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Coupon Notes From The Land Of Nowhere: 10 Rublei (Transnistria, 1994)-Article

Updated: Apr 18

This small Transnistrian banknote represents the 3rd denomination of the Second Ruble (Series 1994). The Second Transnistrian Ruble was a transitional coupon currency issued to replace the previous post -Soviet First Ruble. Which it replaced at an impressive rate of 1 "New" Ruble per 1,000 "Old" Ruble. That said, the nation of Transnistria is an interest on its own right.

Transnistria, formally known as the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. Is amongst the most unusual nations in the world. As it's a nation which technically does not exist. Transnistria is a breakaway republic located on a narrow strip of land, between the Dniester River and the Ukrainian border. Strangely Transnistria is also one of the few breakaway nations, that possesses its own currency.

Currently (2020) Transnistria is only recognized by 3 other non-internationally recognized states: Abkhazia, Artsakh, and South Ossetia. All of which are within a state of “frozen conflict” and within the former Soviet Union. In general, explaining the note symbolism is a feat in itself. Almost as complex and convoluted, as the nation it originates from.


The observe features a portrait of Count Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov (1729-1800), the last generalissimo of the Russian Empire. Count Suvorov was near mythical figure, who was undefeated in over 60 battles. Even in modern times, Suvorov is considered to be the greatest military commander in Russian history.

The majority of the observe is covered by a color-coded underprint. Notably the style of this underprint is repeated throughout all Second Ruble notes. As they are based the same print stock. Even repeating the same guilloché designs and their color schemes.

The center text reads "КУПОН 10 РУБЛЬ", translated as "Coupon 10 Rubles". Notifying the bearer the note, is provisional banknote valued at "Ten Rubles". The header above simply reads "ПРИДНЕСТРОВЬЕ", for "Transnistria". The footer repeats "Bank of Transnistria", in the nation's 3 official languages. In order, they are Moldovan, Russian and Ukrainian.

To the far left, is the note's watermark area. At the bottom is a guilloché pattern, over printed with a "1994" print date. Above is the note's serial number "AA 4325130", extending off the watermark area. Notably the watermark is a simple "brick" pattern. Like many post-Soviet banknotes, it extends across the note's surface.


The reverse depicts the Transnistrian Supreme Council building. Formally known as the Supreme Council of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The Supreme Council is the center of Transnistrian government. Which prior to the introduction of the 2nd Constitution of Transnistria, on 24 December 1995. Was based on the previous Soviet system of government.

The reverse uses a relatively simple design, with sparse text and simple embellishments. The majority of the reverse is covered by a color-coded underprint. Above is a guilloché frame and some basic text. To the center-left is a large number "10", identifying the notes value. Which repeated by the text "ДЕСЯТЬ РУБЛЕЙ", translated as "Ten Ruble".

To the far right is the note's watermark area. At the upper right is the text, " ПОДДЕЛКА КУПОНОВ

ПРИДНЕСТРОВСКОГО БАНКА ПРЕСЛЕДУЕТСЯ ПО ЗАКОНУ". Translated as "Forgery of Bank of Transnistria coupons is punishable by law. Below is an additional number "10" and decorative guilloché pattern.

The Tale of Count Suvorov

Count Suvorov on the 1 Ruble (2007)
Count Suvorov on the 1 Ruble (2007)

In a strange turn of history, Suvorov almost never began his military career. As his father considered him to be unfit for military service. By coincidence Suvorov's family lived in the same neighborhood as General Abram Petrovitch Gannibal. Known simply Hannibal or Ganibal, Abram Petrovich was another one of history's great anomalies. He started his life in Russia as a Central African slave. Given as a gift by Sultan Ahmed III, to Tzar Peter the Great. So intellectually gifted was Ganibal, that he was adopted by Tzar Peter as his godson.

Becoming one of the greatest generals in Russian history. Skilled in multiple languages and advance mathematics, at a young age. Tzar Peter funded Ganibal's education in French military academies, where he received enhanced training in military engineering and siege artillery. As a mentor, Ganibal vouched on Suvorov's behalf to his father. Recognizing the great potential he to possessed, at age 12.

Over his 54 years military career Suvorov participated in 6 major conflicts, fought throughout Eurasia. Representing both the Russian and Holy Roman Empire, on the behalf of Tzarina Catherine the Great. Significantly expanding the Russian Empire's borders westward and into the Ottoman-controlled Caucus. Count Suvorov commanded in the Dniester region, during the Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792). Establishing the Dniester, as the Russian frontier in Europe and founding Traspol (future capital of Transnistria), in 1792.

Suvorov and the Soviets

 The Alexander Suvorov Monument, on the 100 Rublei (1993)
The Alexander Suvorov Monument, 100 Rublei (1993)

In one of history's paradoxes, on 29 July 1942 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet established the Order of Suvorov. Despite some obvious contradictions, such as Suvorov being an Imperial figure. Who served both German and Russian interests, for a German born Tzarina. Yet he was commemorated with a medal, established in a war against German. By same government which overthrew the Russian Imperial family, he'd served.

In general, this decision led to the Soviet Union beginning to acknowledge pre-October Revolution (1917) figures. Although within the ideological narrative, with the end goal of further promoting the Soviet narrative. Some post-Soviet successor states, such Transnistria and Belerus continued this policy. To the extent the capital of Transnistria (Traspol) has a city square in his honor.


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 125 x 57 mm or 4.92 x 2.24 in, smaller than a US dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are side opening sleeves cut to size.

  • As an unrecognized state, Transnistria lacks an official ISO code.

  • The Transnistrian Ruble is unofficially coded as either PBR or RUP.

  • Like many post-Soviet currencies, the Second Transnistrian Ruble lacked coins.

  • The Transnistrian Ruble is subdivided into 100 Kopeck, although Kopeck denominated currency was not issued until the Third Ruble.

  • The Third Transnistrian Ruble replaced the Second Ruble in 2000, at rate of 1 Million "Old" to 1 "New" Ruble.


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