The Bulgarian currency

The unit of currency in Bulgaria is the lev, divided into 100 stotinki. The Bulgarian National Bank is the bank of issue and handles government funds and state-owned enterprises.
On the 5th of July, 1999, the Bulgarian National Bank acted on the previously announced re-denomination of the Bulgarian Lev by introducing new banknotes and coins. The Bulgarian Council of Ministers together with the National Assembly passed and enacted a package of laws and decrees outlining and regulating the re-denomination well before the 5th of July, 1999. Starting at 12:00 am on Monday, the 5th of July, 1999, the Bulgarian lev was substituted by a new lev in a ratio of 1,000:1. That is to say, as of that date 1,000 old leva equaled 1 new lev (equal to 1 Deutsche Mark, 0.51 Euro or US$ 0.55). The re-denomination went into effect for all prices in leva - goods, services, bank accounts, and savings bonds. Until December 31st, 1999, all prices must be stated both in new and old leva; after that date, all prices will be stated in new leva only. The entire process was performed in order to facilitate all payments, as well as all accounting and exchange operations.

Simultaneously with the re-denomination, the Bulgarian National Bank began to circulate new banknotes and coins. Beginning on July 5th, 1999, there were 6 new coins and 6 new banknotes in circulation. Until December 31st, 1999, all individuals and sales persons are obliged to accept both old and new banknotes and coins; after that date, the old currency may be exchanged for new one at any branch of the BNB.

BGN 20lv
The front of the banknote features symbolic elements of the BNB: stylised elements from the BNB building, the BNB emblem, and other multi-coloured background nets of appropriate structures, vignettes, rosettes, analogous to the banknotes of the first BNB issues. The back of the banknote features a replica of the first Bulgarian banknote of BGN 20, issue 1885, the old BNB building, the sculpture image of a seated woman used for the banknotes of BGN 1 and 2, issue 1920, and the coat of arms of the Principality of Bulgaria. BGN 100lv
The obverse side of the banknote features the image of the writer Aleko Konstantinov along with emblematic motifs from the Bulgarian mountain trekking movement, and a facsimile of the first edition of A Journey to Chicago and Back. The reverse side of the banknote features items from the life and works of Aleko Konstantinov. The banknote was designed by Kiril Gogov.
BGN 50lv
Pencho Slaveykov's likeness appears on the obverse side of the banknote. The background includes detail fragments of the National Theatre and the National Library: institutions linked with the poet's artistic and public activity. Pencho Slaveykov (1866 - 1912) His contribution to the convergence of Bulgarian to world letters make this poet, columnist, translator and literary critic on of Bulgaria's most enduring literary classics. His character and writings left a powerful and enduring impression on Bulgarian intellectual development. Major theme of the banknote's reverse side are Slaveykov's poems: the national epic "A Song of Blood", and a set of plates from his anthology "Epic Songs"; the facsimile shows a page of its first edition. The poet's intimate lyricism forms a second theme, represented by the "Dream of Joy" anthology, and a portrait of his great love - fellow poet Mara Belcheva.
BGN 20lv
A portrait of Stefan Stambolov is the main feature on the obverse side of the banknote. The central part carries a cover facsimile of his anthology "Songs and Poems" issued in Bucharest in 1877, and his poem "To My Comrades". Below appears the Seal of the Edinstvo (Unity) Committee in Tarnovo, whose co-founder Stambolov was. Stefan Stambolov (1854 - 1895), this most resolute, uncompromising and controversial of Bulgarian statesmen grasped the perilous historic task of modernising the nation. Participant in the National Liberation struggle, poet National Unification activist National Assembly Deputy, Chairman, Regent, and Prime Minister, Stambolov put Bulgaria upon the map of European statesmanship. The reverse of the banknote depicts the National Assembly building and fragments of Orlov Most and Lavov Most (Sofia's Eagle and Lion Bridges): public edifices linked with his period in office; and manuscript in his hand.
BGN 10lv
The obverse side carries an engraving of Doctor Peter Beron. To the right of him appear the frontispiece and plates from his 1824 "Primer Containing Diverse Instructions". Colloquially known as Riben Bukvar (the Fish Primer), this was infused with the ideas of advanced European education. Doctor Peter Beron (1799 - 1871), a National Revival scientist, Renaissance Man, reformer and sponsor of Bulgarian learning, this linguist with nine languages authored the first secular instruction book in Bulgarian, and encoded modern Bulgarian grammar. He contributed greatly to the modernisation of education and establishment of contemporary Bulgarian culture. The reverse side shows sketches taken from Peter Beron's treatises in astronomy, and his personal telescope.
BGN 5lv
Main feature of the obverse side of the banknote is the engraving of Ivan Milev, a noted Bulgarian 1920s artist. the background shows details of his painting "Art and the Crown of Thorns", decorative motifs from his other works, passages from his letters and a monogram from a bill advertising his first exhibition, held in Sofia in 1925. Ivan Milev (1897 -1927), painter, avant-garde stage designer, and one of the circle who defined the fin-de-siecle in Bulgarian art. Gifted with the potent imagination and strong stylistic sensibility, he sought inspiration and models in village life and folk songs, legends and beliefs to create supple images rich in Bulgarian tradition and spirit. The reverse shows fragments from his paintings "A Woman Harvesting", "The Bulgarian Madonna", and "Wedding of the Dragon".

