The Russian ruble is one of the oldest national currencies in the world, having been in continuous use since the 13th Century. In fact, only the British pound sterling has been in existence for longer. It was also ther very first decimal currency, having undergone decimalisation in 1704, a mere 267 years before the pound.
For close to a hundred years, all Russian banknotes have been printed at the state owned Goznak factory in Moscow. Founded in 1919 just after the Russian Revolution this premises is also responsible for the production of Russian coins. This responsibility is shared with the Saint Petersburg Mint, which has been operating since 1724, when the infamous Czar Peter the Great ruled supreme.
The ruble has undergone a radical transformation and revaluation in more recent times. The early 1990s saw the fall of the old Soviet Union, and the old ruble was replaced in a gradual process as the previous version was phased out. Both currencies were at first used in parallel until production of the old currency ceased in September 1993.
Previously issued notes and coins remained legal tender until the end of 1998, when the Russian financial crisis struck. The ruble then lost almost three quarters of its value against the US dollar in just six months. His resulted in a rapid devaluation of the Russian national currency, and the ruble was redenominated as vast amounts of the outdated currency were required even for the most basic purchases.
As a result of this revaluation, Russian citizens then had two years to exchange their obsolete Soviet currency for the new Russian Federation version at a negligible exchange ratio of 1000 Soviet ruble to 1 new ruble. This facility was ended in 2001, when the old currency became worthless.
There has been some flexibility in the recent past about the spelling of this currency. More traditionally minded speakers and writers of British English have a preference for “rouble”. Meanwhile, speakers of American English and indeed virtually the rest of the planet have decided on “ruble”. So while Union Jack waving defenders of the age of the British Empire continue to stand against the tide like modern day King Canutes, here at Busy Bee we’re happy to join the rest of the world and go with the flow.
Many casinos now accept the Russian ruble as a valid currency of payment, especially the many United Kingdom facing sites. Increasing numbers of wealthy Russians are setting up home here and casinos are only too happy to be able to accept their new clientele’s national currency. Despite buying up much of the luxury properties in west and central London, plus a large proportion of our biggest football clubs, there is still plenty left over to indulge in a few spins of slot reels or roulette wheels.