Pursuant to its constitutional and legal mission on issuing the national currency and maintaining its credibility, the Bank of Albania has decided to issue new and improved series of Albanian banknotes. All notes shall be legal tender.
The new series of Lek banknotes consists of six denominations: the existing 200, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 Lekë and the new denomination 10000 Lekë. This series shall be introduced gradually to the public over several years, starting in 2019.
The 200 Lekë and 5000 Lekë banknotes will be the first ones scheduled to enter circulation on 30 September 2019.
- 200 Lekë and 5000 Lekë banknotes were put into circulation starting from 30 September 2019;
- 10000 Lekë and 1000 Lekë banknotes will be put into circulation starting from 30 June 2021;
- 500 Lekë and 2000 Lekë banknotes are planned to be put into circulation starting the fourth quarter of 2021 – first quarter of 2022
Note: The production of a new series of banknotes is a complex process, which may encounter technical difficulties leading to a change of the planned schedule for putting in circulation the respective banknotes.
Why a new series?
The Bank of Albania is the central bank of the Republic of Albania. A major aspect in the work of a central bank is to issue the national banknotes, ensuring that banknotes serve as a means of payment that is safe and enjoys public trust.
The banknotes include security features, which offer better protection against counterfeiting and maintain public confidence and credibility in the currency.
The improvement of the banknote series to enhance security features and improve design elements is a common practice among central banks, which is generally implemented every 15-20 years.
All the denominations in the current series of the Albanian banknotes and coins, excluding the 2000 Lekë, were approved in 1995 and entered circulation in 1996. Meanwhile, the 2000 Lekë note was issued in 2008. The 100 Lekë ceased to be legal tender at the end of 2011.
While banknote counterfeiting has been low during these years, the Bank of Albania always strives to keep ahead of counterfeiting and be at the cutting edge of banknote security features, making them easier to be authenticate and harder to counterfeit.
Over the past 20 years, technology has been constantly improving, regarding both security features to be checked by the public without the need of special devices, and those recognised by handling and counting devices.
What will happen with the old banknotes?
The existing banknotes, all denominations, will continue to circulate alongside with the newly introduced banknotes. They will continue to be legal tender and serve as a means of payment.
The Bank of Albania shall inform the public in due time on the dates when each of the existing denominations - 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 Lekë - will cease to be legal tender. After ceasing to be legal tender, the existing banknotes will still retain their value and may be exchanged at face value with new ones.
Theme and design elements
The theme of the existing series has been retained, but the new series of banknotes has been given a fresh look. The new themes evoke milestones in the history of the nation, social, economic and political highlights, and distinguished personalities with outstanding contributions for Albania. The portraits of these personalities are combined in the banknotes with motives related to the life, work, place and era in which they lived.
Meanwhile, the design of the new series represents the evolution and improvement of the overall design and of specific elements. The main underlying idea for their appearance was to create a contemporary banknotes series, whose design strikes a balance between innovation and tradition.
Reliable and safe
Banknotes of the new series are produced with state-of-the art technology and security features which make the banknotes even harder to counterfeit. .
Tougher and longer-lasting
The new banknote series is based on cutting edge technology and contains innovative elements. For the 200 Lekë note, the material is more durable, and helps keep the banknote secure and clean.