The ruble was the currency of the Russian Empire and of the Soviet Union (as the Soviet ruble). Today, apart from Russia, Belarus and Transnistria use currencies with the same name. The ruble was the world's first decimal currency: it was decimalised in 1704 when the ruble became legally equal to 100 kopeks.
In 1992 the Soviet ruble (code: SUR) was replaced with the Russian ruble (code: RUR) at the rate 1 SUR = 1 RUR. In 1998 preceding the financial crisis, the Russian ruble was redenominated with the new code "RUB" and was exchanged at the rate of 1 RUB = 1,000 RUR.
The ruble is the oldest national currency after the Pound sterling. The ruble has been used in the Russian territories since the 13th century. The modern Russian ruble actually appeared in December 1991 in parallel with the Soviet ruble, which remained in circulation until September 1993. All Soviet coins issued in 1961–1991, respectively, as well as 1-, 2- and 3-kopek coins, issued before 1961, formally remained legal tender until 31 December 1998, and in 1999–2001 they were exchanged for Russian ruble in the ratio of 1000:1.
Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet ruble remained the currency of the Russian Federation until 1992. A new set of coins was issued in 1992 and a new set of banknotes was issued in the name of Bank of Russia in 1993. The "Russian ruble" with the ISO 4217 code RUR and number 810 replaced the Soviet ruble at the rate 1 SUR = 1 RUR.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation introduced new coins in 1992 in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 rubles. The coins depict the double-headed eagle without a crown, sceptre and globus cruciger above the legend "Банк России" ("Bank of Russia"). It is exactly the same eagle that the artist Ivan Bilibin painted after the February Revolution as the coat of arms for the Russian Republic. The 1- and 5-ruble coins were minted in brass-clad steel, the 10- and 20-ruble coins in cupro-nickel, and the 50- and 100-ruble coins were bimetallic (aluminium-bronze and cupro-nickel-zinc). In 1993, aluminium-bronze 50-ruble coins and cupro-nickel-zinc 100-ruble coins were issued, and the material of 10- and 20-ruble coins was changed to nickel-plated steel. In 1995 the material of 50-ruble coins was changed to brass-plated steel, but the coins were minted with the old date 1993. As high inflation persisted, the lowest denominations disappeared from circulation and the other denominations became rarely used.