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Latvian lats

Latvian lats
Latvijas lats (Latvian)
The standard version of the 1 lats coin bore a salmon
ISO 4217 code LVL
Central bank Bank of Latvia
 Website .lv.bankwww
User(s) None, previously:
Inflation -0.4%
 Source ECB,[1] April 2013
 Since 2 May 2005[2]
 Fixed rate since 1 January 2005
 Replaced by €, cash 1 January 2014[3]
= Ls 0.702800 (Irrevocable)
 1/100 santīms
Symbol Ls (before numerals)
 santīms s (after numerals)
Plural lati (nom. pl.) or latu (gen. pl.)
 santīms santīmi (nom. pl.) or santīmu (gen. pl.)
Coins 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 santīmu, 1, 2 lati
 Freq. used 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 latu
 Rarely used 500 latu
This infobox shows the latest status before this currency was rendered obsolete.

The lats (plural: lati (2–9) latu (10 and more)), ISO 4217 currency code: LVL or 428) was the currency of Latvia until it was replaced by the euro on 1 January 2014. A two-week transition period during which the lats was in circulation alongside the euro ended on 14 January 2014.[3] It is abbreviated as Ls and was subdivided into 100 santīmi (singular: santīms; from French centime).


  • First lats, 1922–1940 1
    • Coins 1.1
    • Banknotes 1.2
  • Second lats, 1992–2013 2
    • Coins 2.1
    • Banknotes 2.2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

First lats, 1922–1940

The 5 lati coin, used before World War II, became a popular symbol of independence during the Soviet era. The coin was designed by Rihards Zariņš.
20 latu banknote issued 1935 (obverse).

The lats was first introduced in 1922, replacing the Latvian rublis at a rate of 1 lats = 50 rubļi. In 1940, Latvia was occupied by the USSR and the lats was replaced by the Soviet ruble at par.


Coins were issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 santīmu, 1, 2 and 5 lati. The 1, 2 and 5 santīmu were in bronze, the 10, 20 and 50 santīmu were nickel, while coins of 1 lats and above were in silver.


The Latvian Bank issued notes from 1922 in denominations of 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500 latu. They also issued 10 latu notes which were 500 rubli notes overprinted with the new denomination. The government issued currency notes from 1925 in denominations of 5, 10 and 20 latu.

Second lats, 1992–2013

The lats was reintroduced in 1992, replacing the Latvian rublis, which was used for a short period after Latvia regained its independence, at a rate of 1 lats = 200 rubļu.


Coins were issued in denominations of 1 santīms, 2 and 5 santīmi, 10, 20 and 50 santīmu, 1 lats and 2 lati. Besides standard coins in the list below and coins for collectors, there were a number of coins that were issued only once and were rarely found in circulation – three commemorative circulation coins in denominations of 2, 10 and 100 latu (the later two of which were, respectively, silver and gold), a 100 lats gold bullion coin, a standard issue 2 lats coin that was gradually taken out of circulation starting from 1999 due to safety issues[4] and a series of limited design 1 lats coins that were issued twice a year from 2004 to 2013, and once in 2001 and 2003.

Current standard series
Image Value Value (€) Composition Size Weight Issued Description
1 santīms €0.014
copper-clad iron
15.65 mm
1.60 g
1992, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 Obverse – The small coat of arms of Latvia, inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA and the date of issue. Reverse – denomination, ethnographic sun ornaments joined by five arches symbolizing a day of work. Edge – plain.
2 santīmi €0.028
copper-clad iron
17.00 mm
1.90 g
1992, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009
5 santīmi €0.071
alloy – copper, nickel, zinc
18.50 mm
2.50 g
1992, 2006, 2007, 2009
10 santīmu €0.142
alloy – copper, nickel, zinc
19.90 mm
3.25 g
1992, 2008
20 santīmu €0.285
alloy – copper, nickel, zinc
21.50 mm
4.00 g
1992, 2007, 2009
50 santīmu €0.711
copper and nickel alloy
18.80 mm
3.50 g
1992, 2007, 2009 Obverse – The small coat of arms of Latvia, inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA and the date of issue. Reverse – pine sapling, which symbolizes Latvian forests and denomination, separated by a horizontal line. Edge – reeded.
1 lats €1.423
copper and nickel alloy
21.75 mm
4.80 g
1992, 2007, 2008 Obverse – The large coat of arms of Latvia, inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA and the date of issue. Reverse – leaping salmon, which symbolizes the waters of Latvia, and denomination. Edge – inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA repeated twice, separated by diamond-shaped dots.
2 lati €2.846
Inner part – alloy of copper, nickel and zinc
Outer ring – copper and nickel alloy
26.30 mm
(inner part – 18.21 mm)
9.50 g
(inner part – 4.50 g, ring – 5.00 g)
1999, 2003, 2009 Obverse – The large coat of arms of Latvia, and on the ring inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA and the date of issue. A cow, which symbolizes Latvian countryside, and denomination. Edge – reeded, inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA repeated twice, separated by diamond-shaped dots.


All banknotes were 130 × 65 mm in size.

Current Series
Image Value Value (€) Main Colour Description
Obverse Reverse Obverse Reverse
5 lati €7.11 Green Oak tree Woodcarving – sun on a distaff
10 latu €14.23 Purple River Daugava Sakta (Latvian brooch)
20 latu €28.46 Brown Traditional house Woven linen
50 latu €71.14 Blue Sailing-ship Keys (Historical seal of Riga)
100 latu €142.29 Red Krišjānis Barons Belt of Lielvārde (Lielvārdes josta)
500 latu €711.44 Grey Latvian folk-maid Ornamental brass crowns

The lats was the fourth-highest-valued currency unit after the Kuwaiti dinar, Bahraini dinar, and the Omani rial at the end of its circulation. The 500 lats note was the world's third most valuable banknote after the $10,000 Singapore note and the 1,000 Swiss franc note.[5][6]

See also


  1. ^ "ECB: Inflation and the euro". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  2. ^ "ECB: Euro central rates and compulsory intervention rates in ERM II". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  3. ^ a b Eglitis, Aaron (2013-07-09). "Latvia Wins Final EU Approval to Adopt Euro on Jan. 1 Next Year". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  4. ^ Divlatniekus ar govs attēlu vairs nedod apgrozībā
  5. ^ TheRichest. "Most Valuable Currencies In The Word - Highest-valued Currencies". TheRichest. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  6. ^ Karaian, Jason (2013-12-31). "One of the most valuable banknotes in the world is about to vanish – Quartz". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 

External links

  • Latvian Money
  • Coins of Latvia at
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