Albanian lek

Albanian lek

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local = lek shqiptar sq icon
image_1 =
image_title_1 = 1000 lekë of 1996 with Pjetër Bogdani
iso_code = ALL
using_countries = Albania
inflation_rate = 2.8%
inflation_source_date = " [ The World Factbook] ", 2006 est.
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/100
subunit_name_1 = qindarkë
plural = lekë
plural_subunit_1 = qindarka
used_coins = 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 lekë
used_banknotes = 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000 lekë
issuing_authority = Bank of Albania
issuing_authority_website =

The lek (plural "lekë") is the currency of Albania (ISO 4217 currency code: ALL). It is subdivided into 100 "qindarka" (singular "qindarkë"), although qindarka are no longer issued.


Lek is named after the 15th century Albanian Feudal Lord Lekë Dukagjini. The name qindarkë comes from the Albanian "qind", meaning one hundred. Qindarkë thus carries the same meaning as centime, cent, centesimo, stotinka, eurocent, etc.


Before the lek

Until 1912, Albania used the Turkish lira, the Ottoman currency. Following independence, a period of political chaos delayed the introduction of a national currency until 1926. During this period, various foreign currencies circulated, in particular those of the Latin Monetary Union. Some crude paper money was issued during this period [] . Notes were issued for Berat, Gjirokastër, Korçë, Shkodër and Vlorë. Denominations included "para" and "grosh" (equal to the subunits of the Turkish lira), Italian lira, "franga argjent" ("silver francs"), francs, "qint", "qindtar" and "skender". See Korçë frange, Korçë skender and Vlorë frank for more information.

First lek

The lek was introduced in 1926. At first, there were four denominations in circulation. The lek was worth 100 "qindar leku" whilst the "frang ar" (also "frank ar") was worth 100 "qindar ar" or five lekë. The lek was equivalent to the Italian lira.

When Italy occupied Albania in 1938, the lek was reduced in value to 0.8 Italian lira. Coins were issued denominated solely in lek during the occupation. After the Second World War, only the lek and qindarkë (equal to the qindar leku) were issued. Between 1946 and 1948, the lek was tied at par to the Yugoslav dinar. Following this, the lek was tied to the Soviet ruble at a rate of 12.5 lek = 1 ruble.

econd lek

As a consequence of the revaluation of the Soviet ruble in 1961, the lek revalued in 1965, with 10 old lek = 1 new lek, in order to restore the exchange rate of 12.5 lek = 1 ruble. This lek can continued to circulate to the present day, although it suffered from considerable inflation after the end of the communist regime.

Lek valuta

In 1992, a new "lek valuta" was introduced at a value of 50 lek. Two denominations of banknotes were issued, 10 and 50 lek valuta (1 lek valuta notes were printed but not issued). However, the lek valuta did not replace the lek and no further issues were made in lek valuta.


First lek

In 1926, bronze coins were introduced in denominations of 5 and 10 qindar leku, together with nickel ¼, ½ and 1 lek, and silver 1, 2 and 5 franga ar. In 1935, bronze 1 and 2 qindar ar were issued, equal in value to the 5 and 10 qindar leku.

After the Italian occupation, stainless-steel 0.20, 0.50, 1 and 2 lek and silver 5 and 10 lek were introduced, with the silver coins only issued that year but aluminium-bronze 0.05 and 0.10 lek introduced in 1940. These coins were issued until 1941.

In 1947, a new coinage was introduced, consisting of zinc ½, 1, 2 and 5 lekë. This coinage was issued until 1957.

econd lek

In 1965, aluminium coins (dated 1964) were introduced in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 qindar and 1 lek. In 1995 and 1996, a new coinage was introduced in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 50 lekë, with a bimetallic 100 lekë added in 2000.

The obverses have various designs with the inscription "Republika e Shqipërisë" (Republic of Albania) and the year of production. All have the value with branches on the reverse.
*1 lek: Pelican
*5 lekë: The eagle from the Flag of Albania
*10 lekë: Castle of Berat city
*20 lekë: Liburnian ship
*50 lekë: Portrait of the Illyrian King Gentius
*100 lekë: Portrait of the Illyrian Queen Teuta


First lek

In 1926, the National Bank of Albania ("Banka Kombëtare e Shqipnis") introduced notes in denominations of 1, 5, 20 and 100 franka ari. In 1939, notes were issued denominated as 5 and 20 franga. These were followed in 1944 with notes for 2, 5 and 10 lek and 100 franga.

In 1945, the People's Bank of Albania ("Banka e Shtetit Shqiptar") issued overprints on National Bank notes for 10 lek, 20 and 100 franga. Regular notes were also issued in 1945 in denominations of 1, 5, 20, 100 and 500 franga. In 1947, the lek was adopted as the main denominations, with notes issued for 10, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 lekë.

ee also

* Economy of Albania


*numis cite SCWC|date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1994

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Albania
world_coin_gallery_1_name = Albania
banknote_world_1_url = albania
banknote_world_1_name = Albania
dollarization_1_url =
dollarization_1_name =
gfd_1_url = Albania
gfd_1_name = Albania
gfd_data_1_url = 6127
gfd_data_1_name = Albania Lek
show_gfd_excel = Y

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