BGN 2lv
An engraving of Pagisios of Chiliandar is the major item on the obverse side. The background depicts the Zografou Monastery on Mount Athos, the Monastery Seal, and the interior of Pagisios' monastic cell. Pagisios of Chiliandar (1722 - 1773), the man who kindled the spark of the Bulgarian National Revival, served in Holy Orders at the monastery of Chiliandar on Mount Athos. He authored the "Historiae Sclavo-Bulgaricus": the first work of modern Bulgarian letters and harbinger of Bulgarians' spiritual emancipation and national reawakening. The reverse side shows a facsimile of the Zografou draft of the of the "Historiae Sclavo-Bulgaricus" with a list of Bulgarian rulers. This is overprinted with impressions of Tsar Kalogiannis Ring Seal and three seals with the images of Bulgarian Sovereigns Mihail Shishman, Svetoslav Terter and Tsar Ivan Asen II. The right side shows Hristofor Zhefarovich's lion rampant with the names of Bulgarian rulers from the First and Second Empires overprinted in microscopic lettering, Bottom right appears Bulgaria's Coat of Arms with three lions couchant, as published in the Gruenberg Heraldic Compendium of 1483.
BGN 1lv
The obverse of the banknote shows a 1789 icon depicting of Saint Ivan Rilski from the Uspenie Bogorodichno (Assumption of Our Lady) Church in the Pchelino Postnica (Hermitage) near the Rila Monastery. Saint Ivan Rilski (876 - 946) Bulgaria adopted Christianity as a national religion in AD864, and Ivan of Rila preached Christ's doctrine in mediaeval Bulgaria. Canonised soon after his death, he became patron of the monastery which emerged on the spot where he ended his earthly span. Today the Rila Monastery, over a thousand years old, houses the Saint's relics.
The reverse of the banknote shows the main Monastery church set off by the cloister's open-air walkways.
100 BGL 1991
BGL 100 Front SideBGL 100 Back Side
200 BGL 1992
BGL 200 Front SideBGL 200 Back Side
500 BGL 1993
BGL 500 Front SideBGL 500 Back Side
1000 BGL 1994
BGL 1 000 Front SideBGL 1 000 Back Side
2000 BGL 1994
BGL 2 000 Front SideBGL 2 000 Back Side
5000 BGL 1996
BGL 5 000 Front SideBGL 5 000 Back Side
10000 BGL 1996
10000 BGL 1997
BGL 10 000 Front SideBGL 10 000 Back Side
50000 BGL 1997
BGL 50 000 Front SideBGL 50 000 Back Side
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