What is Georgian currency?
Georgia, a country in the South Caucasus region, has its own currency known as the Georgian lari.
The currency code for Georgian currency is GEL.
The symbol for the Georgian Lari is ₾. It represents the currency and is used in written and printed forms.
You pronounce the word “lari” as “la-ree.” The emphasis is on the first syllable, “la.”
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The history of Georgian currency is fascinating and reflects the country’s complex history and changing political dynamics.
Check out these intriguing historical facts:
- Georgia, located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, has a long history of using different forms of currency. In ancient times, the region had its own coinage, including gold, silver, and copper coins, influenced by neighbouring civilisations.
- During the medieval period, Georgia was split into several kingdoms and principalities. Each region issued its own currency, often featuring distinct designs and inscriptions. Numismatists and collectors treasure coins from this era.
- Georgia’s history includes periods of rule by various empires, including the Byzantine Empire and the Persian Empire. Georgian currency often featured the rulers’ images and symbols during these times.
- In the 19th century, Georgia became part of the Russian Empire. The Russian ruble became the official currency, and Georgian currency was gradually phased out.
- Following the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917, Georgia briefly gained independence. The Georgian National Bank issued its own currency, including banknotes and coins. However, this independence was short-lived, as Georgia was invaded by the Red Army in 1921.
- Georgia became a part of the Soviet Union in 1921. During this time, the Soviet ruble was the official currency used in Georgia.
- Georgia regained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In the early years of independence, the country used temporary currencies and coupons due to economic instability.
- In 1995, Georgia introduced the Georgian lari (GEL) as its official currency. The lari replaced the temporary currencies and became the country’s stable and widely used currency.
- The Georgian lari has been the official currency of Georgia ever since. It has undergone various denominational changes and updates to its banknotes and coins.
Today, the Georgian lari remains the currency used in Georgia for all transactions. The currency reflects Georgia’s journey from ancient kingdoms to periods of foreign rule to modern independence and stability.
Georgian banknotes feature a blend of historical and cultural elements, showcasing the country’s rich heritage. Read on to discover more about Georgian lari banknotes.
- 1₾: The 1 lari banknote features a portrait of Shota Rustaveli, a medieval Georgian poet, playwright, and philosopher. Rustaveli is one of the greatest contributors to Georgian literature.
The reverse side of the note showcases a scene from “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin,” an epic poem by Rustaveli. The note is predominantly blue.
- 2₾: The 2 lari banknote highlights the Georgian alphabet, one of the oldest alphabets in the world. The front of the note shows the Georgian script.
The back features a depiction of the Gelati Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Georgia. The note is predominantly green.
- 5₾: The 5 lari banknote showcases a portrait of Nikoloz Baratashvili, a prominent Georgian poet of the Romantic era. The reverse side depicts a scene from Baratashvili’s poem “Miserere.” The note is predominantly brown.
- 10₾; The 10 lari banknote features a portrait of Akaki Tsereteli, a Georgian poet and national liberation movement figure. The reverse side of the note displays a scene from his poem “The Spring.” The note is predominantly orange.
- 20₾: The 20 lari banknote highlights Ilia Chavchavadze, a prominent Georgian writer and public figure. The reverse side features a scene from his poem “The Hermit.” The note is predominantly red.
- 50₾: The 50 lari banknote showcases a portrait of Niko Pirosmani. He was a self-taught Georgian painter renowned for his folk art style. The reverse side features one of his famous works, “Feasting at a Rich Man’s House.” The note is predominantly blue-green.
- 100₾: The 100 lari banknote features a portrait of Ilia State University, one of Georgia’s leading educational institutions. The reverse side displays various scientific symbols, highlighting the importance of education and knowledge. The note is predominantly violet.
- 200₾: The 200 lari banknote features a portrait of Queen Tamar. She was one of Georgia’s most celebrated rulers from the medieval period. The reverse side showcases a depiction of a fresco from the Gelati Monastery. The note is predominantly brown.
- New 5₾: In 2021, Georgia introduced a new 5 lari banknote. It features the Georgian alphabet on the front and the Gelati Monastery on the reverse, similar to the previous design.
These banknotes aren’t just how you’ll pay for tours, transport and treats. They also give us a glimpse into Georgia’s history, culture, and artistic achievements.
The Georgian lari banknotes are notable for their colourful and intricate designs. They’re a unique and culturally significant aspect of the country’s currency.
Georgian coins come in various denominations and feature designs that reflect the country’s rich history and culture. Uncover more about Georgia’s coins below.
- 1 tetri (1₵): The 1 tetri coin is the smallest denomination. It features a grapevine on one side, symbolising Georgia’s historical association with winemaking.
- 2₵: The 2 tetri coin also features a grapevine on one side.
- 5₵: The 5 tetri coin showcases a traditional Georgian cross-stone or “khachkar” on one side. The khachkar is a distinctive element of Georgian culture and art.
- 10₵: The 10 tetri coin features the Georgian alphabet on one side, highlighting the country’s unique script.
- 20₵: The 20 tetri coin showcases an image of Borjgali. Borjgali is a Georgian symbol of the Sun with seven rotating wings.
- 50₵: The 50 tetri coin features a representation of the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant religious monument in Georgia.
- ₾1: The 1 lari coin highlights the Borjgali symbol on one side.
- ₾2: The 2 lari coin features a depiction of Queen Tamar. One of Georgia’s most celebrated historical figures, on one side.
The reverse of these coins features the denomination and the national emblem of Georgia, which includes a cross surrounded by grapevines.
These coins help with everyday transactions whilst also carrying cultural and historical significance.
The designs often celebrate Georgia’s unique heritage, including its script, religious landmarks, and artistic symbols. Georgian coins come in different sizes, metals, and colours, making them a visually distinctive part of the country’s currency system.
Need currency for Georgia but don’t know what it’s called?
The Georgian lari might not be as familiar as widely used currencies like the euro or the US dollar.
That means it’s common for folks not to know what they’re looking for when they want to get some foreign currency for Georgia.
People frequently search for Georgia currency, currency in Georgia, Georgian currency, currency of Georgia and similar terms. What folks are seeking is the Georgian lari (GEL).
Do you sell currency for Georgia at Manor FX?
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Alternatively, you can collect your currency from our travel money shop near Heathrow Airport. Click here to order Georgian lari online now.
Do you buy currency for Georgia at Manor FX?
Looking to exchange your Georgia lari to GBP?
Simply follow this link to convert your Georgia currency to GBP. Click on ‘sell currency’ and choose ‘GEL Georgian lari.’ We provide competitive rates for your leftover Georgian lari and pay you in pound sterling.