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Ukrainian hryvnia
українська гривня (Ukrainian)
100 hryven' (гривень) 1 hryvnia (гривня)
100 hryven' (гривень) 1 hryvnia (гривня)
ISO 4217 Code UAH
User(s)  Ukraine
Inflation 22% (2008 est.)
Source Kyiv Post, 11 January 2009
Subunit
1/100 kopiyka (копійка)
Symbol
Plural hryvni (гривні, nom. pl., from 2 to 4), and hryven’ (гривень, gen. pl. above 5)
kopiyka (копійка) kopiyky (копійки, nom. pl., from 2 to 4), kopiyok (копійок, gen. pl. above 5)
Coins 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50 kopiyok, 1 hryvnia
Banknotes 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 hryven'
Central bank National Bank of Ukraine
Website www.bank.gov.ua

The hryvnia, sometimes hryvnya (Ukrainian: гривня, pronounced [ˈɦrɪu̯nʲɑ]) or (Russian pronunciation) grivna; sign: , code: UAH), has been the national currency of Ukraine since September 2, 1996. It replaced the karbovanets at the rate of 1 hryvnia = 100,000 karbovantsiv. The hryvnia is subdivided into 100 kopiyok.

Contents

Name

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Etymology

The currency of Kievan Rus' in the eleventh century was called grivna. The word is thought to derive from the Slavic griva; c.f. Ukrainian, Russian, Bulgarian and Serbian грива / griva, meaning "mane". It may have indicated something valuable worn around the neck, usually made of silver or gold; c.f. Bulgarian and Serbian grivna (гривна, "bracelet"). Later, the word was used to describe silver or gold ingots of a certain weight; c.f. Ukrainian hryvenyk (гривеник), Russian grivennik (гривенник, "10-kopek piece"). Other smaller currency units were nogata (ногата, pelt of a large animal such as a bear or а wolf), kuna (куна, pelt of a small animal such as a mink or а sable; c.f. Croatian kuna). The smallest unit was veksha (векша, squirrel pelt).

The modern Ukrainian hryvnia is sometimes transliterated as hryvna, hrivna, gryvna or grivna, due to its Russian language counterpart, гри́вна, pronounced grívna. However, the standard English name for the currency is hryvnia.[1]

The National Bank of Ukraine has recommended that a distinction be made between hryvnia and grívna in both historical and practical means.

Plural

The nominative plural of hryvnia is hryvni (Ukrainian: гривні). This is also the genitive singular of hryvnia, while the genitive plural is hryven′ (Ukrainian: гривень). In Ukrainian, the genitive singular form is used for numbers ending with 2, 3, or 4, as in dvi hryvni (дві гривні, "2 hryvni"), and the genitive plural is used for numbers ending with 5 to 9 and 0, for example sto hryven’ (сто гривень, "100 hryven’"); for numbers ending with 1 the nominative singular form is used, for example dvadtsiat' odna hryvnia (двадцять одна гривня, "21 hryvnia"). The singular for the subdivision is копійка (kopiyka), the nominative plural is копійки (kopiyky) and the genitive is копійок (kopiyok).

Currency sign

Hryvnia currency sign

The hryvnia sign is a cursive Ukrainian letter He (г), with a double horizontal stroke, symbolizing stability, similar to that used in other currency symbols such as ¥ or €.

History

500 and 100 hryvnia banknotes of 1918 independent Ukraine

A currency called hryvna was used in Kievan Rus'. In 1917, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from the Russian Empire, the name of the new Ukrainian currency became hryvnia, a revised version of the Kievan Rus' hryvna. The designer was Heorhiy Narbut.

The hryvnia replaced the karbovanets during the period September 2-16, 1996, at a rate of 1 hryvnia = 100,000 karbovantsiv. The karbovanets was subject to hyperinflation in the early 1990s following the collapse of the USSR.

To a large extent, the introduction of hryvnia was secretive.[2] Hryvnia was introduced according to President's Decree dated August 26, 1996, published on August 29. During the transition period, September 2-16, both hryvnia and karbovanets were used in circulation, but merchants were required to give change only in hryvnias. All bank accounts were converted to hryvnia automatically. During the transition period, 97% of karbovanets were taken out of circulation, including 56% in the first 5 days of the currency reform.[2] After September 16, 1996, the remaining karbovanets were allowed to be exchanged to hryvnias in banks.

The hryvnia was introduced during the period when Victor Yushchenko was the Chairman of National Bank of Ukraine. However, the first banknotes issued bore the signature of the previous National Bank Chairman, Vadym Hetman, who had resigned back in 1993. This was so because the first notes had been printed as early as 1992 by the Canadian Bank Note Company, but it had been decided to delay their circulation until the hyperinflation in Ukraine was brought under control.

