The Russian Issues of 1909 represent some of the last notes issued by an empire in a state of decline--more on this later. These banknotes were issued by the Czarist government from 1909 until the collapse in 1917, and are some of the most ornate and beautifully decorated notes of the time period.
This series marks a good starting point for the beginner collector primarily due to their availability and low prices. Each particular issue (the 5, 10, and 25 ruble notes) will be covered in a later post, but overall one might reasonably expect to pay between $1 and $20 depending on specimen and condition. The concepts of rarity and condition (including grading methodology) will be explained in a later post, but for now I wanted to give you an example of the types of collectables that came out of these empires.
Here's an example, the 5-ruble issue of 1909 ( this specimen actually issued 1912-1917--more on this later)