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NBU Finishes Upgrading Hryvnia Banknote and Coin Denominations

NBU Finishes Upgrading Hryvnia Banknote and Coin Denominations

The NBU is finalizing the transition to the updated banknote and coin denominations of the hryvnia. The new banknotes are more secure, better protected from counterfeiting, more convenient for cash payments, and less costly to the state.

As part of this modernization, the NBU will put into circulation 5- and 10-hryvnia coins, which will gradually replace paper banknotes. At the same time, the NBU will introduce updated 50- and 200-hryvnia banknotes with improved security features. The new banknotes will be similar in design to the new-generation 20-, 100-, 500-, and 1,000-hryvnia bills. These innovations will complete the NBU’s effort to optimize the current banknote and coin denominations of the hryvnia, which has continued since 2014.

Key dates:

  • The 5-hryvnia coins and redesigned 50-hryvnia bills will be put into circulation on 20 December 2019
  • The new 200-hryvnia banknotes will go into circulation on 25 February 2020
  • The 10-hryvnia coins will go into circulation in mid-2020 (the exact date is to be announced)

What makes the new 50- and 200-hryvnia bills stand out

Central banks around the globe vary the design and security features of their banknotes from time to time in order to keep them reliable and secure. Regular banknote upgrades mitigate the risk of fraudsters counterfeiting them.

The NBU is no exception to this rule. The modern system of hryvnia banknote security features is as good as those of the world’s leading currencies (such as the euro and U.S. dollar). As a result, the level of counterfeiting of Ukrainian money is consistently low.

To ensure that hryvnia banknotes continue to be protected, the NBU has decided to update the designs of both the 50-hryvnia banknote, which has remained unchanged since 2004, and the 200-hryvnia banknote, which has not changed since 2007.

The updated banknotes inherit the design features of the new-generation 20-, 100-, 500-, and 1,000-hryvnia bills. They retain the main images depicted on the previously issued 50- and 200-hryvnia bills and are similar in size and color range.

At the same time, both of the upgraded banknotes carry enhanced security features. In particular, the bills have more pronounced embossed elements, including features for visually impaired individuals. The UV and IR protection of the bills has been improved. The serial number, printed in black using a font where characters vary in height, runs vertically down the right edge of the bill’s reverse.

In addition, two innovative security features have been added to the upgraded 200-hryvnia banknote and the new-generation 100-, 500-, and 1,000-hryvnia bills. One of these security features is an optically variable element known as SPARK, which is made in the shape of a stylized image of a water lily, and changes colors as the banknote is tilted. The other security element is a window thread that features the denomination and the hryvnia symbol. The thread produces a dynamic light effect where the background image moves in a different direction as the banknote is tilted.

Why coins are less costly to the state than banknotes

Replacing 5- and 10-hryvnia bills with coins will help save around UAH 1 billion in public funds, as coins are much more durable than small-denomination banknotes. Coins remain in circulation for about 20–25 years. By contrast, 5- and 10-hryvnia bills have an average lifespan of one to two years, which is short, and thus need to be printed, processed, and stored every year. Meanwhile, coins are much easier and less expensive for the state to handle.

Replacement procedure

The NBU has made sure that the transition to the new banknote and coin denominations will be as convenient to the public as possible.

Individuals will not be required to exchange the current 5-, 10-, 50-, and 200-hryvnia bills for new banknotes and coins. No time limits will be imposed on the simultaneous use of new and previous banknotes in payments.

The 5- and 10-hryvnia banknotes of the previous design will be gradually replaced with coins and new banknotes as they wear out.

Which banknotes and coins will continue to circulate

Since 2014, the NBU has been upgrading the hryvnia and streamlining cash settlements. This has been a comprehensive process intended to replace low-denomination banknotes with coins, withdraw low-denomination coins, and introduce new highest-denomination banknotes.

This year, in order to optimize the banknote and coin denominations, the NBU has taken out of circulation the 1-, 2-, and 5-kopiika coins, ceased replenishing 25-kopiika coins in circulation, and, on 25 October, introduced the new 1,000-hryvnia bill. 

Thus, the denomination series of the hryvnia will be reduced from 17 to 13 denominations and, when 25-kopiika coins have gone out of circulation, to 12 denominations. When received by banks, 25-kopiika coins will not be put back into circulation, and their number will gradually decrease. Eventually, the hryvnia series will be optimized to 12 denominations. The new denomination series will have six coins (10 and 50 kopiikas, and 1, 2, 5, and 10 hryvnias) and six banknote denominations (20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 hryvnias).

International practices show that denomination series cover an average of 11–13 denominations. For example, the Australian dollar has 11 denominations, the British pound and Czech koruna have 12, and the Swiss frank has 13.

Thus, with regard to the hryvnia, the ratio of six banknotes to six coins in circulation is not only convenient for settlements and meets the demand for cash in the Ukrainian economy, but also complies with the practices of leading central banks.



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