Get acquainted with personalities and places depicted on Ukrainian banknotes, find out the etymology of Ukrainian currency name and other interesting facts! At the end, take a virtual tour of The Museum of Money of the National Bank of Ukraine and take the quiz!
Fact #1. Ukrainian currency is called hryvnia…
…or гривня in Ukrainian. The hryvnia code is UAH. It was proclaimed the national currency five years after dissolution of the USSR in 1996.
Fact #2. The official sign for Ukrainian money is ₴.
It consists of the cursive Cyrillic letter “г” and a double horizontal stroke. The letter “г” stands for the first letter in the Ukrainian word “гривня” (hryvnia). The double horizontal stroke symbolizes stability. The same sign is used in the European € and the Japanese ¥ currency symbols. In Ukraine, the abbreviation грн is used more often than the hryvnia sign.
Fact #3. The Ukrainian currency got its name in honor of the old currency.
The word “hryvnia” was used to denote first copper and then silver ingots of a certain weight in Kyivan Rus’ times. They looked like this:
The word probably derived from Slavic word “hryva” with the meaning “mane” and consequently “hryvna” with the meaning “neck jewelry”. According to etymologists, the meaning of the word “hryvna – neck jewelry” was complemented with the meaning “monetary unit” due to the widespread tradition of making neck jewelry out of coins.
Fact #4. Main motifs on the front side of the banknotes…
…represent important personalities who lived in the territory of the present Ukraine in various historical eras. On the back side of the banknotes, these motifs are completed by depicting places related to the names of these personalities. Currently Ukrainian hryvnia is issued in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 denominations.
Reverse: Volodymyr I’s Fortress Wall in Kyiv
Obverse: Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 – 1054), Grand Prince of Kyiv
Reverse: Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv
Reverse: A church in the village of Subotiv
Reverse: The Holy Dormition Cathedral of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
Obverse: Ivan Franko (1856–1916), poet and writer
Reverse: The Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet
Obverse: Mykhailo Hrushevskyi (1866–1934), historian and politician
Reverse: The Tsentralna Rada building
Obverse: Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861), poet and artist
Reverse: Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Obverse: Lesia Ukrainka (1871–1913), poet and writer
Reverse: The Entrance Tower of Lutsk Castle
Obverse: Hryhorii Skovoroda(1722–1794), writer and philosopher
Reverse: The Kyiv Mohyla Academy buildings
Fact #5. Hryvnia coins are копійки.
Currently Ukrainian копійки are issued in 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 1 hryvnia denominations. Obverse: the Ukrainian tryzub (Coat of Arms), the name of the country (Ukraine), year minted and floral ornament. Reverse: denomination and floral ornament.
Fact #6. There are a few different grammar forms of the word гривня…
…depending on the number used before it.
|1 + гривня||2, 3, 4 + гривні||5 to 9 and 0 (and 11-14) + гривень|
|For numbers ending with 1, the nominative singular form гривня is used (except 11)
одна гривня (1 грн)
двадцять одна гривня (21 грн)
сто одна гривня (101 грн)
|For numbers ending with 2, 3, or 4 the nominative plural form гривні is used (except 12, 13, 14).
дві, три, чотири гривні (2, 3, 4 грн)
двадцять дві гривні (22 грн)
сто три (103 грн)
|For numbers ending with 5 to 9 and 0 the genitive plural form гривень is used.
п’ять гривень (5 грн)
десять гривень (10 грн)
дев’яносто дев’ять гривень (99 грн)
The singular for the subdivision is копійка, the nominative plural is копійки and the genitive is копійок.
Fact #7. Banknotes issued in Ukraine can be viewed at the Museum of Money of the National Bank of Ukraine…
…in Kyiv (9, Instytutska Str., Kyiv, entrance No 5). The museum’s collection can be viewed online by taking a virtual tour, available on the NBU’s official website. The 3D virtual tour offers viewers an opportunity to explore all the showcases.
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The National currency is one of the symbols of the country’s independence, it can say a lot about the history and culture of the nation. I hope today’s article helped you to learn more about Ukraine.
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