World Paper Money: Ukrainian 2014 ₴1 (Hryvnia) Vladimir the Great


Welcome to Monetized History, today we’re going to look at the Ukrainian 2014
one hryvnia note. There are currently
about 500 million of these notes in
circulation. It has a face value
equivalent to four cents, and can be
bought for as little as fifty cents. It
features many modern security elements
such as watermarks of Vladimir the great
and the hryvnia symbol, a security
strip with the denomination and Ukrainian
trident, a registration mark in
the shape of the bank’s logo, UV fluorescent and magnetic reactive ink,
microprinting that reads NBU for the
National Bank of Ukraine,
Odna Hryvnia for one hryvnia, and Ukrayina for Ukraine. The main image on the front
of the note is Vladimir the Great.
Vladimir rose to power after defeating
his brother Yaropolk in 980.
For seven years he ruled as a
devout follower of the Slavic gods but in
987 he sent envoys to study the
religions of neighbouring nations. He was
most impressed with the pageantry of the
Eastern Orthodox Church and the Byzantine Empire. When Emperor Basil II faced an
insurrection, he asked for assistance from Vladimir.
He agreed to help the beleaguered Byzantine Emperor in exchange for the hand of his
sister Anna Porphyrogenita. Basil agreed
on the condition that he and his people
convert to Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Today he is venerated as St. Vladimir of
Kyiv by the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican,
and Lutheran churches. The image to the
left of his portrait is from the Radziwill Chronicle showing Vladimir
consecrating the first stone church in
Kyiv in 996. the Radziwill,
or Konigsberg Chronicle, is a 13th century
manuscript that tells the history of the
Kievan Rus’ from the 5th century to the
13th century. Above this is the Ukrainian
coat of arms officially known as “The
Sign of the Princely State of Vladimir
the Great.” It was the personal symbol of
Vladimir and is stamped on coins issued
during his rule. Although commonly known as a Tryzub or Trident, it is most likely
a stylized falcon. The text to the left of
the coat-of-arms reads “National Bank of
Ukraine.” The text to the right of the
bill reads “One Hryvnia.”
The reverse of bill is dominated by an image of the medieval Citadel of Kyiv as it would
have looked during the time of Vladimir
the Great. The church in the foreground
is the Church of the Dormition of the
Virgin or Church of the Tithes
constructed under the order of Vladimir,
the consecration of which is depicted on
the front of the bill. The church was
destroyed in 1240 when Kyiv was
conquered by the Mongol armies of Batu
Khan and has never been rebuilt.
To the right is an artistic composition of
items that would have had significance
during the time of Vladimir the Great.
Finally, in the top-left corner, is the
logo of the National Bank of Ukraine. The
symbol is based off the shape of ingots,
also known as hryvnia, which were once used as currency in medieval Ukraine.
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