Initially, the foreign exchange rate was UAH 1.76 = USD 1.00. Following the Asian financial crisis in 1998 the currency devaluated to UAH 5.6 = USD 1.00 in February 2000. Later, the exchange rate remained relatively stable at around 5.4 hryvnias for 1 US dollar and was fixed to 5.05 hryvnias for 1 US dollar from 21 April 2005 until 21 May 2008. In mid-October 2008 rapid devaluation began with the hryvnia dropping 38.4 % from UAH 4.85 for USD 1 on 23 September 2008 to UAH 7.88 for USD 1 on 19 December 2008.[3]

Coins

Coins were first struck in 1992 for the new currency but were not introduced until 1996. The coins were initially produced by Luhansk Cartridge Factory.[4], as well as by Italian Mint.[5] In addition to those listed below which were released into circulation, 15 kopiyok coins were struck in both brass and aluminium.

Currently Circulating Coins [1]
Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of first minting
Reverse Obverse Diameter Thickness Mass Composition Edge Obverse Reverse
1-kopiyka-Ukraine.JPG 1 kopiyka 16 mm 1.2 mm 1.5 g Stainless steel Plain Ukrainian Trident Value 1992
2-kopiyki-Ukraine.JPG 2 kopiyky 17.3 mm 1.2 mm 0.64 or 1.8 g Aluminium (1992-1996) and stainless steel (2001-)
Ukraine-1992-Coin-0.05.jpg 5 kopiyok 24 mm 1.5 mm 4.3 g Stainless steel Reeded
10-kopiyok-Ukraine.JPG 10 kopiyok 16.3 mm 1.25 mm 1.7 g Brass (1992-1996) and aluminium bronze (2001-) Reeded Ukrainian Trident Value 1992
25-kopiyok-Ukraine.JPG 25 kopiyok 20.8 mm 1.35 mm 2.9 g Reeded and plain sectors
50-kopiyok-Ukraine.JPG 50 kopiyok 23 mm 1.55 mm 4.2 g
1-hryvnia-Ukraine.JPG 1 hryvnia 26 mm 1.85 mm 7.1 or 6.9 g Inscription: "ОДНА ГРИВНЯ", minted year
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Banknotes

In 1996, the first series of hryvnia banknotes was introduced into circulation by the National Bank of Ukraine. They were dated 1992 and were in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10 and 20 hryven’. The design of the banknotes was developed by Ukrainian artists Vasyl Lopata and Borys Maksymov.[4][6] One hryvnya banknotes were printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company in 1992. Two, five and ten hryvnya banknotes were printed two years later. Until introduction into circulation the banknotes were kept in Canada.[4]

Banknotes of the first series in denominations of 50 and 100 hryven' also existed but due to some reasons they were never introduced.

Also in 1996, the 1, 50, and 100 hryvnia notes of the second series were introduced, with 1 hryvnia dated 1994. The banknotes were designed and printed by British De La Rue.[5] Since the opening of the Mint of the National Bank of Ukraine in cooperation with De La Rue in March 1994 all banknotes have been printed in Ukraine.[5]

Later, highest denominations were added. The 200 hryvnia notes of the second series were introduced in 2001, followed by the 500 hryvnia notes of the third series in 2006.

All hryvnia banknotes issued by the National Bank continue to be a legal tender. As of 2008, the banknotes of early series can rarely be found in circulation.

