The Latvian lat, symbol Ls, code LVL, is the official currency of Latvia, a Baltic country of over 2.5 million. The lat is referred to as lati, or latu, in its plural tense. The lat is subdivided into 100 Santimi, and is managed by the Bank of Latvia in Riga.
The first notes of the Republic of Latvia were the latvian rublis, which were introduced in 1918 to replace the Russian ruble at a rate of 1 lat equal to 1.5 rubles. In 1922, the lat replaced the rublis at a rate of 1 lat equal to 50 rubli. In 1940, the lat was replaced by the Soviet ruble at par during the Soviet occupation of Latvia during and after World War Two. Latvia joined the European Union in 2004 but has yet to join the Eurozone countries who use the euro as their national currency. Latvia is, however, part of the ERM 2, and will most likely change to the euro in the year 2014. As of June 2012, the 500 lat note was the world’s third most valuable banknote, and the lat is the 4th highest valued currency in the world. As of December 2012, 1 USD was equal to 0.53545 LVL.
Name: Latvian lat
Decimal Unit: 100 santimi
Nicknames: plural: lati, latu
Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 santimu; 1, 2, lati
Notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 latu
Central Bank: Bank of Latvia
All Latvian lat notes are a different color for each denomination of value, with national figures and symbol depicted on both note sides. Lat coins are currently circulated in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 santimu, and 1 and 2 lati values, while notes in circulation include 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 latu.