The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) recently unveiled four new circulation coins that will eventually replace banknotes of the same denomination in an effort to optimize the country’s cash circulation.
The new coins have nominal values of one, two, five and 10 Ukrainian hryvni. The bank will not remove the one-, two-, five- and 10-UAH banknotes from circulation but will cease printing them. Ukrainians will be able to make payments with both the new coins and old banknotes until the coins gradually replace the banknotes in circulation.
“The National Bank of Ukraine is responsible for issuing currency and organizes cash flow. This is a provision of the Law on the National Bank. Part of this task is to optimize cash flow, aimed at increasing convenience and reducing public spending for its implementation,” said Chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine Yakov Smolij.
The coins will be introduced in phases, the first of which will begin on April 27, when the one- and two-hryvni coins will enter circulation. The second phase will see the five- and 10-hryvni coins introduced in 2019-20 (the NBU will announce the exact date prior to the coins’ release).
According to Smolij, the transition will strike an optimal balance between the quality and number of banknotes and coins in circulation to meet the current needs of the state as well as the economy.
“In international practice, nominal rows have an average of 12 denominations of money,” said Smolij, who added the bank “must strive for this.”
Smolij also noted the lifespan of coins is longer than the lifespan of banknotes. Coins are in circulation for about 20 years while the banknotes may only see one year of circulation.
“This decision is stimulated by us by the development of cashless payments, the change in the purchasing power of the hryvnia over the past 20 years, and changes in consumer behaviour,” said Smolij. “The development of cashless settlements leads to a decrease in the number of nominal values in the nominal series of countries of the world, and Ukraine is no exception.”
Each year, the NBU withdraws about 800 million banknotes, nearly half of which are of low denominations of one to 10 hryvnias.
“The new circulating coins will have a silver colour; they will be small, light and easy to calculate,” said Victor Zayvenko, NBU director of money circulation. “Working on their design, we decided to be consistent and to preserve the portraits of prominent Ukrainian personalities depicted on the respective banknotes. On the reverse of the coin with a nominal value of one, the hryvnia depicts a portrait of Prince Volodymyr the Great; on the two hryvni, Prince Yaroslav the Wise; on the five hryvni, hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky; and on the 10 hryvni, hetman Ivan Mazepa.”
The obverse of all coins depicts the small Emblem of Ukraine (trident), face value, the name of the issuing country (Ukraine) in the frame of the Old Russian ornament.