the pursuit of happiness" is ironic, given the current situation in the country. President Lukashenko is a dictator in the Soviet mode, and he even has a Stalinesque moustache.

 
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 04:47:11 AM
Here you see how the coins look in relation to one another.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: brandm24 on September 02, 2020, 03:01:04 PM
Your threads that include a history of the subject country are always of great interest to me, <k>. Regretfully, my knowledge of many of them is limited and it shouldn't be. It's my responsibility to educate myself and your threads give me a strong push in that direction. You provide a wonderful platform of knowledge that I can build on.

Being introduced to their coinage is a big plus too. Many thanks for both.

Bruce
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on September 02, 2020, 03:44:21 PM
Glad you enjoy it, Bruce. The world and Europe have changed so much in my lifetime. There is much I have forgotten and much I don't know, so I do a little research and learn something every time I post a topic. Even as a child, I was also fascinated by flags, so I enjoy posting them too. Interesting how many times some countries change their flags. I even found this extra slight variation on the Belarusian flag, with extra vertical stripes in the hoist, but I don't know whether it was used.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: chrisild on September 02, 2020, 07:01:58 PM
This is the flag that the government's website shows:
https://www.belarus.by/rel_image/892

You mentioned that some countries change their flags fairly frequently – well, here is a good reason why. Lukashenko obviously preferred and prefers this design (which goes back to the USSR days) while the white-red-white flag is often used by those who protest against his regime these days. Whenever you have a flag, or CoA or other symbol that represents an ideology rather than an entire country (or is perceived as such), that symbol is likely to be changed after, hmm, some change. ;)

Christian
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: FosseWay on September 03, 2020, 07:39:58 AM
When I was in Minsk in 2007, our bus driver told us that the Soviet-style coat of arms (the one where the hammer and sickle has been replaced by the map) was popularly known as "the cabbage", both because of its looks and as a way of poking fun at the leadership. He also said that the "real" Belarusian flag is the the red and white one that the recent demonstrators have been using. But he was careful to impart this information only when the random woman who was on our bus but nothing to do with our group was safely out of earshot. We were convinced she was from the KGB; clearly the driver was convinced of that, too.

Back then there were no coins in use. The lowest denomination banknote was 10 rubles, which at the time was worth about half a eurocent. I did get a Minsk metro token though.
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: Figleaf on September 03, 2020, 12:04:54 PM
At the time, the surefire way of finding out if someone was KGB was to ask their help when (not if) you encountered a bureaucratic or hierarchical problem and listen to their tone of voice. For instance, if the hotel insisted they had no coffee and you could smell it, just tell the "guide". If she (or he) marches up to the buffet, uses a commanding tone and gets results in seconds, she is KGB. If she shrugs or begs the staff of the buffet she isn't.

Peter
Title: Re: Coinage of Belarus
Post by: <k> on October 12, 2020, 11:52:23 AM
See also:

01] Bessarabia, Moldavia, Moldova and Transnistria (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,19613.0.html).

02] Coinage of Belarus (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49336.0.html).

03] Coinage of Bosnia and Herzegovina (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49330.0.html).

04] Coinage of modern Serbia (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49312.0.html).

05] Coinage of North Macedonia (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49263.0.html).

06] Coinage of the Czech Republic (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49114.0.html).

07] Croatia: post-Yugoslav coinage (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,40600.0.html).

08] Czechoslovak heroes on post-communist circulation coins (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,19569.0.html).

09] Hungary: post-communist coinage (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,21973.0.html).

10] Poland: Design series of 1995 (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,19568.0.html).

11] Post-communist coinage of Albania (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49342.0.html).

12] Post-communist coinage of Lithuania (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,19735.0.html).

13] Post-communist coinage of Romania (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49481.0.html).

14] Slovakia's first post-communist coin series (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,40843.0.html).

15] Slovenia: post-Yugoslav coinage (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,24759.0.html).

16] Romanian and Moldovan Variations of the 1990s (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,6701.0.html).

17] The final coin series of Yugoslavia (http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php/topic,49284.0.html).