Albanian lek

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Albanian lek
Leku Shqiptar  (Albanian)
Albanien2.jpg
ISO 4217 codeALL
Central bankBank of Albania
 Websitewww.bankofalbania.org
Date of introduction16 February 1922
User(s)Albania Albania
Inflation2.1%
 SourceThe World Factbook, 2009 est.
Subunit
 1/100qindarkë
qindarkëq
PluralLekë
qindarkëqindarka
Coins
 Freq. used5, 10, 20, 50, 100 lekë
 Rarely used1 lek
Banknotes
 Freq. used200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 Lekë
 
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Albanian lek
Leku Shqiptar  (Albanian)
Albanien2.jpg
ISO 4217 codeALL
Central bankBank of Albania
 Websitewww.bankofalbania.org
Date of introduction16 February 1922
User(s)Albania Albania
Inflation2.1%
 SourceThe World Factbook, 2009 est.
Subunit
 1/100qindarkë
qindarkëq
PluralLekë
qindarkëqindarka
Coins
 Freq. used5, 10, 20, 50, 100 lekë
 Rarely used1 lek
Banknotes
 Freq. used200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 Lekë

The lek (Albanian: Leku Shqiptar; plural lekë) (sign: L; code: ALL) is the official currency of Albania. It is subdivided into 100 qindarka (singular qindarkë), although qindarka are no longer issued.

History[edit]

Alexander the Great on the first Albanian 1 lek coin.

The lek was introduced as the first Albanian currency in February 1926.[1]

Etymology[edit]

The lek was named after Alexander the Great,[2] whose name is often shortened to Leka in Albanian.[3] Alexander's portrait appeared on the obverse of the 1 lek coin, while the reverse showed him on his horse.

The name qindarkë comes from the Albanian qind, meaning one hundred. The word is thus similar in formation to centime, cent, etc.

Franga[edit]

Between 1926 and 1939 the name Franga was used for Albanian gold currency worth five Albanian Leke for use in international transactions.[4] A similar alternate name Belga was used for units of five Belgian francs.

Coins[edit]

First lek[edit]

In 1926, bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 5 and 10 qindar leku, together with nickel ¼, ½ and 1 lek, and silver 1, 2 and 5 franga ar. The obverse of the franga coins depict Amet Zogu. In 1935, bronze 1 and 2 qindar ar were issued, equal in value to the 5 and 10 qindar leku. This coin series depicted distinct neoclassical motifs, said to have been influenced by the Italian king Victor Emmanuel III who was known to have been a coin collector. These coins depict the mint marks "R" or "V" indicating Rome or Venice.

Under the direction of Benito Mussolini, Italy invaded and occupied Albania and issued a new series of coins in 1939 in denominations 0.20, 0.50, and 1 Lek in stainless steel, and silver 2, 5, and 10 lek were introduced, with the silver coins only issued that year. Aluminium-bronze 0.05 and 0.10 lek were then introduced in 1940. These coins were issued until 1941 and bear the portrait of Italian King Victor Emmanuel III on the obverse and the Italian eagle and fasces on the reverse.

In 1947, shortly after the communist party took power, older coins were withdrawn from circulation and a new coinage was introduced, consisting of zinc ½, 1, 2 and 5 lekë. These all depicted the socialist national crest. This coinage was again minted in 1957 and used until the currency reform of 1965.

Second lek[edit]

In 1965, aluminium coins (dated 1964) were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 qindar and 1 lek. All coins depict the socialist state emblem.

In 1969, a second series of aluminum 5, 10, 20, 50 qindar and 1 lek coins was released commemorating the 1944 liberation from fascism. The three smallest denominations remained similar in design to the 1964 series but depicted "1944-1969" on the obverse. The 50 qindarka and lek coins depicted patriotic and military images.

In 1988, a third redesign of aluminum 5, 10, 20, 50 qindarka and 1 lek coins were released. The 50 qindarka and 1 lek coins were problematically identical in size, weight, and appearance so aluminum-bronze 1 lek coins with the inscription "Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipërisë" were released later that year for better identification. In 1989, a cupro nickel 2 leke coin was introduced. All three of these coin series remained in circulation during and shortly after the 1991 revolution.

Third lek[edit]

In 1995 and 1996, new coins were introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 lekë, with a bimetallic 100 lekë added in 2000.

