header Notes Collection

2 Liri 1998, Malta

in Krause book Number: 45c
Years of issue: 1998
Signatures: Gvernatur: Mr Emanuel Ellul (1 October 1997 - 30 September 1999)
Serie: Fifth Series
Specimen of: 18.09.1989
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 138 х 66,5
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

2 Liri 1998




Turreted head of Malta - Melita.


2 Liri 1998


The figure of Malta (Melita) holding a rudder, representing the island in control of her own destiny.

The woman's figure was originally the work of the well-known Maltese painter Edward Cauana Dingli, who drew it for a set of postage stamps issued in 1922 following the historical self-government Constitution of 1921.


Other features include: three doves, a design adopted from the commemorative stamp issue of 1964, when Malta became independent, and which symbolizes the nation's commitment to international peace.

The emblem of the United Nations, as a sign of Malta taking its rightful place among the other nations of the world; and three mosaic designs found in Roman remains, which testify that Malta became a self-governing municipium during the Roman period of Malta's history.


In top left corner is the Bank's of Malta coat of arms.

Heraldry is essentially a system of recognition by hereditary devices developed among the knights of mediaeval Christendom. The majority of the symbols employed in heraldry have their own technical terms with French and Latin used principally in the description.

The establishment of the Armorial Bearings and Supporters of the Central Bank of Malta was a lengthy process involving registration in the official records of the College of Arms in the United Kingdom. By authority delegated to them by the Sovereign since the fifteenth century, three officers of the College, that is, the Kings of Arms, grant arms in a document called Letters Patent.

The Armorial Bearings of the Bank were duly established by Letters Patent. A formal application, known as a Memorial, was lodged in 1969 with the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, at the College of Arms. This was done through the Windsor Herald of Arms, acting on behalf of the Bank. This Memorial gave details of the Bank's constitution, its history and the law under which it was set up. Evidence of this was provided by the Central Bank of Malta Act 1967 and the Bank's Bye-Laws.

Once the Memorial had been submitted and agreement reached regarding the design, the Letters Patent were prepared on a large piece of vellum, or fine parchment, on which were shown the Royal Arms, the Arms of the College of Arms, and those of the Earl Marshal. The text of the Patent was hand engrossed, and contains a formal description of the Bank's Arms illuminated by hand. The document is officially signed and sealed by the King of Arms.


A preliminary sketch for the Armorial Bearings of the Bank was made by the well-known Maltese artist, Chevalier Emvin Cremona. The College suggested certain re-arrangements of the original design, and on the basis of these exchanges a final version was prepared and sent to the United Kingdom. It contained, in Latin, the motto, "Fiducia Fortis" - "In Confidence Strength," and "1968", the date of the Bank's foundation.

In designing the Armorial Bearings, the artist sought to capture an element which was not only original but also expressive of the spirit of Malta. The Bank's arms incorporate items then found in the official arms of Malta. These include the mural crown surmounting the crest - symbolic of Malta's historic role as a fortress; the Maltese national colours, red and white, on the shield; the George Cross, awarded to Malta for bravery in April 1942 by King George VI, and reproduced on the Bank's shield by authority of the Prime Minister of Malta; the dolphin on the head of the key, a fish known in classical Mediterranean literature and often appearing as a prime heraldic figure; and the laurel and palm branches, symbols of honour and peace, respectively, supporting the mural crown. The horizontal key on the shield is appropriate to the Armorial Bearings of the Bank, the governing financial institution in Malta and a key to economic progress and security.

The two supporting Knights of Malta are a unique feature. The granting of supporters to Armorial Bearings is a privilege allowed only to major institutions. In the Bank's case they have a very special significance. The Knights represent confidence and strength, the two virtues which are incorporated in the Bank's motto. They also symbolise some of the greatest pages in the Country's long military history, when for more than two-and-a-half centuries Malta was ruled by the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. The plumed helmet of a knight which surmounts the shield also has a special connection with Malta. It is modelled on one found on a monument in the sixteenth-century Co-Cathedral of St John in Valletta, built by the Knights.

