History Of The Russian Ruble
The ruble originated from a weight of silver, cut from a silver ingot (the silver base for the currency was a standard across much of Europe at the time with the Pound and the Mark having similar foundations). The currency probably originated in the early middle ages at around the same time as Western European currencies.
In 1704 Imperial Russia became the first country to introduce a decimal currency system with 1 ruble being equal to 100 kopeks.
Following the revolution of 1917 the Soviet government issued its first rubles in 1919 based on the previous imperial ruble. At the time of its launch rubles were also being issued by the White Russian government and other local goverments.
The Soviet ruble lasted until the end of the cold war and was used in all states of the former Soviet Union, following the breakup of the Soviet Union most of the former Soviet states issued their own currencies, although some such as Belarus also use the name Ruble. The Russian Federation continued to use the Soviet Ruble, but a new set of bank notes issued in the name of the Bank of Russia were issued in 1993.
During its lifetime the Soviet Ruble was propped up by the government with its official value being up to ten times the value on the open market. Many Soviet citizens preferred to pay and be paid for services in US dollars than the Soviet Ruble, despite the fact that this practice was illegal.
Following the latest redenomination of the Ruble in 1998 where 1 new ruble was valued at 1,000 old rubles the Russian economy has strengthened considerably and the Ruble is now taking its place as one of the worlds major currencies.