by Björn Schöpe
January 9, 2014 – According to the media the Bank of Russia has thought about introducing a symbol for the rouble similar to the symbols of the British pound sterling, the US dollar or, today, the euro, already in the 1990s. However, there were other urgent problems at the time. But now the bank has picked up the idea.
After choosing 5 top candidates out of over 1,000 designs the bank let the public decide on its website. A clear majority of the participants voted for an R (the Cyrillic ‘R’ looks like a ‘P’ in Latin script) with a horizontal line.
In the mid of December the new symbol was presented to the public and will be used from now on in official documents and on computer keyboards. Although it is not clear right now, when the symbol will appear on the banknotes, for 2014 a coin is scheduled that will carry the rouble sign into the wallets of the population. The sign shall rise attention and underline the international importance of the currency.
In 2010 it was India who introduced an official symbol for its currency, the rupee. (By the way, the symbol also reminds a Latin ‘R’ with two horizontal lines.) The motives had been similar. When the rupee was soon in a free fall, though, India’s astrologers knew why: the day when the sign was adopted was an inauspicious day and the horizontal lines seemed to slit the throat of the sign.
We can only hope that the Central Bank of Russia consulted the astrologers consulted at an early stage. Unfortunately, however, the bank has apparently forgotten to publish at least a press release on its English website. We hope nevertheless that the world will hear about this new symbol and that the bank has not slit the throat of its new symbol right at the start.
This article is based on an article of the Wall Street Journal.
The Washington Post wrote on the rupee symbol and the judgment of the astrologers.
Maybe the Bank of Russia has published a press release on this subject in the meantime. In that case you should find it here.