The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) have unveiled (14th March) the designs for their new coin denominations which are part of a programme to replace the lowest four bank note denominations of the same face value. The new coins will have face values of one, two, five, and 10-grivnia and will replace bank notes of the same value in general circulation. The unveiling was presided over by the acting governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Yakiv Smolii.
The change comes as the bank notes representing these four face values becomes less viable as paper bank notes with their decreased value in terms of the economy of Ukraine and their frequent use in transactions. These bank notes require frequent replacement with a usual lifespan for each note being about one year, resulting in a greater expense for the National Bank. The denominations will be issued as coin, whose lifespans can be as high as 20 years or more and, as a result, will need less frequent replacement, thus resulting in substantial overall savings for the National Bank’s department of currency issue. This move is seen as a trend which many central banks are experiencing in terms of lower denominations previously issued as bank notes.
As a result of the introduction of these four new denominations in coin, the National Bank is also removing smaller coin denominations currently in circulation such as the one, two, five and 25-kopiyka values as their value has diminished over time. The result will be six coins which will regularly circulate and five denominations in bank note form ranging from 20 to 500-grivnia denominations.
The National Bank also cited new cash trends with the general public in terms of daily transactions which have been influenced by the increase of cashless settlements and where electronic payment methods are used. An additional explanation for the change-over of these four denominations from note to coin was a change in grivnia purchasing power over the last 20 years and changes in consumer behavior. Increasing cashless settlements reduces the number of currency denominations in circulation and the National Bank’s research found that Ukraine is no exception. The share of cashless operations in Ukraine using payment cards for the last five years more than tripled to 39% for the beginning of 2018, a significant increase from just 12% at of the beginning of 2013.
The new circulating coins will be minted in a silver coloured type of metal and integrate both a small size and light weight which the National Bank believe will be convenient for use by the public. When developing the design of the coins, the National Bank chose to be consistent and retain the renowned Ukrainians portrayed on respective bank notes. The designs of the new coins are inspired by the bank notes of the same value which the coins will replace.
One-grivnia: Possesses a diameter of 18.9 millimeters, weighs 3.3 grams, and is made of nickel-plated steel. The obverse depicts an image of the great prince of Kiev, Volodymyr the Great, and contains a circular inscription which reads: “VOLODYMYR THE GREAT.” During his reign, Volodymyr the Great is remembered as having reformed the state of Kiev into a united nation consisting of the eastern Slavic lands as well as reforming a viable state system of government. The reverse includes a small-size national coat of arms of Ukraine, below is the year of minting, 2018, in a traditional and ornamental Ukrainian style frame. A three-line inscription “UKRAINE 1 GRIVNIA,” as well as the logo of the Mint of Ukraine, and the National Bank of Ukraine are also included.
Two-grivnen: Possesses a diameter of 20.2 millimeters, weighs four grams, and is made of nickel-plated steel. The obverse includes the image of the great prince of Kiev, Yaroslav the Wise, and includes a circular inscription: ЯРОСЛАВ МУДРИЙ (Yaroslav the Wise). During the reign of Yaroslav the Wise, the Kiev state was strengthened and expanded its borders, strengthening its own international position and had achieved the highest development of Ukrainian culture. The reverse includes a small-size national coat of arms of Ukraine, and below is the year of minting, 2018, in a traditional and ornamental Ukrainian style frame. A three-line inscription “UKRAINE 2 GRIVNEN,” as well as the logo of the Mint of Ukraine, and the National Bank of Ukraine, are also included.
Five-grivnen: Possesses a diameter of 22.1 millimeters, weights 5.2 grams, and is made of nickel-plated steel. The obverse of the coin includes the image of Ukraine patriot Bogdan Khmelnitsky along with a circular inscription BOGDAN KHMELNYTSKYI. Khmelnitsky was a prominent Ukrainian military, hetman, and political statesman who is remembered as having built up a greater, independent, and united Ukrainian state. The reverse includes a small-size national coat of arms of Ukraine, and below is the year of minting, 2018, in a traditional and ornamental Ukrainian style frame. A three-line inscription “UKRAINE 5 GRIVNEN,” as well as the logo of the Mint of Ukraine, and the National Bank of Ukraine are also included.
10-grivnen: Possesses a diameter of 23.5 millimeters, weighs 6.4 grams, and is made of nickel-plated steel. The coin depicts an image of Ukrainian patriot Ivan Mazepa and includes a circular inscription: “IVAN MAZEPA” below his image. Mazepa is Ukrainian military, hetman, and statesman who tried to restore the Kievan princely authority in Ukraine as well as increasing the authority of the Cossack state in relation to the borders during the era of Bogdan Khmelnytskyi. The reverse includes a small-size national coat of arms of Ukraine, and below is the year of minting, 2018, in a traditional and ornamental Ukrainian style frame. A three-line inscription “UKRAINE 10 GRIVNEN,” as well as the logo of the Mint of Ukraine, and the National Bank of Ukraine are also included.
Security features of the coins are added which also aid visually impaired persons and have incorporated sensory or tactile features on the surface and edges of the new denominations. Automated processing of coins using special equipment for coin authentication and sorting will also be utilised by technical specifications which are applied, such as size and weight, as well as spectral signatures, such as a material-specific electronic emittance.
The new circulating coins will be gradually introduced, from the 27th April 2018, coins of UAH one (U.S. $ .038) and two (U.S. $ .076) denominations will be introduced into circulation with UAH five (U.S. $ .19) and 10 (U.S. $ .38) coins being introduced in 2019-2020. The NBU will name the specific time at a later date. Ukrainians will make payments with both new coins and bank notes of respective denominations for an unlimited period until the coins gradually replace the bank notes in circulation. Thus, the bank notes of UAH one, two, five, and 10 denominations will be in circulation along with the coins until the notes are removed from circulation due to wear and tear.