Statistics on the prevalence of different types of security coded thread on ukrainian 50, 100, 200, 500 Hryven banknotes of 2014-2019*.
* – in this article, the year of the banknote is the year printed on the banknote itself (as opposed to the actual year of its introduction, which may differ).
Security coded thread is one of the numerous security features used on Ukrainian banknotes. The National Bank of Ukraine defines it in its documents as follows (using the example of the description of the 500 UAH banknote 2006): it is a polymeric strip completely immersed in the thickness of the paper, on which transparent images are placed in straight and inverted form: “500 UAH”, a trident and an underlined numerical denomination of the denomination “500”. The thread has a code for detecting the authenticity and denomination of banknotes.
Security thread on the 2014 UAH 200 banknote
As you know, Ukrainian hryvnia banknotes of the third (2003-2015) and fourth (2014-2022) generations have two types of security coded thread, which differ from each other by the presence of vertical lines around the banknote denomination and the small emblem of Ukraine.
Security threads of the first (top) and second (bottom) types on 50 UAH banknotes
From the beginning of the issuance of the third series banknotes, only a thread with dashes can be seen on the higher denominations, while on the corresponding banknotes of the fourth series after 2019, only a thread without dashes is found.
At the same time, some banknotes issued in 2014-2015 with the signature of NBU Governor Valeria Hontareva and in 2019 with the signature of NBU Governor Yakiv Smoliy have both types of ribbon, and it is this period of Ukrainian banknotes that will be the subject of this article.
Signatures of NBU Governors Valeria Hontareva (left) and Yakiv Smolii (right)
The material for the study was collected in the city of Rivne in October-November 2022, with a total statistical volume of 13110 banknotes of the period under study.
First, a few words about banknotes of other denominations. All of the 1, 2, 5, and 10 UAH banknotes that I had the opportunity to examine use a single type of security thread with a translucent background in the segment where the denomination figures are printed. Higher denomination banknotes starting at UAH 20 have a dark monochromatic tape with the denomination printed in light font. Both types of ribbon can be found on the 20 UAH banknotes, but they are clearly differentiated: all third-generation banknotes have security thread with dashes, and all fourth-generation banknotes have thread without dashes. Finally, all 1000 hryvnia banknotes use a thread without dashes. Of course, it cannot be ruled out that there are banknotes with other types of thread, but I have never seen them, and, therefore, the study of these denominations is beyond the scope of this article.
Thus, the distribution of third- and fourth-generation banknotes by type of security thread in terms of years of issue is as follows:
|Only type 1|
|Types 1 and 2|
Only type 2
* – banknotes of the 4th generation are marked in italics
As at least five new “holes” in the collections of those who collect Ukrainian banknotes of all possible varieties appear, a logical question arises: how rare are the types of security thread on banknotes of different denominations? It is also obvious that the frequency of these types will determine the value of the respective banknotes.
Let’s start with the 200 UAH banknote.
Both types of thread are found on the 2014 banknotes signed by Valeria Gontareva. We examined 3,010 banknotes of this type, of which 1,261 (or 41.9%) had security thread with dashes and 1,749 (or 58.1%) had security thread without dashes. Such statistics make it easy to find both versions of the banknotes in circulation. Interestingly, banknotes with series beginning with C and T always have security thread with dashes, while banknotes with series beginning with X and Z are found exclusively with thread without dashes. Banknotes with a series beginning with U come with both the first and second types of security thread, with banknotes of the first series (UA, UB, UV) accounting for almost two-thirds of the total number of banknotes with security thread with dashes, while in the series UE, UM, UN, UP, UR, UV, and UX I have come across only banknotes without dashes.
Both versions of the security thread are also found on the 2014 50 UAH banknotes signed by Valeria Gontareva and the 2019 50 UAH banknotes signed by Yakiv Smoliy.
In 2014, banknotes with dashes were more common (among the 1517 banknotes of this period, 1235 or 81.4% were such), while banknotes without dashes were not as common (282 or 18.6%). In the series beginning with U, banknotes without dashes make up only 9.4% (66 out of 699 banknotes studied) against 90.6% (633 out of 699) of banknotes with dashes. In the F series, the ratio is not as large: here, banknotes with dashes make up 73.6% (602 out of 818), and banknotes without dashes – respectively 26.4% (216 out of 818). I came across unmarked banknotes in 5 out of 16 series in U, with almost 97% of them in the series UZH, UZ and UI. However, such banknotes are found in all ten series in F, most of all in the series FV, FD and FE (they account for almost 61% of all unmarked banknotes among all series in F).
I had the least material on the 50 UAH 2019 banknotes signed by Smoliy, only 126 pieces, of which 111 pieces (or 88.1%) were without dashes and 15 pieces (or 11.9%) with dashes. The banknotes with dashes were found in four of the five known series of this type (except for AB, but the AB series itself is the least common in circulation), and more than half of all the found ones are from the AB series.
Among the 500 UAH banknotes, both variants were found in 2015 (Hontareva’s signature, old type).
I examined 4254 of these banknotes, of which 4066 (or 95.6%) had a security thread without a dashes and 188 (or 4.4%) had a tape with a dashes. Banknotes with dashes were found in all 11 series of banknotes of this type, most often in the UG and UI series.
Finally, the most interesting of all the types with both types of thread is the 2014 100 UAH banknote signed by Hontareva (new type).
Out of the 4203 banknotes of this type that I studied, 4146 (or 98.6%) had a security thread without dashes, while only 57 (or 1.4% of the total number of such banknotes) had a thread with dashes. Given that they have been in circulation for more than 7 years, and that there is about one note per 74,000 hryvnia notes of 2014 with dashes, finding such a banknote in collectible condition will be quite a challenge.
In addition to the banknotes with two types of protective thread, I came across two banknotes with a single dash on the thread: the 50 UAH 2014 banknote FE 9371902 has no front dash (on the face value side),
and on the 200 UAH banknote 2014 SI 0821787, the back line (on the side of the small coat of arms) is missing. On the latter note, four small dots can be seen in the place of one of the missing lines, which suggests that this is most likely a technological defect in the production of the thread itself.
Finally, I will briefly summarize the above in the form of a table:
|Year||NBU Head||Generation||A rarer type||Rarity %|
|100 UAH||2014||Gontareva||4||With dashes||1,4|
|200 UAH||2014||Gontareva||3||With dashes|
|500 UAH||2015||Gontareva||3||With dashes|
Images of the banknotes are taken from the official website of the National Bank of Ukraine.
Author of the research and publication:
48 years old, Rivne, Ukraine
Bonist, numismatist with 40 years of experience,
winner of the IBNS quiz about Ukrainian banknotes (2021).
For contact: Alex Harvat, firstname.lastname@example.org