Latvian lats

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Latvian lats
Latvijas lats (Latvian)
1Lats salmon.png
The standard version of the 1 lats coin bore a salmon
ISO 4217
Code LVL
 1/100 santīms
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
Coins 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 santīmu, 1, 2 lati
User(s) None, previously:
Central bank Bank of Latvia
Inflation -0.4%
 Source ECB,[2] April 2013
 Since 2 May 2005[1]
 Fixed rate since 1 January 2005
 Replaced by €, cash 1 January 2014[3]
= 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.[3] It is abbreviated as Ls and was subdivided into 100 santīmi (singular: santīms; from French centime).

First lats, 1922–1940[edit]

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[edit]

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. The standard coins were designed by Gunārs Lūsis and Jānis Strupulis.

Current standard series
Image Value Value (€) Composition Diameter Weight Issued Description
1santims 2005.png 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.
2santimi 2006.png 2 santīmi €0.028
copper-clad iron
17.00 mm
1.90 g
1992, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2009
5santimi 2006.png 5 santīmi €0.071
alloy – copper, nickel, zinc
18.50 mm
2.50 g
1992, 2006, 2007, 2009
10santimu 1992.png 10 santīmu €0.142
alloy – copper, nickel, zinc
19.90 mm
3.25 g
1992, 2008
20santimu 1992.png 20 santīmu €0.285
alloy – copper, nickel, zinc
21.50 mm
4.00 g
1992, 2007, 2009
50santimu 1992.png 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.
1Lats salmon.png 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.
2Lati 1999.png 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
Latvia-2007-Bill-5-Obverse.jpg Latvia-2007-Bill-5-Reverse.jpg 5 lati €7.11 Green Oak tree Woodcarving – sun on a distaff
Latvia-2008-Bill-10-Obverse.jpg Latvia-2008-Bill-10-Reverse.jpg 10 latu €14.23 Purple River Daugava Sakta (Latvian brooch)
Latvia-2007-Bill-20-Obverse.jpg Latvia-2007-Bill-20-Reverse.jpg 20 latu €28.46 Brown Traditional house Woven linen
Latvia-1992-Bill-50-Obverse.jpg Latvia-1992-Bill-50-Reverse.jpg 50 latu €71.14 Blue Sailing-ship Keys (Historical seal of Riga)
Latvia-1992-Bill-100-Obverse.jpg Latvia-1992-Bill-100-Reverse.jpg 100 latu €142.29 Red Krišjānis Barons Belt of Lielvārde (Lielvārdes josta)
Latvia-1992-Bill-500-Obverse.jpg Latvia-1992-Bill-500-Reverse.jpg 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[edit]


  1. ^ "ECB: Euro central rates and compulsory intervention rates in ERM II". Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  2. ^ "ECB: Inflation and the euro". 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[edit]