Hryvnia, the currency of Ukraine

Scan of 500 Ukrainian hryvnia currency note with unnatural color, 2006

500 Hryvnia currency note of Ukraine with unnatural color issued in 2006, obverse and reverse sides

The Hryvnia (sometimes also spelled as Hryvnya, Hrivna, Gryvna, Hryvni, or Grivna) is the national currency of Ukraine from 2 September 1996. The Standard English spelling for the Ukrainian banknote is Hryvnia, which is also the spelling, used by the National Bank of Ukraine, which is the central bank of Ukraine.

The Hryvnia replaced the Karbovanets, which underwent serious hyperinflation in the early 1990s following the disintegration of the erstwhile Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR) in September 1996. Hryvnia was introduced as the official currency of Ukraine from August 26, 1996 by the President’s Decree of that date (but published on August 29).

The Ukrainian parliament adopted The Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine on August 24, 1991, establishing the country as a democratic state, independent from the Soviet Union. Ukraine was one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union, and it is the largest contiguous country on the European continent.

Though coins Hryvnia were minted in 1992, they were not introduced till 1996. In 1996, the first series of Hryvnia banknotes was circulated, which were also dated 1992, by the National Bank of Ukraine.

According to the Ukrainian currency system, one Hryvnia is subdivided into 100 Kopiyok, and coins of the denominations 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 1 Hryvnia were issued. Hryvnia banknotes of the denominations 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 Hryvnia were also issued.

The official exchange rate of Hryvnia against some foreign currencies as on 14.03.2011 is shown as 100 USD = 793.5100, 100 EUR = 1092.9013, and 10 RUB = 2.7714 by the website of the National Bank of Ukraine. For the current exchange rate against these currencies, and also the major international currencies, direct from the National Bank of Ukraine, CLICK HERE.

Note: the photo of 500 Hryvnia banknote, obverse and reverse sides, of the 2006 issue series, shown above is a freak with unnatural colors.

How did U.S. Dollar get the name Greenback?

The photo-reproduction or scan of American Dollar-100 bills

US Dollars Money, originally uploaded by what_upspandemonium.

It was interesting to note that the nickname Greenback is attributed to Abraham Lincoln. It is recorded that the name Greenback was used ever since Lincoln created Demand Notes to finance the cost of war efforts during the American Civil War. The original note was printed in the colors black and green on the back of the note.

Though it is a nickname of the 19th century U.S. Dollar, it is still popularly used to refer to the currency of the United States. Yet another story is that greenbacks refer to the dead Presidents of the United States because late U.S. Presidents are printed on some of the Dollar bills. Look at the $100 bills in the above picture showing the photo of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was in office from April 30, 1789 to March 4, 1797.

The name Dollar is used for the currency notes of some other countries such as Canada, but the term Greenback specifically refers to the U.S. currency only.

Euro: as currency of Belgium

Belgium - Currency

From 1832 to 2002 the currency of Belgium currency was the Belgian franc and in 2002 Belgium switched to the euro. The euro (sign: €, code: EUR) is the official currency of the Eurozone consisting of 16 of the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU). It is also the currency used by the EU institutions. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

Estonia is due to join the eurozone on 1 January 2011. Euro is also used in five other European countries with or without formal agreements. As a result, euro is used daily by about 327 million Europeans. Also over 175 million people worldwide use currencies which are pegged to the euro.

The euro is the second largest reserve currency, a status it inherited from the German mark. Euro is also the second most traded currency in the world after the American dollar. As of June 2010, with more than €800 billion in circulation, the euro is the currency with the highest value of banknotes and coins in circulation in the world, having surpassed the U.S. dollar.

The name of the currency as euro was officially adopted on 16 December 1995, and introduced to world financial markets on 1 January 1999, replacing the former European Currency Unit (ECU) at a ratio of 1:1. Euro coins and banknotes entered circulation on 1 January 2002.

Belgian euro coins feature only a single design for coins with the portrait of King Albert II and his royal monogram. The twelve stars of the EU and the year of imprint are also part of the design of the euro coin by Jan Alfons Keustermans.

In Belgium, though the euro was introduced in 2002, the first sets of coins were minted in advance in 1999, preparing for introduction of euro. Hence the first euro coins of Belgium have the year 1999 imprinted on them instead of 2002.

The National Identifier for Belgium is “BE”. Each year the Royal Belgian Mint issues a limited edition of its Euro coins in proof quality. Also Belgium has a good collection of euro commemorative coins in silver and gold. Their face values range from €10 to €100. These coins are not intended for active circulation and hence generally they do not circulate as a means of settling monetary transactions.