Coins of the lek (1995–present)[5]
ImageValueTechnical parametersDescriptionDate of
DiameterMassCompositionEdgeObverseReversemintingissuewithdrawallapse
----1 lek18 mm3.00 gCu Zn5PlainNominal value,
branches artistically carved in the form of a crown.
A pelican in the center,
"Republika e Shqipërisë", year
1996
2008
1 January 1997
current
----5 lekë20 mm3.00 gFe Ni6 Steagle from the Flag of Albania,
"Republika e Shqipërisë", year
1995
2000
2011
----10 Lekë21.25 mm3.600 gCu Al6 Ni2SerratedNominal value,
branches artistically carved in the form of a crown.
Berat Castle, "Republika e Shqipërisë",
year
1996
2000
2009
1 January 1997
----20 Lekë22.5 mm5.00 gLiburni ship,"Republika e Shqipërisë", year of issue.
1996
2000
2012
----50 Lekë24.25 mm5.500 gCu75 Ni25SerratedNominal value,
branches artistically carved in the form of a crown.
Portrait of the Illyrian King Gentius."Republika e Shqipërisë",
year
1996
2000
1 January 1997
----100 Lekë24.75 mm6.700 gCu Ni25 (ring), Cu Al6 Ni2 (center)Nominal value,
branches artistically carved in the form of a crown.
Portrait of the Illyrian Queen Teuta,"Republika e Shqipërisë",
year
2000
1 September 2000
These images are to scale at 2.5 pixels per millimetre. For table standards, see the coin specification table.

Commemorative coins[edit]

In 2001, 100 and 200 Leke were issued under the theme of Albania's integration into the EU and 50, 100, and 200 Leke under the 500th anniversary of the Statue of David. In 2002, 50 Leke and 100 Leke were issued for the 90th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania and 20 Leke under the Albanian Antiquity theme. In 2003, 50 Leke was issued in memory of the 100th anniversary of the death of Jeronim De Rada. In 2004, 50 Leke was issued under the Albanian Antiquty theme depicting traditional costumes of Albania and the ancient Dea. In 2005, 50 Leke were issued for the 85th anniversary of the proclamation of Tirana as capital and the theme of traditional costumes of Albania.

Banknotes[edit]

First lek[edit]

In 1926, the National Bank of Albania (Banka Kombëtare e Shqipnis) introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 20 and 100 franka ari. In 1939, notes were issued denominated as 5 and 20 franga. These were followed in 1944 with notes for 2, 5 and 10 lek and 100 franga.

In 1945, the People's Bank of Albania (Banka e Shtetit Shqiptar) issued overprints on National Bank notes for 10 lek, 20 and 100 franga. Regular notes were also issued in 1945 in denominations of 1, 5, 20, 100 and 500 franga. In 1947, the lek was adopted as the main denominations, with notes issued for 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 lekë.

1947 series
ObverseReverseValueColourObverseReverse
10 Lek Albania (1947) O.jpg10 Lek Albania (1947) R.jpg10 lekëPeachPartisanGeometric designs
50 Lek Albania (1947) O.jpg50 Lek Albania (1947) R.jpg50 lekëDark greenPartisanGeometric designs
100 Lek Albania (1947) O.jpg100 Lek Albania (1947) R.jpg100 lekëDark bluePartisanGeometric designs
500 Lek Albania (1947) O.jpg500 Lek Albania (1947) R.jpg500 lekëBrownPartisanGeometric designs
1000 Lek Albania (1947) O.jpg1000 Lek Albania (1947) R.jpg1,000 lekëDark blue/multicolouredPartisanGeometric designs
1949 and 1957 series
ObverseReverseValueColourObverseReverse
10 Lek Albania (1949) O.jpg10 Lek Albania (1949) R.jpg10 lekëRedCoat of armsCoat of arms
AlbaniaP25-50Leke-1949-donated f.jpgAlbaniaP25-50Leke-1949-donated b.jpg50 lekëDark blueSkanderbegPartisan
100 Lek Albania (1949) O.jpg100 Lek Albania (1949) R.jpg100 lekëGreenPartisanGeometric designs
AlbaniaP27-500Leke-1949-donated f.jpgAlbaniaP27-500Leke-1949-donated b.jpg500 lekëOrange/blueWheat harvesting, SkanderbegPeasant woman with wheat
1000 Lek Albania (1949) O.jpg1000 Lek Albania (1949) R.jpg1,000 lekëPurpleSkanderbeg, oil wellsA miner

Second lek[edit]

In 1965, notes (dated 1964) were introduced by the Banka e Shtetit Shqiptar in denominations of 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 lekë. A second series of notes was issued in 1976 when the country changed its name to the People's Socialist Republic.

1964 and 1976 series
ObverseReverseValueColourObverseReverse
1 lek obverse.jpg1Lek.jpg1 lekGreenPeasant couple with wheatCastle of Shkodër
3 lek obverse.jpg3 lek reverse.jpg3 lekëBrownWoman carrying basket of fruitVlora
5 lek obverse.jpg5 lek reverse.jpg5 lekëDark blueSteam train and truckShip
10 lek obverse.jpg10 lek reverse.jpg10 lekëGreenWoman working in a textile millBureaucrats and peasants socializing outside the Palace of Culture, Naim Frashëri
25Leke(1964).jpg25 lek reverse.jpg25 lekëDark blueWoman with wheat, combine harvestingMechanized ploughing
50 lek obverse.jpgAlbanian 50 lek banknote 1976.jpg50 lekëRedArmy on parade, SkanderbegRifle, pickaxe, apartment block under construction
AlbaniaP39a-100Leke-1964-donated f.jpgAlbaniaP39a-100Leke-1964-donated b.jpg100 lekëScarletMan showing his son a new hydroelectric damSteelworker with oil worker, gesturing grandly, steelworks and oil wells in background
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.
Undated issue
ObverseReverseValueColourObverseReverse
AlbaniaP46Aa-100Leke-ND-donated f.jpgAlbaniaP46Aa-100Leke-ND-donated b.jpg100 lekëBlueSteelworker pouring an ingot, steelworks in backgroundMountains and oil wells

Third lek[edit]

500 lekë notes were introduced on 28 June 1991, followed by denominations of 200 and 1000 lekë on 1 October 1992.

