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It's a long way to the top, if you wanna (good looking note)

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Fenntucky Mike

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I recently read a PMG article titled "Collection Inspiration: Women Writers". In the article a Ukrainian note is referenced, the 200 Hryven banknote, featuring Lesya Ukrainka on the front of the note. In the article a brief description was given about the Poetess and the note, PMG chose to highlight the 2nd series note (good choice) and I thought I would take the opportunity to expand on the evolution of the note itself. 

After Ukraine declared independence from the USSR in 1991 the two countries remained tethered to one another monetarily. Russian rubles circulated freely in Ukraine and were used in conjunction with the newly released karbovantes coupons (karbovantsi for 2 -4 , karbovantsiv for 5 or more). When circumstances dictated that the two countries sever all monetary ties completely, on November 12 1992, this meant that the coupons were now the sole currency in Ukraine, to be used for all transactions. An exchange rate of ruble to karbovantes was established as 1:1 and the sum of exchange was without limit. This parting of ways lead to massive inflation (up to 11,000%) with the coupons and the need for monetary reform was immediate. The Ukrainian government had been working on a national currency as early as 1991 and the first Hryvnia banknotes were designed and printed by CBNC in 1992 with a second issue in 1994 by TDLR, but finalization of the new currency and distribution wouldn't happen until September 2, 1996 when the hryvnia was officially introduced as Ukraine's national currency, the exchange rate of karbobanets to hryvnia was set at 100,000 : 1. The NBU issued 1,2,5,10, 20, 50 and 100 hryvnia banknotes into circulation, these were the 1st issued notes of hryvnia. The first issue notes were a mix match of printers, artists and designs making the fist issue seem inconsistent. There were two different designs for the 1 hryven released on the same date from two different printers (CBNC in 1992 and NBU in 1994), the 2, 5, 10 & 20 were printed by the CBNC in 1992, the 50 and 100 were printed by TDLR in (estimate) 1994 and are a completely different design from the lower denominations. Both the 50 & 100 are considered 2nd issue notes even though they were released at the same time as the 1st issue notes. The 2nd issue notes are again a mix match of printers and designs the 1, 2, & 20 were printed by the NBU the 5, 10, 50, 100 & 200 were printed by TDLR. The 200 hryven note was issued 5 years after the 2nd series was first issued, again this note was presumably printed in 1994 which would mean these notes were in a vault for 7 years prior to being released. The NBU took over all banknote design and printing in 1997 and has printed all Ukrainian banknotes since.

So the first hryvnia series not having a 200 Hryven note means that this denomination does not have as many design changes as some of the lower value notes. (Although the 1, 2, 5 & 10 hryvnia banknotes have since been discontinued (starting with the 4th series) and replaced by coins.) Below is the first 200 hryven note, printed in 1994 and issued in 2001, it was replaced in 2007 by the 3rd series note and remained in circulation until Oct 1, 2020 when it ceased to be a means of payment and was no longer accepted as a cash payment in Ukraine. Artistic design wise, it's a good first effort but not very flattering to the subject. The portrait was taken from images of the poetess later in life. The color pattern, portrait and overall design leave much to be desired.

2058270726_LesyaOld-Copy.png.8bb19b6cc637e43705775148889cb225.png1036798137_2001PMG67EPQObv-Copy.png.3016a0f168ec2c8c664939ac8ebc70cd.png742840251_2001PMG67EPQRev-Copy.png.51053d29d2276941df028fa9f738c95d.png

Here is the 3rd series 200 Hryven note (2nd 200 hryven note), the artists and NBU pretty much knocked it out of the park with this design. This is probably the most popular modern Ukrainian note, design wise, and deservedly so.

1670066370_LesyaYoung-Copy.png.5ac6b7401aafbf54974626aa7155df6d.png180248738_2014PMG68EPQObv-Copy.png.00e3d1fb4c0405d8394161a0ca98860b.png1476911397_2014PMG68EPQRev-Copy.png.0fd6501371e5d0d708859a67a62ae983.png

Finally, here is the 4th series (3rd 200 hryven note). Just some small tweaks to the overall design from the 3rd series note to this one. A toned down color palette, sharper portrait and more stylized reverse design are the major changes. 

534141726_LesyaYoung-Copy.png.9c5c3c497b3dcf44104d26f9eca8349d.png1801698824_2019PMG68EPQObv-Copy.png.f3841e3cb62b08a28738bb662486e838.png141256068_2019PMG68EPQRev-Copy.png.9f3ec50ccae370f998a658359f6f735a.png

The subject matter of the 200 hryven note has remained the same throughout, a portrait of Lesya Ukranika on the front and a depiction of the entrance tower of Lutsk Castle (or Lubart's Castle) in Lutsk where she live for a short time.

