Turn over at the executive/legislative level always seems to be high, whether due to term limits, scandal or forced retirement and the NBU is no exception. On July 16, 2020 the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine confirmed Kyrylo Shevchenko's appointment as Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, replacing Yakiv Smoliy. The process is much the same as it is here in the States, the President taps someone on the shoulder, they are grilled before a committee and then a vote to confirm. The previous Governor of the NBU was an old regime appointee and, according to him, was forced to resign. Since the establishment of an Independent Ukrainian government in 1991 there have been 12 sitting Governors averaging a whopping 2.5 years per term. Although, the average term length for the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury is only slightly longer at 2.9 years but it has been more stable in recent decades. At any rate the appointment of a new Governor means the same thing to Ukrainian note collectors as a new Secretary of the Treasury means to U.S. note collectors.... A new signature.
With a new signature comes a new Pick # (TBD) and another note to collect! Although the change happened last summer I had not been expecting a new note right away, especially with the final new series note just being released earlier in the year (2019, 200 Hryven was released in February 2020) and several being released at the tail end of 2019. Ukrainians were sitting on a nice pile of newly designed/freshly printed notes, then COVID hits and cash usage plummets, to be honest I'm slightly surprised that a new run of notes is being printed so soon considering the circumstances. At any rate, I'll take it. Drum roll please, the first note issued with the new signature of the current sitting Governor is, the 500 Hryven note! This makes sense since it was a high denomination, with a low number printed and was one of the first notes released, (February of 2019, dated 2018) along with the 20 Hryven note. So far I have only seen the new notes with prefix EA, the NBU BPMW (Banknote Printing and Minting Works) is not as transparent as the BEP, so it is tough to come up with run/block numbers and totals printed.
While we're on the subject of a new signature/notes and also Pick #'s, the # for this note has yet to be determined and although I'm calling this a new series note but the design has been used since 2015, starting with Pick # 127a. The previous series (2006 - 2015) 500 Hryven notes were Pick #'s 124a - d, with the last printing in early 2015 prior to Pick # 127a being printed and released later that year.
Pick #124d, the last note of that series. Ended early 2015.
Pick # 127a, the first note of the new series. Began late 2015.
In 2018 the same series note was printed with a new signature. At the time I acquired this note the Pick # was Unlisted and to the best of my knowledge is still Unlisted 3 years later.
Which means we'll have a second note of this series/denomination with an unlisted Pick #. If I was to use common sense, I would guess that the 2018 note would eventually become #127b and the 2021 note #127c but some of the new Pick #'s being assigned to the new series notes have been kind of screwy and the registry slots aren't making sense to me yet with separate slots available, in the 1917 - Date Issued Notes Complete set, for the Pick #127a and the UNL (2018) 500 Hryven note. This is most likely due to the delays with Pick #'s, so I'm just going to wait it out for now until they are assigned for the two newest notes of this series. I feel like I've walked a thousand miles for this note, havering the whole way.