On 3 June 2020, the National Bank of Ukraine (the NBU) put the ten-hryvnia coin into circulation.
From now on, ten-hryvnia coins are legal tender in Ukraine. They can be used freely for retail purchases or bank transactions. They will gradually replace ten-hryvnia banknotes in circulation.
By introducing the new ten-hryvnia coin, the NBU continues to optimize and upgrade the hryvnia banknote and coin series. This comprehensive process has been going on for nearly seven years. It has made the new hryvnia generation more secure and protected while cash payments have become cheaper for the state and more convinient for people.
This will eventually reduce the number of hryvnia banknote and coin denominations to 12, which is optimal for Ukraine. The new series will have six coin denominations (10 and 50 kopiikas, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 hryvnias) and six banknote denominations (20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 hryvnias).
Why do banknotes need to be replaced with coins?
Coins remain in circulation for about 20–25 years. By contrast, ten-hryvnia banknotes have an average lifespan of one to two years. For instance, in 2019 alone, the NBU disposed of 72 million ten-hryvnia banknotes, with UAH 719.7 million in face value, that were unfit for circulation.
"The lifespan of coins far exceeds that of banknotes. Unlike banknotes, coins don’t have to be minted, processed, transported, stored, and destroyed every year," said Viktor Zaivenko, Director of the NBU Cash Circulation Department. "Therefore, the replacement of low-denomination banknotes with coins will enable us to reduce the cost of money production and processing. This could save the state about UAH 1 billion, considering the lifespan of coins."
Similar replacements were successfully implemented in different countries, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia.
In what way will the replacement take place?
First of all, the NBU will put over 5 million ten-hryvnia coins into circulation. They have already been distributed among the NBU’s regional units in Kyiv, Dnipro, Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Khmelnytskyi. From now on, banks can get the new coins from the NBU and provide them to their customers.
As of 1 June 2020, over 181 million ten-hryvnia banknotes were in circulation.
"We have made sure the ten-hryvnia coin introduction goes as smoothly as possible," added Viktor Zaivenko. "People don’t have to specifically exchange their ten-hryvnia banknotes for coins. They can pay with old banknotes and new coins at the same time. Ten-hryvnia banknotes will be used as legal tender, as before. They will remain in circulation, but after awhile they will disappear as a result of natural wear and tear and will be fully replaced with ten-hryvnia circulating coins."
What is the design of the new ten-hryvnia coin?
All the new circulating coins are different in weight, thickness, diameter, images, materials they are made of, and their edge grooving (third side of a coin).
The reverse of the ten-hryvnia coin depicts Ukrainian Hetman Ivan Mazepa, whose image replicates his portrait on the ten-hryvnia banknote. The obverse contains the coin’s denomination in the center encircled with an ancient Rus ornament.
The new ten-hryvnia circulating coin is made of galvanized nickel-plated zinc alloy.
Due to its enlarged dimensions (diameter, thickness, edge) the new circulating coin differes considerably from other new circulating coins of 1, 2, and 5 hryvnias. In particular, it has a special, deeply grooved edge that will enable users to easily distinguish it from circulating coins of other denominations.
"Due to the withdrawal of 1, 2, and 5-kopiika circulating coins from circulation, it became easier to distinguish the circulating coins of 1, 2, 5, and 10 hryvnias. The coins will not be confused anymore because of their similarity in color," said Viktor Zaivenko.