Money with autographs11 июля 2018 года

Money with autographs

Among the endless variety of samples of the paper money preserved at the funds of Goznak, there is a small group of truly unique ones. Those are banknotes approved by the highest-level leaders of the country who left their autographs on them.

One of the oldest banknotes of the kind is the 5-rouble assignation of 1786 with the autograph of Duke Alexander Alexeevich Viazemskiy, a closest associate of Catherine II. He was a general attorney of the Senate and Chief Director of the Assignation Bank. As Director, he also wrote on the trial banknote, “Coloured paper should be prepared for that”. Thus, it was thanks to Viazemskiy that the 5-rouble (and in our time, the 50-rouble) banknote was blue.

There are also banknotes with the signatures of Minister of Finance of the Russian Empire, for example, Sergey Yulievich Vitte who controlled the development of all coins, banknotes and security papers issued during his ministerial office (1892 – 1903) personally. The emperor approved the final banknote samples. In 1909, Nikolay II signed the new samples of banknotes with the face values of 5, 10 and 25 roubles; moreover, his signature was countersigned by the Prime Minister Petr Arkadievich Stolypin. This order was preserved later on – the Minister of Finance presented the samples to the Emperor and made an inscription about the “highest approval”.

In 1917, when the monarchy fell, the Interjacent Government approved the new banknotes, and the Minister of Finance signed them. For example, there are samples of “kerenkas” with the autograph of Minister Mikhail Vladimirovich Bernatskiy who held the post for less than two months - in September – October 1917.

During the soviet period, people’s commissars for finance and Chairmen of the Council of People's Commissars, as well as the Chairman and members of the board of the State Bank of the USSR approved the projects and samples at various stages of production. For example, Viacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars approved the banknotes of the model of 1938. In 1946, when the new money was designed, there samples were presented to Stalin who put wide check marks in the red pencil right on the drawings.

Since 1992, the key role in approving the samples of banknotes belongs to their only emitter – the Bank of Russia. Its representatives sign the banknote samples fixed in special passe partout. For example, the sample of the commemorative banknote dedicated to holding FIFA World Cup, was signed by First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia Olga Nikolaevna Skorobogatova.

Andrey Bogdanov,
The Exhibition Complex of Goznak
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