Bulgarian Paper Money

Bulgarian Paper Money

The unit of paper money in Bulgaria is the lev, which is an archaic Bulgarian word meaning "lion." The currency code for the lev is BGN. Like the United Kingdom, Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, but it does not use the European single currency; Bulgaria will cease to use the lev and adopt the euro once it meets certain prespecified conditions.

What are the denominations of paper currency in Bulgaria?

Bulgarian paper money is printed in units of 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 leva. The 1 lev note has been discontinued and is now represented by a coin. In 1952, 1, 3, and 5 leva notes were circulated, along with 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 leva notes. What are the security features on currency from Bulgaria?

The 20 leva note, colored lilac, pink, and violet, bears a watermark in the form of a heraldic lev and an abbreviation for the Central Bank. A protective strip containing the microtext "20" passes over it on all lengths. A 16 mm-wide polymeric protective strip appears in the left angle on the face side. The polymeric strip has a transparent window. Also pictured are the figure "20" or a series of diagonal lines, a silver holograph of the number 20, another silver holographic bearing the Central Bank emblem, and the anniversaries from 1885 to 2005.

Whose pictures are featured on bank notes from Bulgaria?

The contemporary 2 leva note bears the likeness of Saint Paisius of Hilendar, or Paìsiy Hilendàrski (1722–1773). As a clergyman and National Revival figure, St Paisius is best known for writing Storiya Slavyanobolgarskaya, the second modern history of the nation. The face of painter Ivan Milev Lalev (1897-1927) adorns the magenta and blue 5 leva note. Petar Beron (1799–1871) appears on the 10 leva note, alongside images of a rhino, a dolphin, drawings of Earth and Saturn, and a telescope. The 20 leva note shows Stefan Stambolov (1854-1895), journalist and former Prime Minister, as well as an image of the parliament building being struck by an arrow. The 50 leva note pictures noted poet Pencho Slaveykov (1866-1912), together with his girlfriends ghost, a bird, a phaeton, and the theater in Sofia while it was under construction. Finally, pictured on the 100 leva note is a likeness of Aleko Konstantinov (1863–1897). The writer is pictured alongside an illustration of his popular fictional character, Bay Ganyo.

How has the value of paper currency in Bulgaria changed?

BGN currency in Bulgaria has been redenominated four times. This means that inflation has driven the value of the currency down so low on foreign exchange that only large bills are circulated. The exchange rate of the original lev, which appeared in 1881, was one French franc. The second redenomination occurred in 1952, and was first pegged to the U.S. dollar at an exchange rate of 6.8 leva to one dollar. It fell to 9.52 leva in 1957. The BGN was again redenominated in 1962 at 10:1, shifting the exchange rate with respect to the dollar to 1.17 to 1. The fourth recalibration, the new BGN, was redenominated at 1000:1, equal to one Deutsch Mark. This happened in 1999, the year the euro was introduced.