The colour of money: What do Georgia’s new banknotes look like?

  • The new banknotes will be more vibrant in colour and a different size, said NBG., 3 Nov 2015 - 17:09, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is changing the colour and size of its 20, 50 and 100 GEL banknotes.

From next year the new bills will be introduced into circulation alongside the existing currency. The new money will depict the same iconic faces but will have a vastly different and more vibrant look with additional elements.

The 20 GEL note will be a brighter red colour, the 50 GEL note will be green and the 100 GEL bill will have a deeper purple colour.

The front side of 50 GEL banknote features King Tamar of Georgia. The back side shows astrological sign of Sagittarius (miniature from a Georgian manuscript of the 12th century).

Today National Bank of Georgia (NBG) president Giorgi Kadagidze presented the new banknotes’ design at a special presentation. He said this was the first significant update of the banknotes in the past 20 years.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the GEL. This was a new epoch in the country’s monetary history. Therefore, we decided to symbolically coincide the renewal [of the banknotes] with the jubilee.”

Kadagidze said stronger protective signs had been created to appear on the new banknotes and the printing process had become more refined.

Another reason for the monetary upgrade was to ensure the Lari banknotes met high international standards.

At first the Lari banknotes were of high quality and met international standards but as time progressed the printing process has improved significantly. Better protection measures were created and new trends appeared in terms of design as well. So we decided to renew the Lari banknotes, which now will occupy its place among other the world currencies,” Kadagidze added.

The renewed banknotes were better protected from fraudulent copying, and contained easily perceivable and modern signs that could even be recognised by people with visual impairments.

The front side features a 12th-century Georgian poet Shota Rustaveli, while the back side shows Tbilisi Opera House.

The new banknotes designer Bacha Malazonia has vast experience designing currency – he first designed Georgia’s national currency 20 years ago.

NBG had a very clear position to keep the concept of [the traditional] banknotes. The historical, environment and personages which were used on the Lari banknote before should be kept in the new banknotes as well,” he said.
I spent two years working on the new design. I tried to use all the modern trends while designing the new banknotes,” said Malazonia.

The main changes of the new banknotes were colour and size.

NBG said the five and 10 GEL banknotes will be renewed at a later stage.