National Currency

After independence, Lithuania switched to a full fledged national currency, the litas (Lt). The litas was introduced on June 25, 1993 and valid till December 31, 2014. Currency comes in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 litas notes. Coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 centas and one, two and five litas coins.

National currency was used 21 years. Lithuania adopted the euro on 1 January 2015.

Description of banknotes valid till December 31 2014

One Litas note (issued 1994)
Front. The right hand side of the note bears a portrait of the great Lithuanian writer Zemaite (Julija Beniuseviciute Zymantiene, 1845-1921), noted for her portrayal of rural life. The words LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) are inscribed within the upper 8 mm wide ornamental band, and VIENAS LITAS (one Litas) within the lower band. Signatures above the inscriptions FINANSU MINISTRAS (Minister of Finance) and LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairperson of the Board) are located on the lower left hand side of the note.
Back. The left hand side of the note bears a drawing of the Church of St. Joseph in Paluse (1747-1757, Folk Baroque), a masterpiece of wooden architecture. The coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania a mounted knight is located on the right hand side.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Giedrius Jonaitis.

Two Litas note (issued 1993)
Front. The right hand side of the note bears a portrait of Bishop Motiejus Valancius (1801-1875), a historian and educator who, during the years of Czarist repression, helped strengthen Lithuanian national identity, religious faith, and temperance. The words LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) are inscribed within the upper 8 mm wide ornamental band, and DU LITAI (two Litas) within the lower band. Signatures above the inscriptions FINANSU MINISTRAS (Ministre of Finance) and LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairperson of the Board) are located on the lower left hand side of the note.
Back. The left hand side of the note bears a drawing of the Castle of Trakai Island (14-15 th c.), once a residence of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the only water bound castle of its kind in Eastern Europe. The coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania a mounted knight is located on the right hand side.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Giedrius Jonaitis.

Five Litas note (issued 1993)
Front. The right hand side of the note bears a portrait of the famous Lithuanian linguist and father of the literary Lithuanian language Jonas Jablonskis (1860-1930). The words LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) are inscribed within the upper 8 mm wide ornamental band, and PENKI LITAI (five Litas) within the lower band. Signatures above the inscriptions FINANSU MINISTRAS (Minister of Finance) and LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairperson of the Board) are located on the lower left hand side of the note.
Back. The left hand side of the note bears an image of a famous sculpture by Petras Rimða (1881-1961) depicting a mother secretly teaching her child to read during the period when the Czarist regime prohibited the use of Lithuanian books printed in the Latin alphabet (1864-1904). The coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania a mounted knight is located on the right hand side.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Giedrius Jonaitis.

Ten Litas note (issued 1997)
Front. On the right-hand side the note bears a double portrait of pilots S.Darius and S.Girenas, national heroes of Lithuania, and the inscription of their names S.DARIUS and S.GIRENAS The top ornamental band has a denomination numeral 10 on the left and the inscription LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) in the centre. There are two numerals 10 on the left and on the right sides of the bottom ornamental band with the inscription DESIMT LITU (Ten Litas) positioned between them. A year of issue 1997, orange contoured numeral 10, inscription LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania) and his signature are placed to the left off the portrait. The front of the note contains yellow, blue, orange and green colours.
Back. The back of the note shows plane “Lituanica” flying over the Atlantic ocean, the coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania, denomination numeral 10 repeated three times and inscription DESIMT LITU (Ten Litas). The back of the note contains yellow, blue and green colours.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Giedrius Jonaitis.

Twenty Litas note (issued 1997)
Front. On the right-hand side the note bears a portrait of prelate Maironis (Jonas Maciulis, 1862-1932), distinguished Lithuanian poet, and the inscription of his name Maironis. The top ornamental band has a denomination numeral 20 on the left and the inscription LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) in the centre. There are two numerals 20 on the left and on the right sides of the bottom ornamental band with the inscription DVIDESIMT LITU (Twenty Litas) positioned between them. A year of issue 1997, green contoured numeral 20, inscription LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania) and his signature are placed to the left off the portrait. The front of the banknote contains reddish, bluish, brown and green colours.
Back. The back of the note shows the building of Kaunas War Museum with a belfry, statue of Liberty, coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania, denomination numeral 20 repeated three times and inscription DVIDESIMT LITU (Twenty Litas). The back of the banknote contains brown, greenish and grey colours.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Justas Tolvaisis and Giedrius Jonaitis.

