Paper Money

Poland celebrates independence centennial with note

A commemorative 20-zloty bank note will be issued by the National Bank of Poland on Aug. 31 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the nation regaining its independence, as the Second Polish Republic, from the German, Austrian, and Russian empires in 1918.

The announcement was made on July 6. Up to 50,000 notes will be printed by the Polska Wytwórnia Papierów Wartosciowych S.A. (Polish Security Printing Works) in Warsaw. Its dimensions will be 150 millimeters by 77 millimeters or 5.9 inches by 3 inches, larger than then 126-millimeter by 63-millimeter size of the regular 20-zloty note, which will continue to circulate.

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Each note’s face value is the U.S. equivalent of about $5.42.

The face of the note is dominated by a facing portrait of the revolutionary, statesman, and national hero Józef Pilsudski, with his chin resting on his hand. He served as chief of state of the new republic from its inception until 1922. To his right is the badge of the Polish Military Organization. The cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta is in the center, while the badge of Poland’s World War I 1st Legion Brigade is at the left above the watermark.

Poland’s red and white flag spans most of the reverse side. To its left is a legionary eagle holding an Amazonian shield in its talons with the words RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA (Republic of Poland) above.

This is Poland’s tenth commemorative bank note. The first, a 50-zloty note for Pope John Paul II, was issued in 2006. That one, and three others, 20-zloty notes for the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frédéric Chopin, and 300th anniversary of the coronation of the Image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, are still available at the bank’s website, as will be the new issue.

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