1. Ryabchenko catalogue is a general catalogue of RUSSIAN (territory of the former Soviet Union) notes (central, provincial, city and private issues) and includes also some notes of adjacent territories which a Russian (Soviet) collector considers as "his own".  The catalogue has 670 pages and 27,988 entries. Texts including a preface with Ukrainian historical background are in Russian. Very few black and white illustrations are included. The notes are evaluated for one grade only, in $US. It is supposed that the collector himself knows to what grade the cited price refers, so the level of subjectivity in pricing for different grades is much higher than in the Pick catalogue. Notes are marked with the Russian letter "F" if contemporary forgeries are known. Modern local note from the period from 1987 to 1992, the so-called kolhoz notes, are also placed in this catalogue (1995 issue), which was first issued in 1991. The current issue is the fullest catalogue of Russian notes at present and is logically and systematically organized. Additions have been issued recently.




2. Chouchin F.G. was a Commissioner for philately and banknotes in  Soviet Russia in the 20s. As the government was in need of funds, the commissioner was charged to find the resources through the organization of a campaign of promotion and sales of material in a network of shops. The main philatelic shop was located in Moscow at Nr 3, 1st Yamskaya-Tverskaya St.. (the building still exists near the "Mayakovskaya" subway station in the centre of Moscow).  This was also the office of the Commissioner and of the journal "THE SOVIET PHILATELIST" of which he was a managing director. The material was sold actively abroad. Chouchin was also the editor at that time of the 3rd edition (the 2nd edition had been rather primitive) of  a catalogue of Russian paper money 1769-1927 in which  the notes are evaluated in silver kopecks and roubles (one rouble was a silver coin of 20 gr. of weight, 90% purity)  for one grade only.  It seems that in the 20s the collectors strove to put only the best quality notes in their collections and, in fact, the catalogue was actually prepared by a group of experts in banknotes. The language used is Russian. The section of Polish notes is in Russian and Polish. No illustrations are available. This small catalogue (128 pages, but 12 240 entries) has been a desk-book for generations of Soviet collectors of paper money. Later it was joined by the Kardakoff catalogue used to a lesser extent. The catalogue under consideration is included Pick’s bibliography.


The notes sold through the Chouchin shops were stamped, usually in red, on the front or back "FOR COLLECTION". According to the opinion prevailing here the above stamp does not downgrade the stamped note.




3. The Kardakoff catalogue for Russian and Baltics States notes (444 pages  in all)  was published in Berlin 1953 with text in Russian and in German. The notes are priced in gold DM for one grade only.  Why only one grade? It seems that it is due to the fact that at that time exact grading was not so important.  No illustrations of notes are available. However, at the end of the catalogue (pp.405-420) there is a large section which provides collectors with an orientation on the designations (signatures etc.) seen on Bukhara and Khiva notes. One cannot help mentioning the inclusion  in the catalogue of an interesting section named "Later application of Russian paper money for outside purposes" (in German -- Spaeterre Verwendung der Russischen Geldscheine fuer andere Zwecke).   Notes are marked with the letter "F" if contemporary forgeries are known. The catalogue under consideration is in bibliography to the Pick catalogue. The author was a veteran collector and dealer in paper money. 


4. Catalogue of Russian  notes by V.M. Sokolov (from Rostov) und M.L.Ivanov (from Kharkov) issued at the end of the  20s in Sverdlovsk and Rostov on Don comprising mainly private issues is of limited use. It has been superceded by the Ryabchenko catalogue.


5. "Catalogue of paper money of Russia, RSFSR and USSR" by Evgueniy S. Kirichenko published in Kiev in 1988 is of limited use now. It has been superceded by the Ryabchenko catalogue. The notes are evaluated in relative units. It is the only catalogue with indications which grade is possible to find for this or that note.


6. "Catalogue of Russian notes" by Vadim A. VLASSOV published in Rostov on Don in 1992. (137 pages) is of limited use. The notes are evaluated in relative units.


7. "Catalogue of paper money having circulated during Soviet power in the period 1917-1960" by Evgueniy N. De-Tilot published in Odessa in 1988 is of limited use.


8. Catalogue of "Paper money having circulated in the Ukraine" by Dr. A.S. Badaev published in Chernigov in 1991 is of limited use. The notes are evaluated in relative units.


9. "USSR paper money (1917-1982)" by M. Kowalski, 1983, in Polish is of limited use.


10. "Catalogue des Monnaies emises sur le Territoire de la Russie" by Ch. Denis published in Paris in 1927 IS NOT USED BY RUSSIAN COLLECTORS although it is in bibliography to the Pick catalogue.


11. "Catalogue of Paper Money of Russia and USSR" by Vassyukov et al., 1993, Moscow????


Summing one one can tell that nowadays the Russian (former USSR) collectors use the following catalogues for practical purposes:


1. Pick catalogue (copies of RUSSIA pages are usually at hand at the meetings).


2. Ryabchenko catalogue (The book is usually at hand at the meetings).


If it concerns any kind of clarification or unusual cases the Chuchin and Kardakoff catalogues are consulted. Other sources are of rather limited application. One cannot help stating that the Pick catalogue has acquired significance only in recent years since dollar prices had no meaning in a totalitarian state of universal state property.  It should be mentioned, however, that only catalogues with evaluations are included in this article and not JUST BOOKS on Russian paper money.  Many old generation collectors in Russia state that they do not need any catalogue for evaluation as their practical experience surpasses that of the authors of the catalogues. Are they right?


© 1996-2003 Mikhail Istomin,  Kharkov, Ukraine


IBNS 6811