*Denomination: 500 Rubles Year of First Issue: Never Issued (Specimen) Governing Body: Provisional Government
The 500 Ruble banknote above that was never issued into circulation was designed by the American Bank Note Company which was headquartered in New York at the time. This banknote was supposed to be another denomination that accompanied the 25 Ruble and 100 Ruble banknotes of 1918, which were briefly circulated. However, the overthrow of the Provisional Government in the October Revolution discussed below prevented the issue of the 500 Ruble note and the design became a Specimen of the American Bank Note Company that is very rare.
*After the Provisional Government issued the 20, 40, 250, and 1000 Ruble notes of 1917, the government began work on developing more standardized, more typical notes for itself that resembled the banknotes that were used by other countries. At that point, it contracted with the American Bank Note Company to produce its new notes.
*At the time, the American Bank Note Company was the largest engraver of national currency and postage stamps in the world. In the past, it had already produced banknotes for countries like the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, among many others. Once it contracted with the Provisional Government, the American Bank Note Company created designs for a 25, 50, 100, 250, 500 (seen above), and 1000 Ruble notes that all had standard designs. The engraving and printing was planned to take place in 1918 and the notes were scheduled for circulation in 1919, the date printed on the front of each specimen.
*However, only the 100 Ruble note and the 25 Ruble note of 1918 were put into circulation. Although the American Bank Note Company was in the process of creating the other denominations, the October Revolution in 1917 overthrew the Provisional Government. Because of the Revolution, only the 25 Ruble and 100 Ruble denomination notes were left as remnants of the Provisional Government's attempt to print new banknotes - the other designs and denominations were left in the archives of the American Bank Note Company and stayed as un-issued specimens that are considered very rare to this date. These specimens can be purchased in high-end auctions, but are very expensive.