First Series [2]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse first printing issue
1 Hryvnia 1992 front.jpg 1 Hryvnia 1992 back.jpg 1 hryvnia 135 х 70 mm Dark green Vladimir I of Kiev Ruins of Chersonesos 1992 September 2, 1996
UkraineP104a-2Hryvni-1992(1996)-donatedoy f.jpg UkraineP104a-2Hryvni-1992(1996)-donatedoy b.jpg 2 hryvni Brown Yaroslav the Wise Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
5-griven-front.jpg 5-griven-back.jpg 5 hryven' Dark blue Bohdan Khmelnytsky A church in the village of Subotiv
UkraineP106b-10Hryven-1992(1996)-donatedoy f.jpg UkraineP106b-10Hryven-1992(1996)-donatedoy b.jpg 10 hryven' Violet Ivan Mazepa Kiev Pechersk Lavra
UkrainePNew-20Hryven-2004-donatedoy f.jpg UkraineP107a-20Hryven-1992(1996)-donatedoy b.jpg 20 hryven' Yellow and brown Ivan Franko Lviv Opera and Ballet Theater
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
Second Series [3]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse first printing issue
1 Hryvnia 1995 front.jpg 1 Hryvnia 1995 back.jpg 1 hryvnia 133 × 66 mm Green and brown Vladimir I of Kiev Ruins of Chersonesos 1994 September 2, 1996
2Hryvna-1995-f.jpg 2Hryvna-1995-b.jpg 2 hryvni Brown Yaroslav the Wise The Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev 1995 September 1, 1997
5-Hryvnia-1994-front.gif 5-Hryvnia-1994-back.gif 5 hryven' Blue Bohdan Khmelnytsky A church in the selo (village) of Subotiv. 1994
10-Hryvnia-1994-front.gif 10 Hryvnyas. 1994.jpg 10 hryven' Brown and yellow Ivan Mazepa The Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra
20-Hryvnia-2000-front.jpg 20-Hryvnia-2000-back.jpg 20 hryven' Brown and green Ivan Franko The Lviv Opera Theater 1995
UkraineP113b-50Hryven-1996f.jpg UkraineP113-50Hryven-1996b.jpg 50 hryven' Yellow and violet Mykhailo Hrushevsky The building of the Verkhovna Rada Not indicated on the banknotes September 2, 1996
100-Hryvnia-1996-front.gif 100Hryven-1996-b.jpg 100 hryven' Rose and green Taras Shevchenko (old portrait) The Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev
200-Hryvnia-Ukrainka-front.gif UkraineP115-200Hryven-2000b.jpg 200 hryven' Blue Lesya Ukrainka The Entrance Tower of Lutsk Castle August 22, 2001
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
Third Series [4]
Image Value Dimensions Main Colour Description Date of
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse first printing issue
1 Hryvnia 2005 front.jpg 1-Hryvnia-2003-back.jpg 1 hryvnia 118 × 63 mm Grey Vladimir I of Kiev The fortress wall of Vladimir I in Kiev 2004 December 1, 2004
1-Hryvnia-2006-front.jpg 1-Hryvnia-2006-back.jpg 1 hryvnia Yellow-blue 2006 May 22, 2006
2-Hryvnia-2004-front.gif 2-Hryvnia-2004-back.gif 2 hryvni Brown Yaroslav the Wise The Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. 2004 September 28, 2004
5-Hryvnia-2004-front.jpg 5-Hryvnia-2004-back.jpg 5 hryven' Blue Bohdan Khmelnytsky A church in the selo (village) of Subotiv. June 14, 2004
10-Hryvnia-2005-front.jpg 10-Hryvnia-2005-back.jpg 10 hryven' 124 × 66 mm Crimson Ivan Mazepa The Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra November 1, 2004
20-Hryvnia-2003-front.jpg 20-Hryvnia-2003-back.jpg 20 hryven' 130 × 69 mm Green Ivan Franko The Lviv Opera Theater 2003 December 1, 2003
Hrushevsky 50 hrn.JPG 50-Hryvnia-Hrushevsky-back.gif 50 hryven' 136 × 72 mm Violet Mykhailo Hrushevsky The building of the Tsentralna Rada 2004 March 29, 2004
100-Hryvnia-Franko-front.jpg 100 hryvnia 2005 f.jpg 100 hryven' 142 × 75mm Olive Taras Shevchenko (young portrait) The Chernecha landscape near Cherkasy and the figures of a kobzar and a guide boy 2005 February 20, 2006
200-Hryvnia-Ukrainka-front.jpg 200-Hryvnia-Ukrainka-back.jpg 200 hryven' 148 × 75mm Pink Lesya Ukrainka The Entrance Tower of Lutsk Castle 2007 May 28, 2007
500-Hryvnia-Skovoroda-front.jpg 500-Hryvnia-Skovoroda-back.jpg 500 hryven' 154 × 75mm Beige Hryhoriy Skovoroda The building of Kyiv Mohyla Academy 2006 September 15, 2006
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the banknote specification table.
A commemorative 1 hryvnia coin to biathlon of the 1998 Winter Olympics, held in Nagano, Japan.

Exchange rates

Official NBU exchange rate at moment of introduction UAH 1.76/USD 1.

In the period from 21 April 2005 through 21 October 2008 the official exchange rate remained stable at around UAH 5/USD 1. Since then the hrivnia abruptly lost one-third of its value, dropping to around UAH 7.5/USD 1 by mid-December 2008.[3]

Current UAH exchange rates
From Google Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB
From Yahoo! Finance: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB
From XE.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB
From OANDA.com: AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD RUB

Exchange rates in Ukrainian cash currency exchangers USD/UAH  EUR/UAH  RUB/UAH

"Official exchange rate". National Bank of Ukraine. http://www.bank.gov.ua/kurs/engl/last_kurs1.htm.  

"Historical exchange rates". National Bank of Ukraine. http://www.bank.gov.ua/Fin_ryn/OF_KURS/Currency/SearchPeriod.aspx.  

See also

References

External links



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