Riga, 29 September 2008

On 1 October 2008 the Bank of Latvia releases into general circulation a new issue of 10-lats banknotes with security features already used in the banknotes of other denominations. The Bank of Latvia replenishes the stock of banknotes and coins of various denominations on a regular basis in order to meet the demand of the economy for respective denominations and, at the same time, to enhance the security of banknotes. All banknotes issued by the Bank of Latvia have legal tender status in the Republic of Latvia.

Information about the new 10-lats banknotes and security features incorporated in the banknotes is available on the Bank of Latvia website under "Latvian Money".

Distinctive features of the new banknote


First, the new banknote will be better protected against counterfeiting.  
A security feature previously used in 5-lats and 20-lats banknotes -
an embedded mark - is incorporated in the new banknote. The obverse of the banknote features two inscriptions of the nominal value "10" above the see-through register, a stylised oak-leaf.
The nominal "10" is printed in special colour-shifting ink, which produces an optical effect of changing colours depending on the angle of viewing.
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. 

Why is a new 10-lats banknote necessary?

A new issue of 10-lats banknotes is necessary to meet the needs of the economy for banknotes of this denomination. Depending on the circulation intensity and denomination, the life time of banknotes is from 1 to 5 years, around 1.6 years specifically for 10-lats banknotes. The Bank of Latvia is strongly interested in circulating clean money of high quality. That is why in 2007, for instance, 4.6 million 10-lats banknotes, 51 million banknotes since 1993, have been withdrawn from circulation and destroyed. 

Major security features of new banknotes

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 (with or without holographic inscriptions of denomination) across the full width of the banknote; the band acquires different shades in the banknotes of latest issues;
- 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 used in the new 10-lats banknotes and banknotes of other denominations, are used. Further information is available on the Bank of Latvia website under "Latvian Money".

Shall the existing banknotes be exchanged for the new ones?

In the future, 10-lats banknotes issued in 1992, 2000 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 only those banknotes that are damaged or of deteriorating quality. It is not necessary to exchange old banknotes for the new ones. 

Where are the new 10-lats banknotes printed?

The new 10-lats banknotes are printed by the same company that printed the previous Latvian paper money, i.e. Giesecke&Devrient, Germany. 

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

When replenishing the stock of banknotes of other denominations, new security features will be used, yet substantial changes in currency design are not to be expected. At present, a new issue of 500-lats banknotes is in the making.