The Hryvnia, also spelled sometimes as Hryvna or Grivna, is a Ukrainian currency that was introduced by the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) on September 2, 1996. Hryvnia replaced a temporary currency ‘Coupon’ (or ‘Karbovanets’), used in Ukraine right after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
Karbovanets suffered a hyperinflation in 1996. I still remember paying for a bread loaf about 90,000 ‘Karbovantsiv’ (plural for ‘Karbovanets’). The Ukrainian Hryvnia replaced Karbovanets at a rate of 100,000 to 1 on 16 September 1996. Since then, Hryvnia has been the only acceptable currency in Ukraine. It is a relatively new currency, though the roots go back to Kievan Rus (9th – 13th centuries), with Kiev being the capital. In those days, Hryvnia was a silver ingot of 160-200 grams.
There are bills for 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 Hryvnias (plural for Hryvia).
There are coins called ‘kopiyka‘ for 1, 2, 5 10, 25, and 50 kopiykas. 1 kopiyka is equal to 1/100 of Hryvnia. Also there are 1, 2 and 5 Hryvnia coins as well as some commemorative collectible coins.
Recently, the National Bank of Ukraine has released a series of commemorative coins for UEFA EURO 2012. There are 12 coins in the series. Eleven coins in gold, silver and nickel silver have been officially put into circulation, and a coin with a face value of one hryvnia will be issued in early 2012 (source: “UEFA EURO 2012 gains new currency in Ukraine”, published: Friday 23 December 2011, 11.00 CET, http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/news/newsid=1737681.html).
The exchange rate for Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH) to 1 US Dollar (USD) initially was UAH 1.76 = USD 1.00.
Now it’s 8 UAH = 1 USD.