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HomePaper MoneyRussia Commemorates 2018 World Cup with Country's 1st Polymer Banknote

Russia Commemorates 2018 World Cup with Country’s 1st Polymer Banknote

By CoinWeek News Staff ….
On Tuesday, May 22, the Central Bank of Russia unveiled a new 100-ruble commemorative FIFA banknote celebrating the 2018  World Cup. The country’s first polymer note, which prominently features the late soccer great Lev Yashin on the front, is centered around the theme of one generation of athletes inspiring the dreams and aspirations of the next.

Russian FIFA Banknote

First Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova made the official announcement.

“This year our country will host a great event, which is the World Cup, and the Bank of Russia decided to issue a commemorative banknote dedicated to this event. By tradition its face value will be 100 rubles,” she said.

An Intriguing Design

As mentioned, the front of the vertically designed note portrays the iconic Russian goalkeeper Lev Yashin (лев яшин) diving for a save. Known to fans around the world as the “Black Spider” (and his Russian fans as the “Black Panther”) due to his athleticism, agility and distinctive all-black playing kit, Yashin is one of the greatest goalkeepers in history. He won a gold medal at the 1956 Olympics playing for the Soviet Union, but Yashin and his black uniform really made an impression in his first World Cup appearance in 1958, which was also the first World Cup to have internationally televised matches.

(Gamers out there may recognize him as an Ultimate Team Icon from EA Sports’ FIFA 2018 video game.)

Above Yashin is the Russian eagle and the phrase БИЛЕТ БАНК РОССИИ (“Note of the Bank of Russia”). Immediately beneath that is a large numeral 100 in color-changing ink. To the left of the denomination is a small hologram showing a scene of a player kicking a soccer ball near the net. If the player is a striker from the opposing team (and not Yashin himself), and if it’s intended to be the same ball that Yashin is handling, then this makes the bill an interesting case of “sequential art”–otherwise known as comics–on a banknote

Incidentally, Yashin can also be seen on a 2018 FIFA World Cup poster released last November, which makes for another potentially interesting aspect of the note wherein there is co-branding between a state monetary issuing authority and another company.

At the base of the design is a boy holding a soccer ball and looking up at Yashin. The youth is printed in darker inks than the lightly rendered Yashin, which emphasizes the dreamlike quality of the scene. The brilliant metallic emerald color of the ball is especially notable.

A “quick response” or QR code is located to the right of the boy. The bank and the National Mint Goznak have begun to incorporate QR codes into banknotes recently as a security measure–as seen on the 2015 100-ruble and 2017 200-ruble commemorative notes.

Below that, the denomination of the bill is rendered in both color-changing Arabic numerals and the Cyrillic СТО РУБЛЕЙ (“One Hundred Rubles”).

The back features a soccer-ball-cum-globe, with Russia taking pride of place. Behind and below it are swooshes that contain the names of the 11 host cities of this year’s World Cup: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg, and Samara. Above the ball are three rows of cheering fans colored in the red, white and blue of the Russian flag. A hologram similar to that found on the front is also present.

The denomination 100 is seen in large Arabic numerals at the top and bottom of the bill, with БИЛЕТ БАНК РОССИИ and СТО РУБЛЕЙ also located at the top. The note’s serial number is printed twice, both horizontally and vertically.

Pleasant blue, green, yellow and melon orange tones dominate the color scheme of both sides of the note. The official emblem of the World Cup is visible on the back under ultraviolet light. Goznak has also introduced tactile features to the polymer bill.

The Bank of Russia has already delivered the commemorative banknote to branches in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Samara and Krasnodar, with the rest of the country to receive deliveries by July. A total of 20 million notes will ultimately enter circulation.

At the time of publication, ₽100 Russian rubles (RUB) trade for approx. $1.63 USD.

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