1991 Series
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColourDescriptionDate of
ObverseReverseObverseReverseprintingissuewithdrawallapse
AlbaniaP47a-100Leke-1991-donatedoy f.jpgAlbaniaP47a-100Leke-1991-donatedoy b.jpg100 lekë159 × 77 mmPurpleOil refineryOil wells, steelworkers, steelworks1991
500 lek (1991) obverse.jpg500 lek (1991) reverse.jpg500 lekë155 × 75 mmLight blueGirl with sunflowersMountains1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 199728 June 1991[6]1 July 2010[6]1 January 2024[6]
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

1992 series[edit]

1992 Series
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColourDescriptionDate of
ObverseReverseObverseReversefirst printingissuewithdrawallapse
100 lek obverse.jpg100 lek reverse.jpg100 lekë154 × 72 mmVioletNational fighterEagle and mountains199425 April 19941 January 2009[6]1 January 2024[6]
200Lek(1992).jpg200 lek reverse.jpg200 lekë162 × 78 mmBrownIsmail QemaliCoat of arms of Albania, declaration of independence of Albania19921 October 1992
500 lek (1992) obverse.jpg500 lek (1992) reverse.jpg500 lekë170 × 78 mmBlueNaim FrashëriPoetry of Frashëri1 July 2010[6]
1000 lek (1992) obverse.jpg1000 lek (1992) reverse.jpg1000 lekë178 × 78 mmGreenSkanderbegKrujë Castle1 April 2011[6]
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

1996 series[edit]

On 11 July 1997, a new series of banknotes dated 1996 was introduced.[7]

Notes dated 1996 were printed by De La Rue in the United Kingdom.

1996 Series[8]
ImageValueDimensionsMain ColourDescriptionDate of
ObverseReverseObverseReverseprintingwithdrawallapse
AlbaniaP62-100Leke-1996-dab f.jpgAlbaniaP62-100Leke-1996-dab b.jpg100 Lekë130 × 66 mmPurpleFan S. NoliFirst Albanian Parliament building19961 January 2009[6]1 January 2024[6]
200Lek(1997).jpg200 lek 1997 reverse.jpg200 Lekë138 × 69 mmBrownNaim FrashëriBirthplace of Frashëri1996, 2001, 2007,[9] 2012Current
500 lek obverse.jpg500 Albanian lek reverse.jpg500 Lekë145 × 68 mmBlueIsmail QemaliVlorë independence building1996, 2001, 2007
1000Lek.jpg1000 lek reverse.jpg1000 Lekë151 × 72 mmGreenPjetër BogdaniChurch of Vau
5000 lek obverse.jpg5000 lek reverse.jpg5000 Lekë160 × 72 mmGoldSkanderbegKrujë Castle
These images are to scale at 0.7 pixels per millimetre.

Exchange rates[edit]

Current ALL exchange rates
From Google Finance:AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From Yahoo! Finance:AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From XE.com:AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From OANDA.com:AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD
From fxtop.com:AUD CAD CHF EUR GBP HKD JPY USD

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bank of Albania. Available at:http://www.bankofalbania.org/web/A_brief_history_of_the_Bank_of_Albania_5338_2.php
  2. ^ Leslie Alan Dunkling; Adrian Room (1 January 1990). The Guinness Book of Money. Guinness Publishing. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-85112-399-8. "...the lek takes its name from the abbreviated name of Alexander the Great, who was associated with this region of Europe..." 
  3. ^ Howard M. Berlin (2006). World Monetary Units: An Historical Dictionary, Country By Country. McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-7864-2080-3. "...The current monetary unit, the lek, is derived from the abbreviation of the Albanian spelling of Alexander the Great..." 
  4. ^ http://taxfreegold.co.uk/albania.html
  5. ^ Bank of Albania. Available at:http://www.bankofalbania.org/web/Monedha_te_qarkullimit_43_1.php#1
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bank of Albania. Available at:http://www.bankofalbania.org/web/Kartemonedha_pa_kurs_ligjor_5264_1.php
  7. ^ Bank of Albania. Available at: http://www.bankofalbania.org
  8. ^ Bank of Albania. Available at: http://www.bankofalbania.org/web/Kartemonedha_te_qarkullimit_202_1.php
  9. ^ Bank of Albania. Available at:http://www.bankofalbania.org/web/200_leke_5653_1.php

External links[edit]