Born Larysa Petrivna Kosach - Kvitka, she was forced to adopt the pseudonym Lesya Ukrainka at the time of here first published poem, as Ukrainian language publications were illegal at that time in the Russian Empire. Because of this many of here Ukrainian language publications were printed in Western Ukraine, which at the time was under Austro-Hungarian rule, and were then smuggled into Kiev for distribution. She was a prolific writer of poems, plays, short stories, and sociopolitical articles and essays. Some of the early inspiration for her early writings came from the works of Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko, both of who are featured on Ukrainian currency, the 100 & 20 Hryven notes respectively. Ukrainka was vocal advocate for freedom of speech, women's rights and an independent Ukrainian state free from Czarist rule. On August 1, 1913 after an almost life long battle with extrapulmonary tuberculosis of the bones she died at a Georgian health resort at the age of 42, four years prior to Ukraine gaining a brief but chaotic independence starting in 1917 until 1920.

Here is one of her poems titled Contra Spem Spero (Hope Against Hope)

Thoughts away, you heavy clouds of autumn!
For now springtime comes, agleam with gold!
Shall thus in grief and wailing for ill-fortune
All the tale of my young years be told?

No, I want to smile through tears and weeping.,
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I want to live! You thoughts of grief, away!

On poor sad fallow land unused to tilling
I'll sow blossoms, brilliant in hue,
I'll sow blossoms where the frost lies, chilling,
I'll pour bitter tears on them as due.

And those burning tears shall melt, dissolving
All that mighty crust of ice away.
Maybe blossoms will come up, unfolding
Singing springtime too for me, some day.

Up the flinty steep and craggy mountain
A weighty ponderous boulder I shall raise,
And bearing this dread burden, a resounding
Song I'll sing, a song of joyous praise.

In the long dark ever-viewless night-time
Not one instant shall I close my eyes,
I'll seek ever for the star to guide me,
She that reigns bright mistress of dark skies.

Yes, I'll smile, indeed, through tears and weeping
Sing my songs where evil holds its sway,
Hopeless, a steadfast hope forever keeping,
I shall live! You thoughts of grief, away!

(Translations will vary)

In addition to the 200 hryven banknote Lesya Ukrainka is also featured on postage stamps, coins and medals of Ukraine, below is the 1,000,000 karbovantsiv NCLT coin.

1567932522_2843407-001v-Copy.jpg.10e60a7712fa264c3106f48d45a91982.jpg

 

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Interesting notes and person. I've been wanting to do something similar on the $10 and $20 denoms for Zimbabwe but I don't want to do it until I have the P-3 and the P-40 in my collection.

I was disappointed a while back when I looked into the bio of a famous woman on the Venezuelan notes just because it seemed like the thing she was most famous for was marrying a general at 16 and being thrown in prison for it during the war for independence.

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11 hours ago, Revenant said:

Interesting notes

Thanks,

11 hours ago, Revenant said:

I was disappointed a while back when I looked into the bio of a famous woman on the Venezuelan notes just because it seemed like the thing she was most famous for was marrying a general at 16 and being thrown in prison for it during the war for independence.

I read a little bit about her as well "wrong place wrong time" popped in my head. Josefa Camejo on the soberano's seems more interesting, she took charge.

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5 hours ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

I read a little bit about her as well "wrong place wrong time" popped in my head. Josefa Camejo on the soberano's seems more interesting, she took charge.

I haven't gotten to her yet, but P-101 is going to be one of the next notes I'm looking to get for the Venezuela set I think, now that I have P-100 and P-102* around it. There actually was a P-101 in 67 EPQ at a good price that I was considering getting next month but someone beat me to it. I'll have to wait for the next one.

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55 minutes ago, Revenant said:

BTW, I don't know if you noticed but our favorite watched pot is "on sale" for only $800. Maybe you should pop for it? :baiting:

LOL, still too much for me but I'll keep watching. :bigsmile:

On a separate note, I did pull the trigger on a P-86 for my billion set. One a year is a good pace for this set.

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2 minutes ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

LOL, still too much for me but I'll keep watching. :bigsmile:

Yeah... Not happening for me either. I think I'd think about it if it got to $200. lol

4 minutes ago, Fenntucky Mike said:

On a separate note, I did pull the trigger on a P-86 for my billion set. One a year is a good pace for this set.

Aww! <3 I love the P-86. It has a good look. I like the colors and it has a special place in my heart because it's part of the story with the P-89 and my wife's "Billions" and "Trillions" confusion.

Since my wife did me the favor of getting me a new, higher grade P-89 I think I'm going to be forced, at some point, to upgrade my P-83 and P-85 and remove the rest of those old, lower grade (Hahahah, 65 EPQ is "lower grade") notes I picked up in late 2015. As the number of holes in my signature set is shrinking towards zero its getting more tempting to circle back and beef up some of the weaker notes and keep the 3rd dollar set competitive. When I got some of those in 2015 I was just picking up some of the higher denom notes for giggles and I wasn't thinking this set would turn into what it has become.

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