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The official currency of Latvia is the Latvian Lat. It was introduced in 1922 in replacement of the Latvian ruble. The Latvian Lat currency code is LVL and the number 428. The lats are sub-divided into 100 santimi.
The word ‘lat’ having s at the end becomes ‘lats’ and this is an expression for a singular male word and the plural ‘lati’ does not have the alphabet‘s’.
However, in 1940, when Latvia was a part of the USSR, once again the USSR ruble was replaced in the place of Latvian Lat. In 1993, the official currency took a reversion after Latvia gained its independence. It is speculated that Latvia around 2008 year will adopt the Euro.
Latvian coins were in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 & 50 santīmu as well as 1, 2 & 5 lati. The Latvian coins 1, 2 & 5 santīmu were in bronze, while the 10, 20 & 50 santīmu were of nickel and the coins of 1 lats or above were made in silver.
There were commemorative coins of 2,10, 20 and 100 latu in gold and silver.
In 1922 the Latvian Bank issued notes in denominations of 20, 25, 50, 100 and 500 latu. The bank also issued 10 latu notes that were overprinted with new denominations on 500 rubli notes. In 1925, the government issued notes in denominations of 10 and 20 latu. In 1993, lats re-introduced and was used for a small period @1 lats =200 rublu.
This was done replacing the Latvian rublis.
The banknotes of 5 lati were green in color with oak tree image in the front side, 10 latu was purple in color and had River Daugava in the front and Sakt in the backside, 20 latu was brownish-green in color and the traditional house was the frontside, 50 latu was blue in color and the front side image was a sailing ship and the backside had keys, 100 latu was red in color and had Krisjanis Barons on the front side and the 500 latu was brown in color with the front image of Latvian folk-maid.
It is expected that Latvia in 2012 will introduce the euro, although the National Bank of Latvia has suggested 2013 to be a realistic date