Paper Money

National Bank of Georgia begins redesign of paper money

The National Bank of Georgia on Nov. 3 revealed that the first major upgrade to its lari-denominated bank notes in 20 years will begin in 2016 when new 20-, 50-, and 100-lari notes enter circulation alongside their older counterparts. The bank says in a statement that the project brings together a number of important factors related to the production of bank notes. 

First, 2015 is the 20th anniversary of the lari, which made its debut in October 1995, so the new notes have a commemorative aspect. Second, the bank had to replenish the reserve of notes used to replace faded and damaged ones as they are withdrawn. Third, the upgrade is a response to contemporary international and technical standards. The bank states that while the old lari notes were of high standards when first issued, they do not meet current printing, security and design necessities.

The new designs are modified to present Georgian cultural and historical heritage with more precision and a modern appearance. Their size and colors have also been adjusted. 

The 20-lari note will be bright red and have the portrait of the writer and public figure Ilia Chavchavadze on its face while the back shows a plan of Tbilisi, capital of Georgia, created by Vakhushti Batonishvili in 1735, along with the monument to King Vakhtang Gorgasali. 

The green 50-lari issue will depict King Tamar of Georgia on the face with its back showing the astrological sign of Sagittarius as seen on a miniature from a 12th century Georgian manuscript. 

The 100-lari bank note will be deep purple in color with a face featuring 12th century poet Shota Rustaveli and a back showing the Tbilisi Opera House.

The 5- and 10-lari notes will be updated later.  

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