Belarussian Wildlife #3, Eurasian Lynx: 10 Rubles (Belarus, 1992)-Article

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

This early post-Soviet, Belarussian banknote is the 5th denomination of the First Ruble (1992). The First Ruble was introduced due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, in 1991. The Belarussian Ruble replaced the previous Soviet Ruble, on 25 May 1992. These early banknotes are notable for featuring the nation's wildlife.


Currently (2021) these small banknotes are well suited for beginner collectors. As they can be purchased for relatively cheap, the exception being the 1 Ruble (European Hare) and 3 Ruble (Eurasian Beaver) denominations. All denominations of the 25 May 1992 issued notes featured Pahonia (the chaser), on their reverse side.

Observe

The observe depicts a Eurasian Lynx with a kitten. The species is common throughout most of the former Soviet Union. The note's "Ten Rubles" value is listed at the upper right, in Cyrillic text. Nearby we can see a spiral guilloché pattern radiating outward. If one looks closely they can notice the beginnings of 2 similar patterns near the lower right and center. In addition to the note's multi-tone underprint, these form a simple anti-forgery measure.


Toward the edge of the underprint we can see a cross, symbolically representing the Cross of Saint Euphrosyne. Below is a guilloché pattern with the text "Five Rubles", reinforcing the note's value. This pattern overlaps a border, which the Lynx rest on.

This border extends to the right, in the watermark area. Above and below this border are 3 rows of micro-text, reading "Republic of Belarus" in sequence. The micro-text runs the full length of the note. Although can most easily be seen read from the watermark area.


Overall the watermark is simple, being a system of interlocking "S" patterns. Which run the accross the note beyond the designated watermark area. A fairly common practice for early post-Soviet banknotes.

Reverse

The reverse depicts Pahonia (the chaser), who's featured on the Belarussian Coat of Arms. Pahonia stems from an Eastern Slavic tradition. In which in case of sudden attack, all armed and able men are expected to pursue the enemy. In 1329, this tradition was personified as an image of a charging knight.


Pahonia gained notoriety as the seal of Duke Aleksandr Mikhailovich of Pskov (1301-1339). Who lead the Tver Uprising of 1327, against the Mongol Golden Horde. Which despite being decisively defeated, with the assistance of Ivan I of Moscow (1325-1340 CE). Later inspired the Great Stand on the Ugra River (1480 CE), which finally defeated the Golden Horde.

Despite being a relatively simple banknote, it utilizes extensive guilloché details. Being the most cost-effective and visually appealing option. To prevent the notes from being counterfeited by criminal elements. The guilloché patterns are layered, moving outward from the Pahonia image. In addition to forming borders for the notes text.


The note's "Ten Rubles" value is listed at the sides of the Pahonia. While the text below lists the note as a "Payment ticket of the National Bank of Belarus". The note's print date (1992) is listed to the far right. While the he fine text featured above the watermark area reads, "Forgery of banknotes of the National Bank of Belarus is prosecuted by law".


The Eurasian Lynx

The Eurasian Lynx is native boreal and temperate forests Eurasia. The species widely distributed in Northern and Eastern Europe, extending toward Siberia, the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas. Lynx populations are often less common were Eurasian Wolf are present. Despite there vast numbers, conservation efforts have been made to counter recent habitat loss and poaching.


The average Lynx male weigh 21.6 kg (48 lb), while female Lynx weigh 18.1 kg (40 lb). Notably male Lynx from Siberia are quite large weigh up to 38 kg (84 lb). With unverified reports of males weighing up to 45 kg (99 lb). Although lynx from the Carpathian Mountains can occasionally rival Siberian lynx in size.


In regards to overall size, adult lynx range from 80 to 130 cm (31 to 51 in) in length and stand 60–75 cm (24–30 in) at the shoulder. Their iconic "bobbed" tail averages from 11 to 24.5 cm (4.3 to 9.6 in) long. This short tail ends in a tuff of black fur, which matches those of their ears.


Lynx feature crème white fur along their underside, Although their overall fur color can vary depending on their location. Their fur is relative short, ranging from a brown to reddish color. Notably Lynx from southern regions with often feature brighter shaded fur. These southern populations also tend to feature black spotted. Although this feature is an individual, rather than regional attribute.


In winter this fur is replaced by a much thicker silky coat, that varies from silver-grey to greyish brown. To allow better movement during winter, Lynx have adapted large webbed paws. These paws act like snowshoes, as well aiding in climbing trees.


Despite having relatively long powerful legs, Lynx have a tendency to "crouch walk". Giving them the appearance of having much shorter legs. Although non-alerted Lynx will usually walk in a higher stance. Lynx living mountainous and rocky terrain will often feature stronger stockier legs.

Despite being solitary animals, Lynx will gather during mating season. Lynx mating season spans from January to April. Female lynx construct hidden dens, usually protected by branches and overhanging tree roots. The den floor is lined with dried grass to provide bedding for the kittens. Lynx kittens are usually born after 67 to 74 days.


The average Lynx litter is 2 kittens, although litters large then 3 are rare. At birth, Eurasian lynx kittens weigh between 240 to 430 g (8.5 to 15.2 oz). The kittens are born with grayish-brown fur and open their eyes at ten to twelve days old.


At 6 to 7 weeks, the kittens begin eating solid food and leaving the den. Despite this the kittens are not fully weened until 5 to 6 months. At 11 weeks, the kittens gain their adult fur color, which features distinctive black tail and ear tuffs. This period determines whether or not the kitten will feature heavily spotted and striped fur.


By 2 to 3 months the kittens travel with their mother, moving out of the den. The group will move to larger dens, till the kittens become independent at 10 months. Despite this the kittens won't become full adults, until sometime between 2 and 3 years. After which they can continue into another generation of Lynx.

A vigilant male Lynx at Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna.
A vigilant male Lynx at Schönbrunn Zoo, Vienna.

1992 First Belarusian Ruble Gallery

(Gallery contains all Series 1992 banknotes, "Belarussian Wildlife")

Additional Notes

  • This notes dimensions are 105 × 53 mm or 4.13 x 2.09 in, smaller than a standard US Dollar.

  • Eurasian Lynx are divided into 6 separate regional sub-species. Which includes the Northern, Central Asian (Himalayan/Tibetan), Caucasian, Siberian, Balkan, and Carpathian Lynx.

  • The note depicts the Northern Lynx, the most common Eurasian sub-species.

  • Notably Lynx will actively avoid loose snow, which they find difficult to walk on.

  • Eurasian Lynx can't navigate areas with snow deeper than 100 cm (39 in).

  • Lynx have been occasionally observed purring like domestic cats.

  • The distantly related Iberian Lynx features large beardlike tuffs.

  • The oldest Eurasian Lynx have lived up to 21 years in captivity.

Photo Credits

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