Bank of Lithuania
Collector coin

Dedicated to the
100th anniversary
of the Bank of Lithuania

Kopija: Collecor coin

 

 

The seemingly common Monday of 2 October 1922 was destined to become one of the most important dates in the history of modern Lithuania, as it marked the launch of Lithuania’s national monetary system. The litas currency was put into circulation and its supervision was entrusted to an entirely new institution – the Bank of Lithuania.

Although the centenary of the Bank of Lithuania seems to refer to a century-long history of the institution, there were two milestones in the history of the Central Bank of Lithuania – the old one, whose history lasted from 2 October 1922 to 3 October 1940, and the modern bank that was re-established on 1 March 1990. Both are linked by the same idea of the centre of the Lithuanian financial system, the continuity of which was interrupted for half a century by the Soviet occupation that led to fundamental differences in the structure and the nature of operations between the interwar Bank of Issue and the modern Bank of Lithuania.

Kolekcinė moneta

Kolekcinė moneta

Kolekcinė moneta

 

The Bank of Lithuania, which started operating in the autumn of 1922, was a joint-stock company under a law adopted by the Constituent Seimas, with shares held not only by the state but also by private individuals. In addition to overseeing the monetary system and issuing currency, the Bank also performed some commercial functions, it functioned as a crediting institution supporting businesses and private individuals, also collected taxes in some areas, sold state revenue stamps and playing cards, etc.

The Bank of Lithuania, re-established in 1990, was owned exclusively by the State and did not perform any commercial functions. Its main tasks were monetary policy, supervision of the banking sector and the financial system. The Bank of Lithuania implemented a currency reform twice (introduced the litas in 1993 and the euro in 2015). In 1990s and 2010s, the Bank revoked the operating licences of several commercial banks that failed to meet transparency requirements, and in recent years has been a global leader in promoting the development of the FinTech sector. 

 

Currency is not only an economic but also a cultural phenomenon, and the central banks responsible for its issuance inevitably become actors in the cultural field. Not only did the Central Bank of Lithuania in the interwar period issue banknotes created by the most famous artists of that time, but its own building in Kaunas, opened at the end of 1928, was an exceptional piece of public architecture. The construction of the branches of the Bank was particularly intense in the 1930s, when eight modernist outlet buildings were erected in Lithuanian cities and became organic elements of Lithuania’s urban landscape.

Kolekcinė moneta

The modern central bank operates in the cultural field by issuing collector and commemorative coins, which was a new area of activity as compared to the bank of interwar Lithuania. The litas and euro coins, which are dedicated to the most important Lithuanian events, people, places, architectural and natural monuments, are designed as small format pieces of art, while retaining their primary function as a legal tender.

Both iterations of the Central Bank of Lithuania reflect, to some extent, the development and value trajectories of their founder, the Republic of Lithuania. In 1918–1940, the security aspirations of a modernising but still agrarian and conservative Lithuania were embodied in the stability of national currency. The motto of Lithuania that emerged at the end of the 20th century and was catching up with the West in leaps and bounds – innovation, drive and openness – mirrors the values and activities of the contemporary Bank of Lithuania.  

Karolis Tumelis

  • Design of a postcard dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Bank of Lithuania and the litas. Author Adomas Varnas (1879–1979). 1932
    Design of a postcard dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Bank of Lithuania and the litas. Author Adomas Varnas (1879–1979). 1932
    LBPM GEK 1304
  • Jacques de Larosiere, Governor of the Bank of France, welcomes visiting Vilius Baldišis, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, and discusses the possibilities of fostering the process of returning gold. September 1991
    Jacques de Larosiere, Governor of the Bank of France, welcomes visiting Vilius Baldišis, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania, and discusses the possibilities of fostering the process of returning gold. September 1991
    LBPM PF 440
  • Board of the Bank of Lithuania and directors of units. J. Tallat-Kelpšienė’ photo atelier. 1929 Kaunas
    Board of the Bank of Lithuania and directors of units. J. Tallat-Kelpšienė’ photo atelier. 1929 Kaunas
    LBPM, GEK 8689/6
  • General meeting of shareholders of the Bank of Lithuania. 1930–1936. Photograph by the Economic Soldier Association
    General meeting of shareholders of the Bank of Lithuania. 1930–1936. Photograph by the Economic Soldier Association
    LBPM GEK 16389
  • Staff of the Bank of Lithuania Klaipėda branch. 28 April 1927
    Staff of the Bank of Lithuania Klaipėda branch. 28 April 1927
    LBPM GEK 14083
  • Construction of the Bank of Lithuania Raseiniai branch. 1933
    Construction of the Bank of Lithuania Raseiniai branch. 1933
    LBPM GEK 1148/3
  • Bank of Lithuania building in Kaunas, 1930s
    Bank of Lithuania building in Kaunas, 1930s
    LBPM GEK 3944/2
  • Bank of Lithuania Šiauliai branch. Architect Stanislovas Kačkovskis. 1920s-1930s
    Bank of Lithuania Šiauliai branch. Architect Stanislovas Kačkovskis. 1920s-1930s
    LBPM GEK 2138
  • Bank of Lithuania Panevėžys branch. Architect Mykolas Songaila. 1930s
    Bank of Lithuania Panevėžys branch. Architect Mykolas Songaila. 1930s
    LBPM GEK 2781
  • Bank of Lithuania Kybartai branch, 1930s
    Bank of Lithuania Kybartai branch, 1930s
    LBPM GEK 2750

Coin dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Bank of Lithuania

Denomination:
€1.50
Composition:
alloy
Diameter:
27.50 mm
Weight:
11.10 g
Quality:
UNC
Designed by
Giedrius Paulauskis
On the edge of the coin
rims
Kopija: Collecor coin
Release date
27 September 2022
Mintage
30,000 pcs
Coin price
EUR 2.00 (inclusive of VAT)
Minted at
the Lithuanian Mint

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