Pysanka Coins


There have now been two sets of pysanka coins, those issued by Ukraine and Canada.

The Ukrainian coins were issued into circulation on April 16, 2009 by the National Bank of Ukraine.  The coins were silver, and issued in 5 and 20 hryvnia denominations.The following information and pictures are from the NBU website.

“The commemorative coins are dedicated to pysanka-making art (Easter egg decoration) being a striking example of creative work in Ukrainian traditional art and having peculiar ornamentation patterns and scales of colours in each ethnographic region of Ukraine.”  

20 Hryvnia Coin

On the coin obverse there are the Small National Emblem of Ukraine and semicircular inscription НАЦІОНАЛЬНИЙ БАНК УКРАЇНИ (National Bank of Ukraine). Below that, and against a background of rushnyky (Ukrainian embroidered ritual cloths), there is a plate of pysanky decorated with plant and geometric motifs specific to various regions of Ukraine. At the bottom there is the legend 20/ГРИВЕНЬ/2009 (20 hryvnias).


On the coin reverse, the outer edge is decorated with a pysanka-like ornamentation pattern and whose inner contour line forms the egg. In the center there is a woman (pysanka maker) ornamenting an egg and a sitting girl observing her. On the ornamental circumference there are the legends: УКРАЇНСЬКА (Ukrainian) on the left and ПИСАНКА (pysanka) on the right.


5 Hryvnia Coin

On the coin observe, against the dark background, there are the Small National Emblem of Ukraine (on the left) and a section of a pysanka.  Below, against the light background, there are the coin face value 5 ГРИВЕНЬ (5 hryvnias) and issue year 2009, together with a section of a pysanka. The dark and light parts are separated by a decorative band and the legend НАЦІОНАЛЬНИЙ БАНК УКРАЇНИ (National Bank of Ukraine).


On the coin reverse there is an Easter still life: on a rushnyk  there is a paska (Easter bread) with a candle thereon, encircled with eggs. Over them there is the legend УКРАЇНСЬКА ПИСАНКА (Ukrainian pysanka). Above, in the top half of the coin, there is a pysanka between bands of traditional pysanka ornamentation patterns specific to Lemkivshchyna, Bukovyna, Hutsulshchyna, etc. 



Designers and engravers of the 20 hryvnia coin: Anatolii Demianenko, Volodymyr Atamanchuk.

Designers of the 5 hryvnia coin: Volodymyr Taran, Oleksandr Kharuk, Serhii Kharuk.

Engravers of the 5 hryvnia coin: Anatolii Demianenko, Volodymyr Demianenko.

The Canadian twenty dollar silver coins were released in 2016 and 2017 by the Canadian mint.  The 2016 coin was sold out before even becoming available to the general public (despite retailing at over 100 dollars); the 2017 coin was offered to the general public, and quickly sold out.  Both coins were egg shaped, and meant to be collectibles.

2016:  A “Hutsul” design, actually designed by Canadian pysankarka Ann Morash in the Hutsul style. “With its handcrafted beauty, rich symbolism and colorful patterns, the pysanka egg is one of the beloved forms of traditional Ukrainian folk art, and a unique celebration of spring! On the 125th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint celebrates this time-honored Easter tradition and the awe-inspiring artistry behind each masterpiece.  Launch date:  February 2, 2016.”

2017: a purely diasporan design, once again created by Ann Morash.   “Through its colourful artistry, this egg-shaped coin pays tribute to Ukrainian-Canadian culture through an art form that has become a cherished part of Canada's vibrant multicultural heritage..... Positioned within four triangular segments are golden blades of wheat, which convey best wishes for harvest and the soul of the clan. Beneath this overlay, the field is filled with the geometric figures that represent the sun and stars, to symbolize life, fortune and growth. These are framed by bands of waves that celebrate water as a life-sustaining element and harmony, which are in turn framed by evergreen boughs positioned along the edge, to symbolize eternal health and youth.”

2018: the Canadian knows a good idea when it sees one; the last two pysanka coins sold out quite quickly, so it’s continuing the series.  This pysanka does not make any pretensions of tradition; yes, the symbols a vaguely traditional, but their placement and actual depiction are not.  Ruzhi with round centers?  And what are in those secodnary rows?


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