lv

Riga, 16 January 2009

On 19 January 2009, the Bank of Latvia releases into circulation a new issue of 500-lats banknotes incorporating security features already used in the banknotes of other denominations. When necessary, the Bank of Latvia replenishes the stock of banknotes and coins, enhancing security of the banknotes at the same time. All banknotes issued by the Bank of Latvia have the status of legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. 

What are the distinctive features of the new banknote?

First, the new banknote is even better protected against counterfeiting.
Similar to other banknotes of recent issues, the metallic clear text window thread is wider and contains the inscriptions "Ls 500", which become visible when the banknote is viewed against the light, and the holograms "Ls".
A transparent window and thermal effect, the security features used in the 100-lats banknote of 2007, are incorporated. The transparent window features three stars in a semicircle on a light background and the lettering "Ls" in four displaced lines on a dark background. The inscription "500" in the left bottom corner on the obverse of the new 500-lats banknote acquires a different shade under the impact of heat.
Second, the year of printing of the new banknote is 2008. It bears the facsimile signature of Ilmars Rimsevics, Governor of the Bank of Latvia.

What are major security features of lats banknotes?

The security features are similar in all banknotes:
- a watermark
with the portrait of a Latvian folk-maid in profile;
- a metallic clear text window thread across the full width of the banknote, which becomes visible when the banknote is viewed against the light;
- a latent image - the denomination incorporated in the ornamental band composed of the motif of Lielvārde belt, which is visible when the banknote is viewed at an angle against the light.
Other security features visible without any special auxiliary device, e.g. those incorporated in the new 500-lats banknote and other banknotes, are used. Further information is available on the Bank of Latvia web site under "Latvian Money". 

Shall the existing banknotes be exchanged for the new ones?

In the future, 500-lats banknotes issued in 1992 and 2008 will be in circulation. All banknotes remain legal tender in the Republic of Latvia. The Bank of Latvia will continue to withdraw from circulation and destroy those banknotes that are damaged or of deteriorating quality. It is not necessary to exchange the old banknotes for the new ones. 

Where are the new 500-lats banknotes printed?

The new 500-lats banknotes are printed by the same company that printed the previous Latvian paper money, i.e. Giesecke&Devrient in Germany.

Are any other new banknotes or banknote design changes to be expected?

New security features will be introduced also in the future, yet substantial changes in the banknote design are not to be expected.