Fifty Litas note (issued 1998)
Front. On the right-hand side the banknote bears a portrait of the national patriarch, scholar, statesman and signatory of Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence of February 16, 1918, Jonas Basanavicius (1851-1927). The top ornamental band has a denomination numeral 50 on the left and the inscription LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) in the centre. There are two numerals 50 on the left and on the right sides of the bottom ornamental band with the inscription PENKIASDESIMT LITU (Fifty Litas) positioned between them. The year of issue 1998, an orange contoured numeral 50, the inscription LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania) and his signature are placed to the left of the portrait. The front of the note contains brown, light orange, green and blue colours.
Back. On the left-hand side of the note: Vilnius Cathedral and Belfry, Gediminas Hill and Castle, the Hill of Three Crosses, Monument to the Grand Duke of Lithuania Gediminas. The coat of arms of the Republic of Lithuania and the numeral 50 are located on the upper right-hand side. The left and right bottom corners of the note contain two numerals 50 with the inscription PENKIASDESIMT LITU (Fifty Litas) between them. The back of the note contains brown, light orange, green and blue colours.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Giedrius Jonaitis and Rimvydas Bartkus.

One hundred Litas note (issued 2000)
Front. There is a portrait of Simonas Daukantas (1793-1864), the initiator of the national rebirth movement, historian, who has written the first history of Lithuania in the Lithuanian language on the right of the banknote. There are the inscriptions LIETUVOS BANKAS (BANK OF LITHUANIA) at the top and SIMTAS LITU (ONE HUNDRED LITAS) at the bottom of the banknote. At the left edge of the banknote vertically runs the inscription LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE BANK OF LITHUANIA) alongside with his signature and the year of issue 2000. The front of the banknote contains green, light brown and bluish colours.
Back. The picture of the Old Town of Vilnius, one of the largest in the Middle and East Europe, is presented on the back of the note. In the centre an architectural ensemble of Vilnius University, founded in 1579, with St. John’s church and the belfry is depicted. There are the inscriptions LIETUVOS BANKAS (BANK OF LITHUANIA) at the top and SIMTAS LITU (ONE HUNDRED LITAS) at the left edge of the note. The back of the banknote contains green, brown and bluish colours.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Rytis Valantinas.

Two hundred Litas note (issued 1997)
Front. On the right of the banknote there is a portrait of Vydunas (Vilhelmas Storosta, 1868-1953), a prominent Lithuanian philosopher, writer, poet, playwright, musician, pedagogue and culture educator. Vydunas was spreading idealistic philosophy and ideas of humanism through his works. There are the inscriptions LIETUVOS BANKAS (Bank of Lithuania) at the top and DU SIMTAI LITU (Two hundred Litas) at the bottom of the banknote. At the left edge of the banknote vertically runs the inscription LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania) alongside with his signature and year of issue 1997. The front of the banknote contains green, bluish and violet colours.
Back. On the left of the banknote an image of Klaipeda lighthouse erected in 1796 is depicted. After the reconstruction in 1819 the lighthouse became 29.2 m of height and its beams of 45 000 candlelight strength could cast light on the vast area of sea stretched up to 35 kilometres. In 1937 a radiogoniometric station was installed in the lighthouse. The lighthouse was not only a symbol of Klaipeda city but a main accent of the town as well willingly attended by tourists. Klaipeda lighthouse ceased to function before the World War II and has not survived today. The back of the banknote contains violet, greenish, brown and yellow colours.
Size of the note: 135×65 mm. Designed by Rytis Valantinas.

Five Hundred Litas note (issued 2000)
Front. There is a portrait of Vincas Kudirka (1858-1899), a Lithuanian writer, participant of the national rebirth movement and author of the Lithuanian national anthem on the right of the banknote. At the top is the inscription LIETUVOS BANKAS (BANK OF LITHUANIA), and at the bottom of the banknote, PENKI SIMTAI LITU (FIVE HUNDRED LITAS). At the left edge of the banknote runs a vertical inscription LIETUVOS BANKO VALDYBOS PIRMININKAS (CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE BANK OF LITHUANIA) alongside with his signature and the year of issue 2000. The front of the banknote contains red, violet and brown colours.
Back. Against the background of a view of Lithuanian nature, the back of the note contains an image of the Bell of the Freedom of Lithuania with the inscription: “Thou shall ring through the centuries to the children of Lithuania: he who does not defend freedom is not worthy of it”. At the top on the note runs the inscription LIETUVOS BANKAS (BANK OF LITHUANIA), and PENKI SIMTAI LITU (FIVE HUNDRED LITAS) at the right edge of the note. The back of the banknote contains red, dark red and green brown colours.
Size of the note: 147×70 mm. Designed by Giedrius Jonaitis.

In the picture you can see the oldest silver coins that were used in Lithuania till the 14th century – “kapos” (from the word “hack”). Most probably the cuts were made in order to check the quality of silver and make sure that the inner part of it is made of silver too.

For more information about Lithuanian banknotes and coins please visit Bank of Lithuania web site at http://www.lbank.lt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *