Size: 145 mm x 68 mm
Dominant colour: blue
First in circulation on: 11.07.1997
The 500 Lekė note issue of 1997 was first put in circulation on 11 July 1997. It was printed by "De La Rue" banknote printing company.
It was later reprinted by "Oberthure" banknote printing company with improved security features and was put in circulation on 01 August 2002.
The note is manufactured from high quality cotton fibre security paper.
Obverse: Portrait of Ismail Qemal Bej Vlora (1844-1919), a prominent leader of the Albanian national movement and first Prime Minister of independent Albania; double-headed eagle of the independence flag; a stylised image of the pen with which the Independence Act was signed.
Reverse: View of the building where the Provisional Government of Vlora worked, today the National Museum of Independence; a stylised image of the room where the decision to declare Albanias independence was made and of the telegraph with the news.
On 16 February 2009, the Bank of Albania put in circulation a 500 Lekė note of legal tender, issue of 2007. It retains the same design and dimensions as the 500 Lekė note, issue of 2001. Security and damage-resistant elements are added or improved to this banknote. Furthermore, signatures of the Governor and the Director of Issue Department, as well as the year of issue are updated.
Older issues of 500 Lekė notes shall continue to be legal tender and shall continue to be in circulation along with the new note, issue of 2007.
New 500 Lekė Note security features (in Albanian)