The official copy of the Bank's Armorial Bearings contains colours reflecting Malta's historic past. The Knights on either side of the shield are of a steely blue colour. The feathers composing the plume on each helm on the Knights' heads are in red and white, while the blades, quillons and the pommel of the two-handed swords, together with the cords and tassels hanging from them are in gold. This is also the colour of the mural crown above the crest.

A black and white design of the Armorial Bearings was first used in the Bank's Annual Report for 1970. A library painting of the final version of the Armorial Bearings and Supporters was displayed at the official inauguration of the Bank on 13 February 1971. An embossed fibre-glass version in colour now hangs in the Bank's Board Room.

Denominations in numerals are in top right and lower left corners. In center in words.


2 Liri 1998

The Pigeons, again, are right of center.

The redemption from feudal tenure of the Maltese Islands by the inhabitants and the subsequent so called Magna Charta Libertatis granted by King Alfonso V of Aragon, who in 1428 gave the Maltese a Charter granting certain liberties and rights including the right to resist, even by the actual use of force, any feudal grant of their island.

An inscription "20 'ta Gunju 1428 Il-Maltin u l-Ghawdxin jiksbu d-Diploma tal-Helsien minghand ir-Re Alfonsu V ta' Aragona" means "20 of June 1428 The Maltese and Gozitan obtain the Diploma of Independence from King Alfonsu V of Aragon".

Featured also two buildings (the Banca Giuratale in Mdina, Malta and the Banca Giuratale in Gozo) where the representative institutions of the people used to hold their meetings. Other features include, among others, the old coat of arms of Malta appearing on the facade of the Cathedral in Mdina and a trophy incorporating the coat of arms of the order of St John and of Grand Master Antonio Manoel de Vilhena on the Banca Giuratale in Gozo.

Banca Giuratale

The Banca Giuratale is located in the main square of Victoria, in the capital town of Gozo. The square where it is located is locally known as "It-Tokk", officially named Independence Square. The Banca Giuratale used to be the seat of the ‘Universitas’ or the local government for the islands of Gozo and Comino during the time of the Aragonese, and that’s why it is still called Banca Giuratale (or town hall). At that time, outside the Banca Giuratale was a bench used by magistrates to pass sentences in minor litigations. For major disputes the Court of Law was used, still in its place today. After 1819, Banca Giuratale was used to house various government departments such as the main Police Station, the Post Office, the Public Archives, the Gozo Civic Council and the Agriculture Department. Nowadays, there is the Culture Section and Information Section on the ground floor, while the first floor is the seat of the Victoria Local Council.

Banca Giuratale

The Banca Giuratale (or Municipal Palace) is a Baroque building in Mdina’s main street. This building was designed by de Mondion and built in 1726 by Grand Master de Vilhena to house the offices of the civil administration of the island. The façade is quite imposing and heavily decorated, as was common during this period. The civil administration held the district court in this building until 1831 after which it was leased to private individuals. It was taken over by the Education department in 1881 and was used as a secondary school until 1969. It was then leased to the Sisters of St Dorothy for a short period of time and functioned as a private school. Today, the Banca Giuratale houses part of the national archives, specifically court proceedings from 1530 to 1900.


Malta's coat of arms is in lower right corner.

The coat of arms of Malta is the national coat of arms of the country of Malta.

The present coat of arms is described by the Emblem and Public Seal of Malta Act of 1988 as a shield showing an heraldic representation of the national flag of Malta; above the shield a mural crown in gold with a sally port and five turrets representing the fortifications of Malta and denoting a city-state; and around the shield a wreath of two branches: the dexter of Olive, the sinister of Palm, symbols of peace and traditionally associated with Malta, all in their proper colours, tied at base with a white ribbon, backed red and upon which are written the words Repubblika ta' Malta ("Republic of Malta" in Maltese) in capital letters in black.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners, also lower. In center in words.


On 18 September 1989 the Bank issued a new set of currency notes, the fifth series. This coincided with the twenty fifth anniversary of Malta’s Independence. These banknotes, which had the same denominations as those of the fourth series, were enhanced with security features in 1994.