|Latvijas lats (in Latvian)|
The standard version of the 1 lats coin bore a salmon
|Plural||lati (nom. pl.) or latu (gen. pl.)|
|santīms||santīmi (nom. pl.) or santīmu (gen. pl.)|
|Symbol||Ls (before numerals)|
|santīms||s (after numerals)|
|Freq. used||5, 10, 20, 50, 100 latu|
|Rarely used||500 latu|
|Freq. used||10, 20, 50 santīmu, 1, 2 lati|
|Rarely used||1, 2, 5 santīmu|
|Central bank||Bank of Latvia|
|Source||ECB, April 2013|
|Since||2 May 2005|
|Fixed rate since||1 January 2005|
|Replaced by €, cash||1 January 2014|
|€ =||Ls 0.702804 (Irrevocable)|
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. It is abbreviated as Ls and was subdivided into 100 santīmi (singular: santīms; from French centime).
First lats, 1922–1940
On 17 June 1940, Latvia was occupied by the USSR. After the dismantling of the Bank of Latvia and its replacement with the Latvia Republican Office of the Gosbank on October 10, the Soviet ruble was introduced alongside the lats on 25 November 1940 at par, although the real monetary value of the rouble was about three times lower and thus both wages and prices were gradually raised to devalue the lats from June to November 1940. To lessen the effect of the exodus of goods sent by Soviet occupational personnel to the USSR, taking advantage of the new exchange rate, buyer limits for various goods were introduced. 
Although the Soviet authorities initially pledged not to abolish the lats, it was taken out of circulation without prior warning at 13:05 on 25 March 1941, simultaneously nationalising all deposits larger than 1000 lats. A part of the Latvian gold, silver and currency reserves were sent to Moscow at the start of the occupation.
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, 1993–2013
The lats was reintroduced on 5 March 1993, replacing the Latvian rublis, which continued to circulate and kept validity until and including 30 June 1994 at a rate of 200 rubļu being equivalent to 1 lats. The 5 lats banknote was introduced at first, and the last banknote to be introduced was the 500 lats banknote on 20 July 1998. The lats was replaced on 1 January 2014 by the Euro, at the rate of 0.702804 Lats to 1 Euro. The second lats can be exchanged to euros at the official rate at the Bank of Latvia's cashier's office in Riga.
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 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. The standard coins were designed by Gunārs Lūsis and Jānis Strupulis.
|Current standard series|
|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.|
Reversee: denomination, ethnographic sun ornaments joined by five arches symbolizing a day of work.
|2 santīmi||€0.028||copper-clad iron||17.00 mm||1.90 g||1992, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009|
|5 santīmi||€0.071||copper / nickel / zinc alloy||18.50 mm||2.50 g||1992, 2006, 2007, 2009|
|10 santīmu||€0.142||copper / nickel / zinc alloy||19.90 mm||3.25 g||1992, 2008|
|20 santīmu||€0.285||copper / nickel / zinc alloy||21.50 mm||4.00 g||1992, 2007, 2009|
|50 santīmu||€0.711||copper / 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.|
Reversee: pine sapling, which symbolizes Latvian forests and denomination, separated by a horizontal line.
|1 lats||€1.423||copper / 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.|
Reversee: 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: copper / nickel / zinc alloy
Outer: copper / nickel alloy
(inner: 18.21 mm)
(inner: 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.|
Reverse: A cow, which symbolizes Latvian countryside, and denomination.
Edge: reeded, inscription LATVIJAS REPUBLIKA repeated twice, separated by diamond-shaped dots.
|Relative size of coins|
|Image||Value||Value (€)||Main Colour||Description|
|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 latu note was the world's third most valuable banknote after the $10,000 Singapore note and the 1,000 Swiss franc note.
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- Divlatniekus ar govs attēlu vairs nedod apgrozībā
- "Banknotes of the Bank of Latvia". Bank of Latvia. Retrieved 2 January 2018.
- TheRichest. "Most Valuable Currencies In The Word - Highest-valued Currencies". TheRichest. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
- Karaian, Jason (2013-12-31). "One of the most valuable banknotes in the world is about to vanish – Quartz". Qz.com. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
- Central bank of Latvia
- Coins of Latvia at CISCoins.net
- The pre euro banknotes of Latvia (in English) (in German)