CATALOGUES USED BY RUSSIAN COLLECTORS
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
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
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
2. Ryabchenko catalogue (The book is usually at hand at
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