Monday, May 11, 2009
The Moscow Times reports that Russia will replace copper coins with coins made of steel in an effort to save money. The price of copper is more than ten times that of steel.
"Starting from the second quarter of 2009, 1-, 2- and 5-ruble coins made out of steel with a nickel covering will come into circulation," the Central Bank said in a statement, without giving a reason for the change.The ruble has been surging in recent weeks after a "near-death" experience earlier in the year. This move should bolster confidence in the currency...
"The graphic design and the size of the new coins will remain unchanged," the statement said.
Russia's smallest coins are worth just 1 kopek -- or one-100th of a ruble. You would need nearly 200 of those just to buy the cheapest box of matches in a Moscow supermarket and over 1,000 for the least expensive loaf of bread.
The Central Bank has previously said it is looking into the possibility of scrapping 1- and 5-kopek coins, as production costs are more than 10 times higher than their nominal value.