Roubles of 1843 – money with the application of galvanoplastics2 июля 2018 года
Roubles of 1843 – money with the application of galvanoplastics
The appearance of the credit notes became an important stage in the history not only of the Russian financial system, but also of the Expedition of Storing State Papers. Galvanoplastics – a method of galvanization of a plate making it possible to create exact copies of the initial object – was applied in the production of these banknotes. It had been invented shortly before by an outstanding physicist and electrician Boris Semenovich Jacobi. The technology was applied in the production for the first time at the Expedition of Storing State Papers and enabled to create absolutely identical plates for printing the new money. Thanks to the innovation, the banknotes were much better protected against counterfeiting than the assignations.
What was the point of these credit notes? We would like to remind that at the beginning of the 19th century, there were actually two currencies in Russia – rouble in “assignations” and rouble in silver. The “assignations” were exchanged for copper coins only. The rate of the “assignation” rouble teetered between 20 and 40 kopecks in silver. Calculations in all official documents were carried out in assignations, but such a state of affairs was highly inconvenient.
The curtain on the two rates was brought down between the 1830s and 1840s when the Minister of Finance Egor Kankrin carried out a currency reform. As a result of the reform, credit notes were put into circulation. Unlike the “assignations” exchanged for copper coins, they were exchanged for gold and silver coins. The new money was produced with the face values from 1 to 100 roubles. The paper rouble and 3 roubles appeared in Russia for the first time. It is interesting that the tradition of issue of “colored” money started during the reign of Catherine II was continued – the new rouble became yellow and the three roubles – green. The rouble note was called “canary” at once – because of the bird’s yellow color. The new money turned out much more remarkable than the “assignations” that received a fixed rate – 3.5 roubles in “assignations” per 1 silver rouble.
In Goznak’s collection, there are samples of the new money and their drawings. Here is a drawing of 1 rouble presented to Emperor Nikolay I for approval. There is no autograph of the sovereign on it, but there is an inscription proving that the emperor approved it.
All the credit notes of the model of 1843 are extremely rare, especially those of the first years of issue. They were printed on thin paper with watermarks (by the way, moulds for making the watermarks still exist too). On the notes, there is a facsimile signature of the Manager of the Expedition Fedor Lavrentievich Khalchinskiy. There is a version that it was this high-level public official became the prototype of General Ivolgin in Dostoevsky’s novel “Idiot”. On the reverse of the new banknotes, there was a fragment of the manifest about the credit notes made using different fonts of different sizes. It was the first case of the application of micro printing on the Russian banknotes, their additional protection against counterfeiting.
The first credit notes remained unchanged for over 20 years – until 1866. In the middle of the 1850s their rate wavered and exchange for coins was stopped because of the Crimean war. Only at the end of the 19th century during Sergey Yulievich Vitte’s reform, the exchange of banknotes for coins would be restored, and that would make the Russian rouble one of the most stable currencies in the world.
The Exhibition Complex of Goznak
Translated by Tatiana Ugryumova