Russian Paper Money Assignations, introduced early in the reign of Catharine II., about the year 1770, principally to carry on the wars against the Turks. The standard currency was then as now the silver ruble, and the paper assignations on the banks - likewise founded by Catharine - were to represent in full the standard silver coin. But they soon fell until the assignation ruble was worth only one half, one third, and finally one fourth of the original value; and thus it became necessary to specify the nature of the ruble in all transactions. From 1787 the use of assignations as currency was general. In the reign of Paul I. the merchants of St. Petersburg, foreign and domestic, refused to receive assignations at the government standard in payment. Stringent ukases for facilitating the circulation of assignations all over the empire proved unsuccessful, and at the death of Paul (1801), and during the greater part of the reign of Alexander I., the assignation ruble was generally worth one fourth of the silver. During the wars against Napoleon the issue of assignations increased excessively, but no considerable additional depreciation took place.
With peace the assignations rose, and finally the government fixed the standard at 3 rubles 60 copecks, either of copper or assignations, for a silver ruble, one assignation ruble equalling 100 copecks copper, and four copecks copper making one of silver. On account of the facility of carrying large amounts in paper, the assignations soon came into such demand as to be worth a premium. This premium naturally increased with the distance inland, and the fluctuations were so irregular that in 1839 a ukase regulated the value of the assignations at 3 1/2 to 1 silver, and ordered that henceforth the silver ruble should be the legal unit in all negotiations and legal documents; that a new paper money, called "bills of credit," should be issued, and the old assignations gradually withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. This was accomplished.